Final Four preview: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 7 South Carolina

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the first Final Four matchup on Saturday at Glendale, Ariz.

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 7 South Carolina

Time, TV: 6:09 p.m. ET, CBS

► Why Gonzaga (36-1) will win: The Bulldogs will enjoy a significant size advantage, and they know how to use it to great effect with stifling defense and crisp interior passing. They don’t generally light it up from three-point range, but they knocked down 12 treys in their regional final win against Xavier. If they can keep that up, even the Gamecocks’ tough defense will have a hard time stopping everyone. Even if the Zags find themselves trailing late, South Carolina’s sketchy free-throw shooting could facilitate a comeback.

► Why South Carolina (26-10) will win: Sindarius Thornwell is the team’s engine, but he’s been getting a lot of help during the Gamecocks’ improbable tournament run with PJ Dozier and Chris Silva stepping up their offensive production. Their brand of pressure defense is similar to what Gonzaga saw from West Virginia, which was its closest escape in the tournament thus far. Gonzaga isn’t exactly lights out from the free-throw line, either, should the Gamecocks need a closing rally.

© 2017 USA TODAY


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