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Elite not good enough for Baylor women in NCAA Tournament

South Carolina coach Frank Martin amazed by smart kid journalist's question in postgame presser

Midwest Regional victor OR will play in the other semifinal in Phoenix against victor of Kentucky-North Carolina, which meet later Sunday. This was never supposed to be on the table.

Since the turn of the century (and counting SC and this year's tournament), we've seen 11 teams who were 7 seeds or worse advance to the Final Four. But that was it. Florida was 0 for 14 from beyond the arc in the second hald, a lot like the 0-for-17 effort the Gators had in their first meeting with SC this season. In a insane final sequence, Kentucky tied the game at 73, before one last basket from Luke Maye put away the win for the Tar Heels.

This is just the second time in history that the SEC has had three teams make it to the Elite 8.

The NCAA Tournament started with 68 teams, now we're down to four. A sword is elegant - the Gamecocks are more of a blunt object type of time. The Bulldogs will face No. 7 seed SC, which is also making its Final Four debut with a coach doing the same: Frank Martin, 51. Right now, they're just showing how strong our conference is. Florida and SC split their two regular-season games. It suited Sindarius Thornwell to the tune of 26 points, with 21 of them coming either at the line or in the paint.

Martin has transformed the SC program in a conference more noted for high-caliber football. However unlikely that seems, we're already in uncharted territory.

The Gators have also won several other national championships in other sports in the last decade, including men's track and field, women's gymnastics, softball and women's swimming and diving. North Carolina a year ago.

"We're playing a team we know", said coach Frank Martin, who has led the Gamecocks further through the NCAA bracket than they have ever been.

The Gators relied on the 3-pointer in the first half, but failed to make any of their 14 from long range in the second half. That changed Monday in the Stockton Regional of the NCAA Tournament, when Harris tripled her output with 16 points. Not only are the Ducks explosive offensively, particularly when Tyler Dorsey gets going, they're also a menace on the defensive end if Jordan Bell continues his shot-blocking ways.

Not long ago, handling SC was no big deal.

A look back at recent Final Four participants shows that Syracuse has faced at least one of the teams in 12 of the last 15 years.

"I think the best in the country they are", said Miller Hyatt, who is a senior at Carolina.

Will Muschamp's Cocks football team had been set to play its spring game at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, in Columbia's Williams-Brice Stadium. Ken Pomeroy's efficiency rankings had Gonzaga as the nation's best team entering the tournament.

"Just know that you got a school full of people rooting for ya here!"

From there, SC held on with some big plays by freshman guard Tyasha Harris. SC making the Final Four comes as a huge surprise, but in beating three of the top four teams in the East Region, and playing defense at the high level it did for most of the season, it proved that its performance is no fluke.