After a wild weekend, The Final Four field is set — with Oregon, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Gonzaga coming out as the winners of their respective regions.
We’ve seen plenty of exciting and captivating plays throughout the tournament. This involves both individual brilliance as well as collective team effort.
There are five standing out above the rest as the top moments of the tournament thus far:
5. Northwestern v. Vanderbilt Ending
Poor Matthew Fisher-Davis.
The Commodores took a one-point lead on the Wildcats with less than 20 seconds remaining in the contest. Once Northwestern inbounded the ball, Fisher-Davis inexplicably (and intentionally) fouled PG Bryant McIntosh.
Evidently, Fisher-Davis thought Vanderbilt was down by a point. As a means to stop the clock, he fouled McIntosh in what turned out to be a massive blunder.
Northwestern ultimately won the game — giving the program its first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament.
4. De’Aaron Fox’s performance versus Lonzo Ball
In the rematch from earlier in the year, Kentucky got revenge on UCLA — beating the Bruins in the Sweet 16 by a score of 86-75.
Fox was absolutely brilliant against his counterpart Lonzo Ball — who many predict as the top overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Fox scored 39 points on 13-of-20 from the field. He set a tournament record for the most points scored in one game by a freshman.
— StreetHistory (@streethistory) March 25, 2017
Fox got into the lane at will — utilizing both immense quickness and speed. He also finished at the rim exceptionally well. Based upon this contest, his own draft stock may have risen even further.
3. South Carolina upsetting Duke
Duke was a trendy pick by many to reach the Final Four. The likes of Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, and Grayson Allen had been playing at a high level, and the Blue Devils had the look of a National Title team.
Someone forgot to tell South Carolina this.
— Joe Cook (@JoeCookSports) March 20, 2017
The Gamecocks absolutely dominated the Blue Devils in the round of 32 — winning by a score of 88-81. After being down by seven at halftime, Frank Martin’s team blitzed Duke — outscoring them by 14 in the second half.
Sindarius Thornwell dropped 24 points, and accrued six rebounds and five assists. Prior to USC’s wins over Duke and Marquette, the Gamecocks had not won an NCAA Tournament game in 44 years.
— 518 SPORTS (@Real518Sports) March 20, 2017
With preceding wins over Florida and Baylor, South Carolina is in its first Final Four in program history.
2. Florida game-winning shot over Wisconsin
This was a contest for the ages. It pitted two illustrious programs against one another with varying styles of play. Florida likes to get up and down the floor with its length and athleticism.
On the other side of the coin, the veteran Wisconsin squad employs a slower, more methodical scheme.
Down 83-81 with four seconds remaining in overtime, speedy Florida guard Chris Chiozza sprinted up the court and launched an off-balance three as time ran out.
The rest is history:
— Only Gators .com (@onlygators) March 25, 2017
Somewhere, Tyus Edney had a big grin on his face.
1. North Carolina v. Kentucky
This contest provided much in the way of theater. Both blueblood programs were considered amongst the most talented heading into the tournament.
With star-power on both squads, the game didn’t fail to disappoint — as it constantly went back and forth.
Down three in the waning moments, Kentucky SG Malik Monk hit a crazy contested three to tie the game.
With the game hanging in the balance, North Carolina turned to sophomore Luke Maye for the win:
— Preston Thymes (@PrestonThymesAZ) March 26, 2017
Maye had a career-high 17 points in the victory. These two points likely are the biggest in his short career — as they lifted the Tar Heels to the Final Four in Phoenix.
Source: Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports