No. 1 seed Gonzaga beat seventh-seeded South Carolina 77-73 on Saturday to advance to Monday’s national championship game.
They await the winner of Saturday night’s other national semifinal game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 3 Oregon.
The victory continues an impressive stretch for the Bulldogs, who have only lost once this season. The only blemish on their 37-1 record is a regular-season finale loss to BYU.
Gonzaga is playing in the school’s first Final Four after falling short several times in the past. Coming into this season, they had made the Sweet 16 seven times and reached the Elite Eight two of those years (1999 and 2015).
The Bulldogs won both the West Coast Conference’s regular season and tournament titles on their way to earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The loss ends a Cinderella run for the Gamecocks, the lowest-seeded team in this year’s Final Four.
South Carolina’s run through the NCAA Tournament saw them upsetting second-seeded Duke in the second round before beating third-seeded Baylor by 20 points. They then knocked out No. 4 Florida 77-70 to reach the Final Four.
The Gamecocks (26-11) finished fourth in the SEC regular season standings with a 12-6 conference record. They scuffled ahead of their NCAA Tournament run, losing six out of nine games, including their SEC tournament opener against Alabama.
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