7 South Carolina Gamecocks (+6.5) vs. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs
A lot of people didn’t believe South Carolina wouldn’t make it out of the round of 32 and definitely couldn’t imagine them making the Final Four. South Carolina finished the season losing five of their last seven games heading into the NCAA tournament. South Carolina has knocked off 2 seed Duke, 3 seed Baylor, and 4 seed Florida from the East region. Sindarius Thornwell will be the best player on the court in this game. He’s averaging 25.8 PPG in the tournament and was SEC player of the year. South Carolina will rely heavily on their defense yet again to take down the Gonzaga. They’ll need to keep Gonzaga out of the paint and contain Nigel Williams-Goss. South Carolina is only allowing opponents to shoot 29.8% from behind the arc. Gonzaga is a very athletic team, but they’ve really only beaten West Virginia in the tournament. They play in the West Coast Conference, which isn’t the best, but are currently 36-1 on the season. Gonzaga is only allowing 59 PPG in the tournament and are averaging 83.2 PPG throughout the year. This will be a tight game and neither team has experience in a final four game. I’ll take South Carolina to keep it close and who knows, maybe knock off a number 1 seed.
7 South Carolina Gamecocks (+6.5)