North Carolina survives to complete the Final Four for 2017. The Tar Heels escaped in a squeaker 75-73 over the Kentucky Wildcats. South Carolina pulled the upset over Florida 77-70 in the first game of the day. North Carolina joins Oregon, Washington, and South Carolina for next Saturday’s National Semifinal games in Glendale, Arizona.
The Tar Heels and Wildcats stayed close the entire game. North Carolina led most of the way. Kentucky led briefly twice in the game, but North Carolina would quickly retake the lead. Kentucky climbed into a tie with North Carolina with just over 3 seconds remaining. North Carolina made the winning shot with just under one second left to secure the final spot in the Final Four.
Saturday featured the first two games to decide the first entrants into Final Four competition. Oregon pulled away from, the first seed and college power, Kansas to win, 74-60. Gonzaga University Bulldogs trampled Xavier University Musketeers, 83-59, in the lone blowout of the weekend.
North Carolina will play Oregon and Gonzaga is matched against South Carolina for the April 1st contests. North Carolina is a veteran of numerous Final Four appearances. Oregon has been there once before, in 1939 when the tournament had just eight teams competing.
North Carolina and Gonzaga came into the tournament seeded first in their Regions. Oregon was seeded third in the West Region, and South Carolina was seventh in the South Region.
This year, the Final Four features two teams from the west coast, Gonzaga and Oregon, and two from the east coast, North and South Carolina.
Gonzaga and South Carolina will face each other in a battle of rookies to the Final Four. Gonzaga is the early favorite in that contest. If South Carolina upsets the Ducks, there could be a matchup featuring an all-Carolina National Championship.
Written By Daniel Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
CBSSports: WATCH: Final-second shot lifts Tar Heels over Kentucky, into Final Four
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Daniel Osborn