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The March Madness Final Four takes place this Saturday and here is everything you should know

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The Final Four takes place this upcoming Saturday.

The Final Four takes place this upcoming Saturday.

Courtesy of DigitalTrends.com

Courtesy of DigitalTrends.com

The Final Four takes place this upcoming Saturday.

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March is a very special time of year for sports fans. No, it is not because of St. Patrick’s day, and no, it is not because of Pi Day. The reason your friend is crying and throwing his/her phone is because it is “March Madness.” A time of year when the 64 best NCAA Division I basketball teams play in a month long tournament, with one school being crowned the champion team of the year.

Whether you have invested money in a “bracket” or just a fan of the game, the madness always has people sitting on the edge of their seats, remote control in hand switching channels from game to game. Already this year there have been many up upsets (when a higher seeded team beats a lower seeded team) including Wisconsin beating first-seeded Villanova (2016 NCAA Champions), or even seventh-seeded South Carolina making it to the Final Four. The Final Four takes place this Saturday, featuring the Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks, and the Oregon Ducks vs. the North Carolina Tar Heels, and here is all you have to know before this weekend’s tipoff:

Gonzaga vs. South Carolina

  • Gonzaga finished their regular season at 32-1 record, losing only a single game to BYU. Some of Gonzaga’s notable victories include wins over Florida, Arizona, North Western, West Virginia and Xavier. The Bulldogs are led by Washington transfer Nigel Williams-Goss, who averaged 16.7 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 4.6 assists per game. Gonzaga actually outscored their opponents this season by over 800 points. Eamonn Brennan of ESPN says that the Zags “can win it all…can take a punch… [and] Gonzaga punches back. The Zags will get a trip to the finals if they play how they have played all season long.
  • South Carolina finished with a respectable 22-10  record with notable wins against Michigan, Florida (twice), Duke and Baylor. The Gamecocks are led by Sindarius Thornwell who averaged 21.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. Although their three-point percentage is shaky, their opponent’s percentage is worse, with a mere 29.8%. The Gamecocks can pull off an upset if they shoot well and play the defense they have been consistently playing all year.

 

North Carolina vs. Oregon

  • North Carolina entered March with a 27-7  record, beating notable teams such as Wisconsin, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia, Louisville, Duke and Kansas. The Tar Heels are led by Justin Jackson, who averaged 18.2 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game, and Joel Berry II, who averaged 14.6 points per game and 3.6 assists per game.  The Heels are an efficient team with a shooting percentage at 47.2%. Coach Roy Williams is the only remaining head coach in the 2017 tournament with a minute of experience in the Final Four. The Tar Heels advanced to the Final Four on a last second shot by Luke Maye on Sunday, with hopes to continue their momentum on Saturday
  • The Ducks waddled into the “Marsh” Madness (you see what I did there?) at 29-5, defeating UCLA, Arizona, Michigan and Kansas on their path to the Final Four. The Ducks are led by Dillon Brooks, who averaged 16.3 points per game, and shot over 40% from the 3-point line. Dana O’Neill of ESPN is happy that the Ducks are done “designing new uniforms and cornering the Nike market,” and have finally gotten to the Final Four for the first time since 1939. Hopefully the Ducks take advantage of this opportunity before them to advance to the National Championship.
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The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East
The March Madness Final Four takes place this Saturday and here is everything you should know