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The normally strong SC defense was exploited, especially in the paint.

Don't feel too badly about not having your Final Four intact for your brackets.

The Zags feature a 7-1, 300-pound center (Przemek Karnowski), a light-it-up guard (Nigel Williams-Goss) and a power forward in Johnathan Williams who USC saw two years ago when he was at Missouri.

SC counters with Maik Kotsar and Chris Silva.

Gonzaga players celebrate after the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against South Carolina, Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.

The men fell short with nothing to be ashamed about.

Pace game, OR vs. OR has an adjusted tempo that's 241st nationally and was able to slow Kansas and MI, two fast-paced teams, on its way to the Final Four. The Bulldogs (36-1) were one of the most consistent teams in the country all season, but still face doubters over the softness of their schedule. Both teams were active around the rim however with a flurry of blocked shots throughout the game.

Fast or slow, that could determine this side of the bracket. They went ahead to stay with 13 straight points in the third quarter. South Carolina's perimeter defense.

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Matched up with a relentless SC defense, Gonzaga sprinted into halftime with a 45-36 lead to end a fast-paced first half in which both teams played well until the Gamecocks hit a lull in the last few minutes.

Despite that second-half lapse, Gonzaga proved to be the team it looked like all season: more complete and more balanced, with more offensive options than the opponent.

"There's a lot of young kids that want to be the next Sindarius Thornwell, Justin McKie, and I don't get to coach them anymore, but they're part of my life forever".

All part of a career night for the North Carolina senior, who was on the bench previous year when Villanova devastatingly ended the Tar Heels' chance at a title with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Average attendance for Cardinals games is about 64,000.

"And we just never stopped believing and we've had the utmost confidence in ourselves the entire season long", Williams-Goss said. He practiced Friday and sounded good to go.

Williams-Goss is the Zags' leader, running their offense while scoring on a variety of drives, 3s and step-back jumps.

For the Gamecocks to even arrive at the Final Four - held in the West for the first time in some two decades - they had to win their first NCAA Tournament game since 1973, and overcome a stretch of six losses in nine games entering the tournament.

No telling how much they'll get matched up, but it sure will be fun when they do.


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