Gonzaga is in the Final Four for the first time in school history, 18 years after their original Elite Eight run that put the school on the map. South Carolina is in their first Final Four after not even winning a tournament game since 1973. The seven seed Gamecocks ran through Marquette, Duke, Baylor, and Florida in one of the most remarkable runs we’ve seen in quite awhile. Top seeded Gonzaga beat South Dakota State and Northwestern before a dramatic win over West Virginia and a throttling of Xavier to reach Phoenix.
"Everything happened in slo-mo."— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) April 2, 2020
Here's my first installment Gonzaga NCAA Tournament oral histories, where I chatted with @NigelWG5 , @JoshPerk13, @RemFifteen, and @JordanMathews22 about THAT shot against West Virginia.
Full story: https://t.co/JMbZiXlMEK pic.twitter.com/wXsZTOmnBV
Gonzaga continues to use their eight-man rotation to perfection and it’s becoming increasingly more likely that Zach Collins has the potential to become Mark Few’s first one-and-done if he puts together two more standout performances. Nigel Williams-Goss has played at an All-American level the entire season and is two wins away from leading the Zags to their first National Title.
On the other side is Sindarius Thornwell. The 6’5 senior guard finished seventh in KenPom’s Player of the Year rankings and scored at least 24 points in all four tournament games. He’s also grabbed over seven rebounds a game and has eight steals in those four games. He’s arguably played better than anyone in the tournament. He’s flanked by PJ Dozier, who has worked himself into NBA Draft territory as a sophomore. He’s averaged double figures in the tournament as well.
The Gamecocks have thrived all season on the defensive end, ranked third nationally. Their offense, which struggled most of the season, has finally caught up. Put no stock into their 33 percent mark from deep or their 304th ranked effective field goal percentage. This is a seven seed playing like a one seed and Gonzaga will have their hands full.
So, how does Gonzaga win? The same way they’ve been doing it all year. Play stout defense and pound the rock inside. South Carolina plays just two players taller than 6’6. Przemek Karnowski, Zach Collins, and Johnathan Williams will have plenty of post-up opportunities. Mark Few’s team is 36-1 for a reason. They are really freaking good and they have two more chances to show the world just how good they are.
#ZagsRewatch will start at 3 pm pacific on Saturday afternoon with this YouTube link.