Handicapping Saturday’s Final Four games

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Maik Kotsar #21 and Justin McKie #20 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate with their teammates after defeating the Florida Gators with a score of 77 to 70 to win the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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East champion South Carolina is not playing like a No. 7 seed.

1. Gonzaga (36-1) vs. 7. South Carolina (26-10), 6:09 p.m., CBS: Gonzaga played its best game against Xavier in the West Regional final and will need to at least equal that effort against South Carolina, which is not playing like a No. 7 seed, especially on the defensive end. Gonzaga needs to find a way to penetrate the Gamecocks’ tough defense and use its superior size to its advantage. The Zags are underrated defensively, and their top effort will give the Gamecocks — who are not a great offensive team — problems.

1. North Carolina (31-7) vs. 3. Oregon (33-5), 8:49 p.m., CBS: I’ve said this before: North Carolina plays a portion of a game well enough to win, and also plays poorly at times but not enough to lose. I see the same scenario happening here. The Tar Heels have a size and depth advantage on every opponent. Oregon cannot afford to get pounded on the boards. UNC will get a lead, give it back, then prevail in the end.


Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan.