March Madness leads its final four to the championship



North Carolina’s Luke Maye shoots the game winning shot against Kentucky in the Elite Eight games on Sunday, March 26. North Carolina wins 75-73. Photo used with permission of Tribune News Service.

Claire Rosenthall , Sports Editor

On Thursday, March 16, 64 teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament began competing for the championship. Now there are four final teams who remain: South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon and Gonzaga.

The seven seed South Carolina Gamecocks have been the Cinderella Story of the 2017 tournament, according to CBS Sports. This year the Gamecocks have won twice as many NCAA tournament games as they have in their school’s history. So far they have defeated Duke, Baylor and Florida. The Gamecocks will play the number one seed Gonzaga on April 1.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated Northwestern, West Virginia and Xavier to make it to the Final Four. Last year the team made it to the Sweet Sixteen, but then lost to the Syracuse Orange.

“I have Gonzaga winning the whole tournament because they had an amazing season and have been doing very well in the tournament. So I think they have the potential to beat the other three teams and take home the championship this year,” junior Cole Stoia said.

Last year’s runner up, the North Carolina Tar Heels, have returned to the final four again this year. After a buzzer beat in the Elite Eight games to beat the Kentucky Wildcats, the team will be facing the Oregon Ducks on April 1.

The number three seed Oregon upset number one Kansas to make it to the Final Four where they will face the Tar Heels.

“This year’s tournament has been really interesting and there have been a lot of big upsets which definitely makes it more interesting for people watching. I am excited to see the outcome of the game,” Stoia said.

The winners of the two April 1 games will play on April 3 for the championship title.

For more information on the tournament, visit CBS Sports here.