Gonzaga breaks through at last, earns first trip to Final Four

Unless the 1939 NCAA championship OR won is counted.

So when they come to town, we fill the Chiles Center to just to watch what often results in a blowout win for them- Portland's upset win in 2014 being the one blip in the trend- and the cheers of their fans drown out all else.

The Ducks beat Iona, Rhode Island, Michigan and Kansas without Chris Boucher, their best two-way player.

Hachimura admitted that he had not realized how big of a deal it was to make it to the Final Four right before the Elite Eight contest.

Mathews didn't even have to miss a season. More people in ESPN's brackets had South Dakota State making it, and the Jackrabbits lost to Gonzaga in the very first game 66-46.

Roy Williams' Tar Heels were given a first-round matchup against No. 16 Texas Southern and snatched a 103-64 victory. But if South Carolina's defense can play up to its increasingly high standard, the Cocks will have a shot by default.

SC players celebrate after beating Florida.

For the Tar Heels, it's a record 20th trip to the Final Four. Few is the third-fastest coach to 500 wins, behind only the legendary Adolph Rupp and Jerry Tarkanian.

It was a insane finale for the Musketeers, but they still trail the Bulldogs 49-39 as the second half gets underway.

As Gonzaga wound down its 83-59 in the West Region final, Few signaled to an official that he wanted to stop the clock for substitutions.

Though Few insisted he was carrying no burden, it is nonetheless important to note that his new label - "Final Four coach" - is far more appealing than the one attached to him before 5:15 p.m. or so Pacific time, when Gonzaga's lead against Xavier expanded to the point where the final minutes were a formality. Plus Few has the talent to win it all. North Carolina's Justin Jackson was named the ACC Player of the Year, Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss was the WCC Player of the Year, Oregon's Dillon Brooks was the Pac-12 Player of the Year and South Carolina's Sindarius Thornwell was the SEC Player of the Year.

Why they'll lose: They've looked beatable throughout the tournament. The Zags were "supposed to" beat SU in 2016's Sweet 16.

Will Gonzaga be celebrating after the NCAA title game?

Gonzaga had great players go through Spokane, great teams that won year after year, laying the foundation for the program's big breakthrough this season.

Like a top soccer team, Gonzaga built a title contender by dipping into the transfer market.

- The last West Coast Conference team to reach the Final Four was San Francisco in 1957 after the Dons won consecutive national championships the two years prior. Hey, the Zags have already beaten a Pac-12 school this season - Arizona back in December.

The Zags have what seems to be the lesser semifinal opponent (though to take SC lightly at this point would be delusional), so maybe it's them.

Last, but certainly not least, South Carolina.

"When we started to slow down and play our style of basketball, that's when we started rolling", said Frank Mason III who scored 26 points.



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