It took two running 3-pointers, eight Jordan Bell blocked shots and 12 ludicrous final seconds in Memphis, but we've finally set the stage for the 2017 Final Four. Of the 18.8 million brackets filled out on ESPN's Tournament Challenge, only 657 correctly picked South Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon and North Carolina to make it to Glendale, Arizona -- that's roughly 0.003 percent for you mathematicians out there.
As the dust settles, we're left with two programs making their first-ever Final Four appearances -- Gonzaga and South Carolina -- while Oregon returns for the first time since 1939. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, will be participating in the Final Four for the 20th time in program history, the most of all time. This unusual makeup is fodder for some great storylines in what should be a memorable weekend.
But which team is the best bet to cut down the nets when all is said and done? PointAfter, a sports data site powered by Graphiq, used data from Bing Predicts to predict each Final Four matchup, as well as the national championship game on April 3. Bing Predicts uses web activity and social sentiment -- in addition to historical player, team and match stats -- to predict the outcome of college basketball games. Web and social data allow Bing Predicts to capture real-time information about lineup changes and reaction to them to tune the strengths of teams.
The Final Four tips off on Saturday, with Gonzaga and South Carolina in the early game, followed by Oregon-North Carolina. PointAfter will break down the semifinals first, followed by the projected championship game showdown to get you fully prepared for this year's "One Shining Moment."
Note: Also included with game predictions are the opening lines for each game, courtesy of Vegas Insider.