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What to watch for at today’s NCAA Final Four

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Some things to watch for in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday: MEN IN THE MIDDLE: Seven-foot-1 Przemek Karnowski is Gonzaga‘s center and he will be matched up with 6-10 Maik Kotsar of South Carolina. Karnowski, a senior, averages 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field. Kotsar, a freshman, averages 5.8 points and 4.9 rebounds. Karnowski has been battling a back issue. “It was mostly my lower back, maybe a little bit…

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South Carolina heading to Final Four after beating Gators

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Sindarius Thornwell scored 26 points and South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with a 77-70 victory over Florida on Sunday. The seventh-seeded Gamecocks (26-10) used their trademark swarming defense and some solid free throw shooting to beat their fellow Southeastern Conference Gators (27-9) in the East Regional final at Madison Square Garden. South Carolina will face Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed from the West Regional, in the Final Four on Saturday at Glendale, Arizona. The game…

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Play it back: rematches to decide last two spots in Final Four

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The most entertaining college basketball game of the regular season came in December. Malik Monk set a record for a Kentucky freshman with 47 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer taken against his coach’s wishes, to lift the Wildcats to a 103-100 win over North Carolina. Are these two ready for an encore? Of course they are – though it’s a valid argument to say this rematch might be better suited for next weekend in the Final Four than Sunday in…

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Can Gators display the patience needed to take down Wisconsin?

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As the Florida Gators prepare to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Friday night’s Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden, an old saying applies to Florida players, coaches and fans: Patience is a virtue. But that is what is required to play against the well-coached, disciplined Badger team. On defense, eighth-seeded Wisconsin plays tough and aggressively, hoping to force undisciplined teams into taking quick shots. On offense, they are not afraid to run the shot clock down to the last…

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Despite horrible weekend, ACC still basketball’s best league

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ACC fans, or supporters of schools outside of the SEC, often grumble about the “best conference by far” tag often given to the SEC by football pundits. Each time an SEC team loses a bowl game or a head-to-head matchup with one of the outsiders, the derision often follows. Conversely, SEC basketball fans, or supporters of other power conferences outside of the ACC, are equally uncertain that conference is that much better than the others. The ACC put eight teams…

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Overpowering performance shows Gators belong in Sweet 16

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If the Florida Gators play like they did on Saturday, they have a chance to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Florida smothered the beleaguered Virginia Cavaliers, 65-39 in a second round game at the Amway Center in Orlando. This game was expected to be a defensive-oriented contest since neither team was known as offensive juggernauts. Florida has shown the ability to post big wins when they shoot around 50 percent. Three straight 30-point blowouts and a 22-point…

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Villanova wins NCAA Championship at the buzzer

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The Villanova Wildcats won what might have been the greatest NCAA Championship Game in history on Monday night, beating the North Carolina Tar Heels on a three-pointer at the buzzer by Kris Jenkins. The final shot ruined a courageous North Carolina comeback from 10 points down with less than five minutes remaining. Carolina’s comeback was complete when Marcus Paige made a circus, double clutch three pointer to tie the game with 4.7 seconds remaining. After a Villanova timeout, Ryan Arcidiacono…

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