Final Four Saturday: The Carolinas vs. Pacific Northwest
Three games remain in the 2017 college basketball season, and in this Final Four, America’s Southeast and Northwest meet twice.
It’s pine trees vs. palmettos; sweet tea vs. Starbucks. One of these two regions will be home to our new national champion, but by the end of the day, it could be all one or all the other.
Oregon may meet Gonzaga for the title, but North Carolina could face South Carolina for the whole ball of wax. Neither is each other’s biggest rival, but the potential storylines are there. Of course, there are four possible combinations of championship games, but only one after tonight.
[alert heading=”South Carolina vs. Gonzaga (6:09pm ET)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]ESPN gives Gonzaga an 88 percent chance of winning this game. They also gave Duke an 83 percent chance of beating them, which tells you what the Gamecocks thing of the BPI projection. Sindarius Thornwell is the man of the hour for South Carolina, but Gonzaga’s got a stacked roster of stars and role players, including Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins.[/alert]
[alert heading=”Oregon vs. North Carolina (8:49pm ET)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]This could be a slugfest if both teams are working it offensively. Oregon can score, but UNC can throw down with the best of them. Logic would say that this will be the more competitive of the two games, but it you think logic has any place in the NCAA Tournament, this isn’t the sport for you. The Tar Heels have had a week to marinate on their dramatic win over Kentucky, while Oregon’s blowout over Kansas has had the Ducks flying. Momentum favors both in this game.[/alert]