NEW YORK (AP) – Sindarius Thornwell scored 26 points and South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with a 77-70 victory over Florida on Sunday.
The seventh-seeded Gamecocks (26-10) used their trademark swarming defense and some solid free throw shooting to beat their fellow Southeastern Conference Gators (27-9) in the East Regional final at Madison Square Garden.
South Carolina will face Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed from the West Regional, in the Final Four on Saturday at Glendale, Arizona.
The game was as close as expected until the final minute. There were 14 lead changes and 10 ties. The last lead change came on two free throws by Thornwell with 2:24 left that made it 65-63. Florida managed just three field goals over the final 3:55.
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