The national semifinals or Final Four of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Friday. Gonzaga will face South Carolina in the first game to be followed by the duel between North Carolina and Oregon. The winners will proceed to Sunday's championship game.
Friday, April 1
(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs (7) South Carolina Gamecocks (23:09 BST)
Final Four first-timers Gonzaga and South Carolina face off in the first game in Glendale. Top seed Gonzaga ruled the West Region bracket after easily disposing of Xavier 83-59 in the finals at the SAP Center in San Jose.
Nigel Williams-Goss (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The Bulldogs earlier eliminated South Dakota State (66-46), Northwestern (79-73) and West Virginia (61-58). Head coach Mark Few has an experienced line-up featuring guards Nigel Williams-Goss and Jordan Mathews and Polish center Przemek Karnowski. Gonzaga also boasts of Johnathan Williams, Zach Collins, Josh Perkins and Silas Melson. Williams-Goss had 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists against Xavier while Williams had 19 points and eight rebounds. The West Coast Conference champions have won their last seven games and have lost only once throughout the season. South Carolina, meanwhile, is hoping to extend its merry run after eliminating Marquette (93-73), Duke (88-81), Baylor (70-50) and SEC rival Florida (77-70) en route to winning the East Region bracket. Sindarius Thornwell will lead the Gamecocks in their quest for another historic win after posting 26 points and seven rebounds against the Gators. Aside from the co-SEC Player of the Year, head coach Frank Martin will count on PJ Dozier, Duane Notice and Chris Silva.
(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs (3) Oregon Ducks (01:49 BST on Saturday)
North Carolina is aiming to reach the NCAA championship game for the second-straight season but it must first get past Oregon in the Final Four.
Tyler Dorsey (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
The Tar Heels topped the South Region after beating Kentucky 75-73 in a pulsating final at the FedExForum last Sunday. Unheralded sophomore Luke Maye nailed a jumper at the buzzer to seal the win for North Carolina just moments after Kentucky freshman Malik Monk tied the game with a difficult three-pointer. While Maye was the hero against Kentucky, juniors Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II are the top guns of the Tar Heels. The two players were instrumental in their earlier wins over Texas Southern (103-64), Arkansas (72-65) and Butler (92-80). Head coach Roy Williams will also count on senior big men Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks to deliver in this match-up. Oregon, meanwhile, stunned No. 1 Kansas 74-60 in the Midwest Region championship game in Kansas City to reach the Final Four for the first time since winning the inaugural NCAA Tournament in 1939. The Ducks earlier ousted Iona (93-77), Rhode Island (75-72) and Michigan (69-68). Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey will lead Oregon in this match-up. Dorsey fired 27 points including six triples against Kansas while Brooks added 17. Jordan Bell is also out to make a huge impact after posting 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks in their last game. Head coach Dana Altman will also count on Dylan Ennis to step up in the absence of the injured Chris Boucher.
North Carolina is a slight favorite to win the NCAA Tournament with four teams left in the competition. The Tar Heels, who finished runner-up to Villanova last season, can be backed at 13/10 with bet365
to win their first title since 2009. North Carolina reached the Final Four after beating Kentucky 75-73 in the South Region finals last Sunday. Gonzaga, the only other regional No. 1 seed left, is priced at 6/4 to win its maiden NCAA crown. The Bulldogs crushed Xavier 83-59 in the West Region finals to reach the Final Four for the first time. Surprise semifinalists Oregon and South Carolina are the outsiders to win this season's NCAA crown.