No surprise there, either. Now, the Zags have gotten over that last hurdle into the Final Four, and they're on to the national title game with their most complete team ever.
And what a story it would be if a core group of players who made a decision to stay home and play for SC, and believe Martin's dream of what they could build, were able to finish this fairytale with a national title. Chris Silva had 13 points and 13 rebounds. South Carolina's path to simply reaching the national championship game involves beating arguably the best team left standing: Gonzaga.
"We've been practicing it all year", Few said.
Meeks had plenty to mop up for.
Collins' 3-pointer put the Zags up 67-65 with 6:45 left in a game which they would not trail again.
Never happened. And after Keith Smith's layup pulled OR within one with 7 seconds left, it looked like it would come down to free throws.
The Bulldogs squandered all of a 14-point second-half lead before rallying and holding on with two late free throws, ending the surprising tournament run of SC with a 77-73 victory in a Final Four game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday. Freshman center Zach Collins was also stellar, chipping in 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks off the bench.
J. Geils, 'Centerfold' musician, dies at age 71
Centrefold, their biggest hit, topped the United States charts for six weeks in 1982 and reached number three in the UK. The group would reunite repeatedly over the years, but in 2012, Geils chose to leave for good.
"When things got tough we banded together and pulled through", Williams-Goss said. The 6-foot guard returned in the second half - with a limp - and played limited minutes.
Gonzaga, which had to work hard in the second half to hold on for the win, held SC to 37.9 percent (25-of-66) shooting for the game.
However Gonzaga were nearly left ruing what would have been an upset defeat when a 65-51 lead with 11 minutes to play turned into a 67-65 advantage for SC after 16 unanswered points.
"We have been working on it all week, just trying to find ways to exploit their defense", Gonzaga's Johnathan Williams said.
The patented second-half SC run came and went, and Gonzaga wasn't fazed. But the Gamecocks seemed more like bracket-filler than bracket-buster when they lost five of their last seven games before the NCAA tournament. OR and UNC will tip off roughly 40 minutes after the conclusion of that game.
Sindarius Thornwell's illness may've plagued him as the mighty Gamecock hero of the past few weeks scored 15 points on 12 shots, only making 33.3 percent of them from the field and an equal percentage from the 3-point line on six attempts from deep.
With less than five minutes to go in the first half against South Carolina, Gonzaga big man Przemek Karnowski crumpled to the floor after sustaining what appeared to be an injury to his eye.