The No. 1 seeded Bulldogs and No. 7 Gamecocks battled to the end in a squeaker in the first of two April 1, 2017, games at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Gonzaga came into the match favored over South Carolina. It was the first appearance in Final Four for either team.
The contest was close most of the way. Gonzaga shot 58 percent from the field and held a 9 point lead at the end of the first half. It was the largest first-half deficit for South Carolina during the tourney. The competition was hard-fought with five lead changes and four ties during the game.
Gonzaga pulled out to a 14 point lead, early in the second-half. Then, South Carolina made a run to take the lead, briefly, late in the half with seven minutes remaining. The game remained close the rest of the way as Gonzaga held on, to secure the first spot in the National Championship game on Monday, April 3 at 6 p.m. PT.
Nigel Williams-Goss led the scoring for Gonzaga with 23 points. Zach Williams chipped in with 14 points and six blocked shots.
The seven-foot-one, 300 lb. sensation for Gonzaga, center Przemek Karnowski from Poland scored 13 points after coming out of the game with an injury in the first half. He returned in the second half and was a dominating presence inside.
Gonzaga awaits the winner of the North Carolina-Oregon matchup to follow in Arizona.
Written By Daniel Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
NCAA March Madness: GONZAGA WILL PLAY FOR IT ALL!
Top and featured images courtesy of Daniel Osborn