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North Carolina was the final team to punch its ticket to the 2017 Final Four, earning a last-second win over Kentucky last night in what was perhaps the best game of the tournament so far.
The Tar Heels join the Gonzaga Bulldogs, South Carolina Gamecocks and Oregon Ducks in the national semifinals, which take place on Saturday night in Phoenix.
Both the Gamecocks and the Bulldogs are making their first ever appearance in the Final Four. The Ducks are making their first Final Four appearance since 1939. North Carolina makes its first Final Four appearance since, well, least season. They lost to Villanova in last year’s national championship game.
South Carolina versus Gonzaga is the first game. Oregon and North Carolina will follow in prime time. CBS will broadcast both.
In more important news, the 2017 TVNewser Bracket Challenge field is starting to come into focus.
CNN Early Start co-host Dave Briggs has the lead with 84 points. He correctly predicted Oregon and North Carolina to make the Final Four, but actually has Duke winning it all. Will this hurt him in the future?
Fox Business Network’s Countdown to the Closing Bell anchor Liz Claman had a good weekend, and now sits in second place with 77 points. She correctly predicted Oregon and Gonzaga to make the Final Four, but she has UCLA winning it all. We’ll see if that comes back to bite her.
CNBC’s evp of communications Brian Steel may have an inside track to victory. He currently sits in 3rd place with 74 points, and has Oregon and North Carolina in the Final Four. He has UNC winning it all.
NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander and CNBC’s senior executive producer of Squawk Box Matt Quayle, both have Gonzaga winning it all. They’re also both in the top 10.
No one has Oregon or South Carolina winning it all. In fact, no participant chose South Carolina to even make it to the Final Four.
Here’s a look at the field:
|RANK||NAME||SCORE||CORRECT||BEST SCORE||BEST CORRECT||CHAMPION|
|1||Dave Briggs||84||44||100||45||Duke (161)|
|2||Liz Claman||77||41||93||42||UCLA (126)|
|3||Brian Steel||74||40||138||43||N. Carolina (137)|
|3||Jessica Golden||74||41||74||41||Duke (158)|
|5||Sara Eisen||73||44||73||44||Duke (160)|
|6||Matt Quayle||71||37||135||40||Gonzaga (150)|
|7||Kelly Evans||70||42||86||43||UCLA (155)|
|8||Peter Alexander||69||40||117||42||Gonzaga (147)|
|9||A.J. Katz||68||42||68||42||Duke (145)|
|9||Kasie Hunt||68||41||68||41||Kentucky (150)|
|11||Dominic Chu||66||42||66||42||Kentucky (129)|
|11||Joe Kernen||66||40||114||42||N. Carolina (139)|
|13||Matt Rosoff||65||41||81||42||Arizona (128)|
|14||Andrew Ross Sorkin||63||39||63||39||Villanova (140)|
|14||Janelle Rodriguez||63||36||63||36||Villanova (186)|
|16||Todd Bonin||62||36||78||37||Kansas (154)|
|17||Eric Chemi||58||40||58||40||UCLA (155)|
|18||Blake Burman||57||38||57||38||UCLA (152)|
|19||Bob Van Dillen||56||33||104||35||N. Carolina (123)|
|20||Brian Kilmeade||55||37||103||39||N. Carolina (149)|
|21||Bill Weir||54||37||54||37||Kansas (128)|
|21||David Westin||54||33||54||33||Michigan (167)|
|23||Willie Geist||47||29||47||29||UCLA (145)|
|24||Janice Dean||42||28||42||28||Louisville (160)|
|25||Steve Kornacki||38||29||38||29||Villanova (141)|