This Monday night, (April 3), one team will be showered with confetti, flooded with emotion, and cutting down nets as the NCAA awards them the Division 1 Men’s College Basketball Championship trophy.
But which team will get the chance to reign supreme?
The 2017 Final Four is set, as North Carolina, Oregon, Gonzaga and South Carolina have arrived in Phoenix, awaiting the prime-time matchups to take place Saturday evening in nearby Glendale, Ariz. Gonzaga plays South Carolina at 6:09 p.m., followed by Oregon and North Carolina at 8:49 p.m.
While the top-seeded Tar Heels are almost a fixture in the Final Four (20th appearance, most overall), it’s No. 3 seed Oregon’s first trip since 1939 when they won college basketball’s first NCAA Tournament championship. And for top-seeded Gonzaga and No. 7 seed South Carolina, it’s their first trip ever.
“Personally, I didn’t know where this program could go, but I know that when (coach) Frank Martin stepped foot on campus, you just got this vibe that, the ball is rolling,” said Gamecocks guard P.J. Dozier during a press conference this past Saturday. “Just a sense that coach didn’t promise us anything, but he did promise us that if we had faith in him…that we would be successful here, and it shows.”
“Coming in here, I was hoping that this would happen, but did I think that (it would happen), definitely not,” teammate Maik Kotsar revealed. “Just feels amazing.”