Seth Greenberg Breaks Down the Final Four on Big Board Sports Part 1
On the eve of the Final Four, ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg previews the national semifinals, North Carolina vs Oregon and Gonzaga vs South Carolina.
Jumping off the insight Seth gives us, I'm tempted to ride with him believing the "cinderella" run will continue for South Carolina. I'll explain why I don't see the Gamecocks getting past Gonzaga in a moment, but first....that word "cinderella" gets quotation marks because it's difficult to call a team out a Power 5 conference like the SEC, a cinderella, suggesting a longshot underdog. South Carolina spent time ranked in the top 25 early in the season and head coach Frank Martin clearly has one of the best players in the country in Sindarius Thornwell. All of that said, give me the Zags on Saturday night.
This may be Mark Few's best team yet in Spokane. Not because the Bulldogs have reached the Final Four for the first time in program history. Not because they are a 1 seed. And not because they've come all this way with still only one blemish on their record. Consider the fact that this group of Zags has multiple major conference players (Nigel Williams-Goss - Washington, Johnathan Williams - Missouri & Jordan Mathews - California) and a blue chipper in freshman Zach Collins and, to me, that makes this the most complete and at the same time, talented team under Mark Few.
In the other semifinal, North Carolina and Oregon feels like a "whichever team has the ball last" kind of game. The Tar Heels are on a revenge tour of sorts after last year's loss in the championship game at the buzzer and the Ducks have been flying under the radar since the loss of their 3rd-leading scorer Chris Boucher to a torn ACL in the PAC-12 Tournament. Both teams have some of the most talented scorers in the country, namely Justin Jackson for UNC and Dillon Brooks for Oregon and for as dominant as the Heels are on the backboard (nation-leading +13 rebounding margin), this one will come down to making shots. And the health of Joel Berry II's two injured ankles.
On Monday's show, we'll preview the title game and I think we'll be picking a winner between Gonzaga and North Carolina. I know, chalk. Boring. Let's hope the games are anything but boring.