Coaches: Carolina Final Four advantage to fade after tipoff

Coaches: Carolina Final Four advantage to fade after tipoff

Coaches: Carolina Final Four advantage to fade after tipoff

They also improved to 3-1 against Kentucky in regional finals - the only place these college basketball behemoths have met in the NCAA Tournament.

"Thornwell was just being Thornwell", Florida coach Mike White said of the SEC player of the year as voted by coaches. "Not bragging, but we did better than the boys this year, so it's such an awesome thing". That terrific defense held the Musketeers to 35.5 percent shooting.

The Final Four has a bunch of newbies and a real regular, as SC and Gonzaga have reached the prized playoff for the first time, OR has been there once before and North Carolina is in for what's now it 20th appearance.

While the players remember that physical battle, this edition will take on a life of its own. "When they announced the brackets, I thought it would be cool if both teams make it to the Final Four, but I didn't think it would actually happen". "Believe it or not, we have practices where we play with a 15-second shot clock because I want them to push the ball hard enough to get a great shot in 15 seconds, not just throw it up".

FSU star Shakayla Thomas however, has been looking forward to the new opportunity. "I feel like our team is the most underrated team in the country".

The Gamecocks breezed to the Regional Final, defeating No. 12 seed Quinnipiac 100-58 in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. Gonzaga is an experienced team with all the right ingredients.

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The physical matchup presents another opportunity for Slaughter to play her preferred style of basketball.

But the expectations are much higher for the Lady Bears (33-4), who haven't been back to the Final Four since their 40-0 national championship in 2012.

For the Bulldogs, getting the opportunity to play a No. 11 seed in the Elite Eight was more than favorable. "I was really happy with the guys".

Still, the nearly improbable run to the Final Four means there's more basketball to play as the Gamecocks travel to Phoenix to play No. 1 seed Gonzaga in their biggest test of the season.

The Seminoles know that in order to win, defense and rebounding will be critical.

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"We're both big sports fans", Lazar said.

"You can play in the national championship game nine years in a row".

Gonzaga takes on SC on Saturday, and they're going into the matchup ranked No. 1 compared to the Gamecocks' No. 7 ranking, noted Bleacher Report. "So we've got enormous tailwinds heading into championship weekend in Phoenix".

Tyasha Harris added 16 points for SC, which made things uncomfortable all game for Romero.

The Seminoles will look to avoid a slow start on Monday as they had against the Beavers.

OR coach Dana Altman said he spoke on the phone with old coaching friends Lon Kruger and Mike Montgomery to gain some insight on how to balance basketball with everything else. "We needed to just keep growing incrementally every year. That's going to be our biggest focus, too, starting the game well against these teams". Florida State finished the game with 18 offensive rebounds for 21 points, and a putback by Ivey Slaughter and jumper by Romero drew Florida State within 65-60. The men's program reached its first Final Four with a stunning upset of Florida on Sunday that sent the women screaming in delight at Stockton Arena all the way across the country from the victory at Madison Square Garden.

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"It would be incredible, this program has never been to a Final Four before", Slaughter said.

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