Coaches: Carolina Final Four advantage to fade after tipoff


SC guard Tyasha Harris, right, tries to steal the ball from Florida State Seminoles Chatrice White during the first half of a regional final game of the women's NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, March.

"Obviously very, very heartbreaking", he said.

Luke Maye hit a jumper with 0.3 seconds left and top-seeded North Carolina held off Kentucky to earn the Tar Heels' second straight trip to the Final Four and 20th all-time in Sunday's showdown of college basketball's elite in the South Regional.

“I thought it was smarter for us to go out Tuesday because some peoples feet do swell when they go on the airplane, ” Williams said. "To be THE Florida Gators".

The game was as close as expected until the final minute. And Oregon's Dana Altman focused on turning one deep NCAA Tournament run into something more.

That halfcourt defense made the difference in the hard-fought 61-58 win over West Virginia in the Sweet 16, as the Mountaineers shot just 26.7 percent from the field.

"No question this year is different", McKie said.

The Gamecocks have been exceptional, and I'm thrilled that they're part of it. The SEC Player of the Year puts up big numbers in leading the Gamecocks.

During an interview with SportsCenter on Monday afternoon, Martin said Huggins and Kennedy were among those to encourage him that he would enjoy success at SC.

Among the losers, Justin Leon had 18. Each coach is good enough to get their guys to focus on the games, and thats what is important.”.

"He's shown signs of a lot of toughness, that's one of the things Coach White preaches", Leon said. He is averaging 25.8 points in the tournament and he has come up with every big play the Gamecocks have needed as they have rallied from three halftime deficits during their run.

It has been at times a hard, at times an amusing and at times a frustrating ride during Martin's five seasons with the Gamecocks, who are two wins away from a national title after not winning an NCAA Tournament game in 44 years before this March. That had at least a few Florida fans skeptical when he was hired by former athletic director Jeremy Foley. Williams said. "He (made) some big-time plays today, big-time plays two days ago". North Carolina is led by Kennedy Meeks in that department, and the senior is averaging 13 rebounds over his last three games.

White also got Donovan's endorsement. "If North Carolina and Gonzaga make it to the championship game, I'll bet you the bookies will say it's a pick'em game".

"I've been there 28 years".

The Oregon Ducks are in the National Semifinals for the first time in 78 years thanks to an incredible defensive performance against Kansas in the Elite Eight.

Next might be even more challenging.

"The general distraction meter is going to go out the roof", he said. Egbunu might leave early, too. Saniya Chong got the game-changing burst started with consecutive 3-pointers. I don't think I have to words to describe how I felt at that moment.