Oregon's Dana Altman soaked up a Gatorade bath. North Carolina's freshman (Tony Bradley) comes off the bench.
But, as Zach Helfund wrote in the LA Times, "this year's collection of teams is an ode to quiet toil".
The Tar Heels (31-7) play Midwest champ OR on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona, in the national semis.
Which makes the blue blood the outlier in this college basketball quartet, the only team that can truly act like it has been there.
"Obviously very, very heartbreaking", he said. "Maybe Fahrenheit. It's been a while since I was in class". According to ESPN Stats & Info, it's the first meeting between Final Four first-timers since 1973.
So while the Final Four story lines may not be exactly what everyone expected when the bracket was unveiled two weeks ago, they're setting up for two compelling national semifinals - and hopefully a thrilling championship game as well.
The seventh-seeded Gamecocks (26-10) are headed to the Final Four for the first time in school history.
Thornwell's 26 points and the Gamecocks' swarming zone defense meant a 77-70 victory over Florida on Sunday and a berth in the Final Four.
Gonzaga has been chipping at this moment for almost two decades, a one-time Cinderella turned best-team-to-never-make-the-national-semifinals. The Ducks have surprised some, and on Saturday, they can shock the world if they can defeat the Tar Heels and reach the championship game. The Wandering Webfeet won the championship. OR makes its first trip since 1939 ... so the Ducks are no regulars, either. The Seminoles fought back, and a 6-0 Florida State run brought them to within three at 28-25 near the midway point of the second quarter. Robinson said he has to talk with his parents and coaches before deciding whether to return for his senior season or go pro.
Nine people had Xavier in the Elite Eight and 16 took Florida that far. Villanova's Kris Jenkins hit a shot at the buzzer in the title game, only seconds after Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige made a double-clutch 3 to tie it. It again played strong perimeter defense with the Gamecocks going 3 for 10 on 3s after the Seminoles held Oregon State to 2 for 17 on 3-pointers. "I wish I could get those 4 seconds back, but I can't". "It makes it 10 times better to say you want to do something and accomplish it". "Of course nobody likes to lose, but that one, when you're right there, all of us, we just need that second chance". Even with such an unstoppable player, Kansas entered the national final ranked second behind North Carolina, which had rolled to a ideal 30-0 record.
Gonzaga (36-1) has been the most successful "mid-major" program for the past two decades but was never able to get over the hump and into the Final Four until now.
Facing one of the most dominant players ever in the 1957 final, North Carolina managed to claim the first national title in program history thanks to the heroics of Quigg. That's something that OR has that sets them apart from the rest - versatile players with strong offensive and defensive skills. "I have no idea what to expect".
Few and the Zags have won the West Coast Conference Tournament 16 times, been regulars in the NCAA Tournament since 1999, reached the Sweet 16 eight times. Kansas looked like a juggernaut. until it couldn't scoreagainst Oregon. "We feel like we can compete with anybody right now in the country".
In a pure basketball-in-the-moment sense, though, this odd quartet actually adds up.
Now the Zags are headed to the desert, where they'll play SC. Gonzaga chewed up darling Northwestern and decidedly less darling West Virginia. OR stopped its practice early to watch the end of fellow Pac-12 school Stanford's win over Notre Dame.
Kentucky led for less than 4 minutes in a game North Carolina had a big edge on the boards and inside.
Throughout his career, Williams' emotions have always been on display and can spin like a windmill in a hurricane. "If that's going to happen to Joel, I would rather have that happen Tuesday night as opposed to Wednesday night".