SC headed to Final Four, beats Florida 77-70

The Gamecocks have been on a roll in recent weeks, winning the SEC Championship over Mississippi State, and beating two of their three NCAA tournament opponents by more than 40 points.

Instead, they would have signed with an out-state school, perhaps one in the ACC or the Big East or maybe elsewhere. And P.J Dozier, another SC native who stayed home to play for Frank Martin, and kept cutting to the hoop for 17 more. She’s really good. And is a great shooter.

Baylor got to within 11 at one point around the midway point of the second half, but triples from Sindarius Thornwell and another from Notice squashed that threat, putting the Gamecocks up, 55-38, with 9:22 to play.

He was undeterred. And Martin made no promises. The Gamecock fan contingent was frenzied, and Baylor head coach Scott Drew finally chose to call timeout. All we wanted was to make it. And then we’ll see what happens. Thornwell is being himself, and got the two big guys [Silva and Kotsar], they’re scoring, too.

Star junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss had trouble against West Virginia’s pressure in the Sweet Sixteen, and he’ll face similar from SC. Dillon Brooks added 17 of his own points and was 7-of-18 from the field. SC is right behind them with the seventh-best margin averaging 19.7 points in their victories.

Leticia Romero cut the SC lead to five, 65-60, on a driving jumper with 3:51 left. Period”, said White. “It’s amusing, until you said 0-14 [on second-half three-point shots], I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know we were 0-14.

SC will face Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed from the West Regional, in the Final Four on Saturday at Glendale, Arizona.

Martin has been able to take the program to new heights this year. “But I’m sure when I take a step back and take a deep breath, I’ll feel more and more pride about what these guys accomplished”.

Few said appearing in the NCAA Tournament is one thing.

“These last two weeks, when we got our name in, (Martin) said we been listening to him all season and don’t stop now because we got our name on the board”, Thornwell said.

“We have won a ton of championships”, Florida coach Mike White said. The polls will close on game-day, [Saturday, April 1] just before the start of the games! Kentucky’s Malik Monk hit a three to tie the game at 73. After this game, Thornwell is no longer underrated. But, he attempted to downplay the role previous year will play on this tournament, believing the current generation of players are more experienced and prepared for the spotlight. “I wasn’t surprised at how loud it was, but I was surprised by how many people came”.

We’ve got a metric we call nERD here at numberFire, and it measures the number of points we’d expect a team to win by against an average one on a neutral court. The Oregon Ducks will be the underdogs with their No. 3 seed, as they face the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. Oddsmakers have made the Bulldogs a 6.5 point favorite over the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks have been underdogs in every game in the tournament and that will not change Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona. Only five games to go until Thornwell and A’ja Wilson can recreate that Emeka Okafor-Diana Taurasi ESPN the Magazine cover.

Gameocks vs. Florida