March may be in the rear-view mirror, but April has plenty of basketball hype left to give. On Saturday, the Final Four showdown in the NCAA men's basketball tournament left two teams elated and two teams deflated. As the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels prepare for Monday's national championship game, the real winners of the weekend were the fans, who celebrated and commiserated along with their teams in memorable Final Four tweets from Saturday's games.
Saturday's first Final Four game pitted Gonzaga against the South Carolina Gamecocks. For both teams, a Final Four appearance was a first, but the Gamecocks were definitely the underdog. Although the game remained close, the seven-seeded Gamecocks ultimately succumbed to the one-seeded Bulldogs.
Up next were the Tar Heels and the University of Oregon Ducks. The one-seeded Tar Heels had more Final Four appearances than any other team in the league, and on Saturday, they squeaked out a win for back-to-back national championship game appearances.
On Monday, Gonzaga will play in its first-ever March Madness championship game, while North Carolina will seek redemption after last year's heartbreaking buzzer-beater loss to Villanova. With two number-one seeds facing off, the game is sure to be exciting. Still, it could be hard to beat the emotional roller coaster of Saturday's Final Four match-ups.
It's likely the same sound you hear in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Gonzaga & North Carolina fans should keep the paper bag near them for Monday night.
FUN FACT JUSTIN JACKSON'S SMILE CAN POWER THE AVERAGE AMERICAN CITY FOR SIX DAYS #FINALFOUR— Drew Goins (@drewlgoins) April 2, 2017
The Tar Heels' Justin Jackson wasn't named ACC Player of the Year for nothing.
A three-year-old New Englander reflects on the #FinalFour: I just want Tom Brady to win.— Lisa Perks (@mediamarathon) April 2, 2017
Regional loyalty is everything, even if it's the wrong season.
The Tar Heels missed a series of free throws toward the end of the game to add to fans' stress level.
The Gonzaga center is over seven feet tall and also plays for the Polish national team.
The Backing Of A Warship
No pressure, though.
Empire State Building
The team colors added a festive touch to the New York City skyline.
Final Four Feeling
Anything can happen in Phoenix.
Just a reminder that I had UNC vs gonzaga in my bracket this year for those of you who don't think I'm an espn analyst— Wiggz (@WiggzMusic) April 2, 2017
Monday's game also means the end of the annual men's tournament bracket challenge.
The die-hard fans always hold out hope.
Stay proud, Gamecocks.
The men's team may not have advanced to the big game, but South Carolina's women's team will play in its own national championship game on Sunday.
The journey ended too soon for Oregon.
Announced attendance tonight at University of Phoenix Stadium was 77,612. Last year’s Final Four at NRG Stadium in Houston was 75,505.— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) April 2, 2017
Win or lose, the teams played on the world stage.
It's not all about basketball...
...and the players aren't the only ones with moves.
Stay cool, cats.
Oregon's performance gave some viewers flashbacks to last year's tournament.
Life is like Oregon trying to get a rebound.— Sammy Rhodes (@sammyrhodes) April 2, 2017
Don't give up, though.
The rebounds and shots will have to be made on Monday. The national championship game between Gonzaga and North Carolina will tip off at 9:20 p.m. ET in Phoenix.