Final Four: Three takeaways from Gonzaga's thrilling win over SC

Final Four: Three takeaways from Gonzaga's thrilling win over SC

Final Four: Three takeaways from Gonzaga's thrilling win over SC

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Their star guard was outstanding.

With two big men going at it, it won't be easy to officiate inside. South Carolina's run has been all the more remarkable considering it had lost five of its last seven games before the NCAA tournament.

"To be playing the last game of the year is just insane cool", said coach Mark Few, who performed a celebratory handstand in the locker room. Collins was even better, with 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks.

Thornwell finished his college career with 1,926 points, 681 rebounds and 389 assists. "I had four fouls today". "But when you've got fifth-year seniors across the board, like they do, they don't make mistakes".

NEXT UP: Carolina vs. Gonzaga in the title game Monday.

"I was just really, really proud of our guys, our late-game execution", Few said. He did not return to the game before the end of the first half, but did to start the second. Thornwell, who has been a star all tournament, made the first and was forced to brick the second on goal. The Gamecocks' historic run halted Saturday afternoon in Arizona with a 77-73 heartbreaker at the hands of fellow first-time Final Four participant Gonzaga. "We wanted to leave something that wasn't working and go to something that could possibly work", Matthews said. We just tried to give him different looks.

Thornwell said the idea was to get in position for one last quick shot.

"The plan was to miss it left and hopefully, Chris could tap it out to someone", Thornwell said.

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However Gonzaga were nearly left ruing what would have been an upset defeat when a 65-51 lead with 11 minutes to play turned into a 67-65 advantage for SC after 16 unanswered points.

Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Nigel Williams-Goss. "Just going every day to the practice facility was a big challenge for me". "This is the last two games of the season", Williams-Goss said. "Now we're 40 minutes from a championship".

Still, South Carolina wasn't done. "And we try to do our best to respond the way we learn how to respond".

"They just crowd the paint". That showed me that they can beat anyone. And they just did a good job of protecting the rim. He led the team with 8 points at the break.

"I got blocked but he just put the finger in my eye", Karnowski said.

"I've had some really, really tough teams". But Meeks outmuscled Jordan Bell for that final rebound, threw it outside, and this ugly affair was over. He then hit both free throws to ice the game. And on the next play, he scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play. Dillon Brooks had a rough night for OR, making 2 of 11 shots and committing five turnovers before fouling out.

No. 7 SC vs. It felt like more because the Tar Heels had to overcome an early eight-point deficit to get there. Gonzaga kept on getting inside buckets to answer Carolina scores.

Current UNC players were years away from arriving in Chapel Hill when it began. The NCAA's ongoing probe of the Tar Heels is tied to irregularities in an academic department and led to five broad-based charges against the school that include lack of institutional control.

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