March Madness: Final Four
Then there were four. Just like that, the Final Four of the NCAA tournament is set. The teams are ready to try to reach the biggest stage in college basketball. The four remaining teams are Gonzaga, South Carolina, Oregon and North Carolina.
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
What is thought to be the Cinderella story of this year, South Carolina is preparing to take on a team who has only faced defeat once this season, Gonzaga.
This is South Carolina’s first ever appearance in the Final Four, much of which has been attributed to former K-State head coach Frank Martin. South Carolina has had quite the tough road to get to the Final Four, including upsetting a favorite in No. 2 seed Duke.
During its most recent win, defeating No. 4 seed Florida, the team rallied behind senior Sindarius Thornwell. The guard played exceptionally, dropping 26 points and even bringing down seven rebounds. He will likely need to repeat his performance if they want any shot at taking down No. 1 seed Gonzaga.
Gonzaga has managed to finish out some close games, nearly blowing a one-loss season to both Northwestern and West Virginia in the tournament. Gonzaga is coming off a blow-out victory in the Elite Eight over No. 11 seed Xavier, 83-59. The Bulldogs managed to have four of their five players put up double-digit points. If South Carolina wants to see the National Championship game, they will need to find a solution to slow down Gonzaga’s starters.
The two will square off Saturday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Tipoff is set for 5:09 p.m. on CBS.
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 1 North Carolina
Oregon is one of the hottest teams in basketball right now after a nail-biter of a victory against No. 7 seed Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen, followed by routing No. 1 seed Kansas in the Elite Eight, 74-60. This is in part thanks to their young guard, sophomore Tyler Dorsey, who dropped 27 points against Kansas, including six three-pointers. Former K-State head coach Dana Altman coaches the Ducks
North Carolina is no stranger to the Final Four, as they head into their 20th in school history, including back-to-back years. The Tar Heels had quite the dramatic way of entering the Final Four, with sophomore forward Luke Maye hitting the game-winner with 0.03 seconds left on the clock. North Carolina has been cruising through the tournament; however, keep an eye on star junior point guard Joel Berry II, who has been playing through two nagging ankle injuries.
Catch the thriller on CBS at 7:49 p.m. on Saturday.
Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
The Kansas City Royals will wrap up spring training this week as they prepare for their first regular season game on April 3 at 4:10 p.m.
The Royals are coming out of spring training with a 15-13 record with one game remaining.
Danny Duffy is set to be the starting pitcher for the Royals’ opening game. The lefty had a solid season last year with a 12-3 record. Both Duffy and first baseman Eric Hosmer are coming off winning a Gold Medal during the World Baseball Classic after defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 in the finals.
The Royals will look to get their season off on the right foot with six straight road games. They will have a three-game series in Houston after the three-game opening series in Minnesota.