Gonzaga holds off SC 77-73 in Final Four

North Carolina held on by one point and will now face the Bulldogs in the title game Monday night.

Gonzaga is heading to the national championship. Cuevas-Moore's 3-pointer off an assist from Wilson out of a double-team put SC back in front, a lead it never lost.

Dylan Ennis and Tyler Dorsey scored 21 and 18 points for the Ducks. Other key contributions came from center Przemek Karnowski with 13 points and five rebounds, while forward Zach Collins had a big game off the bench with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Gonzaga maintained that lead and more for much of the second half, leading by as many as 14 after Nigel Williams-Goss' three-point play with 10:40 left. Thornwell made a block and drew a charge in a momentum-changing sequence for the Gamecocks.

Gonzaga continued to build on their lead, until it ballooned up to 14 points. The Bulldogs needed to be good, as SC found its own success offensively and lay in wait for its inevitable second-half run.

The Bulldogs held off a furious rally as SC used a 16-0 run to overcome a 14-point deficit. Collins was outstanding down the stretch despite playing with four fouls.

SC got that message. SC had previously surrendered at least 90 points once this season. The seventh-seeded Gamecocks scored 5 straight to get within 74-72 with just over 2 minutes left.

No. 1 seed Gonzaga beat seventh-seeded SC 77-73 on Saturday to advance to Monday's national championship game. Not to mention being a No. 7 seed out of a football conference. In the blink of an eye, SC erased the deficit with a 16-0 run. The Gamecocks defeated No. 4 Florida in the Elite 8. He's also recorded three of the four best single-season win totals in program history.

"Just an awesome, awesome basketball game, with just how hard both teams competed", Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. And they attacked the rim really well in the first half. South Carolina's Chris Silva blocked a shot, but appeared to accidentally poke Karnowski in the eye during the follow through. Although Samuelson would return to the game in the second half, she was a non-factor. South Carolina's run has been all the more remarkable considering it had lost five of its last seven games before the NCAA tournament. After breaking the glass ceiling to get to where college basketball's road ends, they're gonna stick around for a chance to win the whole damn thing. Kotsar, a freshman, averages 5.8 points and 4.9 rebounds.

Guard PJ Dozier had 17 points to lead SC, which had been strong in the second half throughout the NCAA Tournament, outscoring its opponents by an average of 13.5 points after halftime. The Gamecocks tied the game twice in the first half - 26-26 and 31-31 - but both times the Zags swung the game right back in their favor with 3-pointers from Jordan Matthews.

  • Archie Newman