SC and Gonzaga on the defensive in Final Four

South Florida At The Core Of South Carolina Coach Frank Martin

Gonzaga weathered a furious second-half rally by SC and held on to beat the Gamecocks 77-73 at the Final Four on Saturday night.

Of course, the Bulldogs also were faced with the historical mountain of having never played in a Final Four game either.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:09 PM ET on CBS. For live streaming information, see below.

The first semifinal match-up this year features two teams making their first ever Final Four appearance - the West Region champion Gonzaga Bulldogs against the East Region-winning South Carolina Gamecocks.

Gonzaga forward Zach Collins (center) dunks the ball over SC players.

Before that run, SC struggled to keep up in the rebounding department as five minutes into the second half, it trailed 26-18 in rebounds and had just five offensive rebounds.

The Gamecocks finish the season with 26 wins, an all-time record for the men's program.

SC guard Duane Notice said his team's run is no surprise. "I've had some really close teams", Few said. "We're focused as a team, we're focused on the next game ahead every time". "We've gotten put on our backs a couple of times".

They were a slight favorite against Marquette in the opening round but were a decided underdog against second-seeded Duke in the round of 32.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs led the South Carolina Gamecocks 65-51 with just under 11 minutes to play and it looked like the Zags might run away with a Final Four victory. "But when you've got fifth-year seniors across the board, like they do, they don't make mistakes".

When it comes to the public betting on today's game, the wagers are going with SC. Why not? Why not us?

Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism. "We had a nine-point lead and they got right back in", Vanderveer said. "They believe in each other. Experience doesn't help the game you're playing", Martin said. "And they're powerful kids, man, powerful kids".

SC basketball made it all the way to the third weekend of the NCAA Tournament, but it could not make it to the final step. So then we're not forced into rotations. Often the Gamecocks had a hard time even getting the ball in Thornwell's hands. "So when he said that, we all locked in and didn't listen to any outsiders, didn't listen to anybody else but Coach".

"I'm really happy for him", Karnowski said of Collins. "We had this thing where don't let go of the rope, no matter what happens, no matter the outcome of anything, don't let go of that rope". If the Gamecocks get through Gonzaga, though, there's no reason to think they can't beat the victor of North Carolina-Oregon.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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