The Latest: Few bracketeers saw Florida-S Carolina coming

The Latest on the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

7:55 p.m.

The Final Four is set. And in an unusual bit of geography, it'll be schools from neighboring states out west (Oregon, Gonzaga) against schools from neighboring states in the east (North Carolina, South Carolina).

The national semifinals in Phoenix will feature No. 1 seeds in the Bulldogs and Tar Heels, a No. 3 seed in the Ducks and the surprising 7-seed Gamecocks.

The first game Saturday will be South Carolina-Gonzaga, tipping off at 6:09 p.m. EDT. Oregon-North Carolina will follow roughly 40 minutes after the completion of that game.

For the Tar Heels, it's a record 20th trip to the Final Four. Meanwhile, it's the first Final Four trip for Gonzaga coach Mark Few, Oregon coach Dana Altman and South Carolina coach Frank Martin.

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7:30 p.m.

And North Carolina is back in the Final Four, thanks to - surprise! - Luke Maye.

The sophomore reserve hit the winning shot with 0.3 seconds left for a 75-73 win against Kentucky in the South Region championship game. It was part of a huge performance for Maye, who scored 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Maye's shot came seconds after Malik Monk hit a 3 to tie the game in a wild finish between the region's top two seeds.

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7:05 p.m.

Seven-foot Australian Isaac Humphries is trying to carry the Kentucky Wildcats into the Final Four.

He has scored 8 of Kentucky's points in a 10-3 run to grab its biggest lead of the game. The Wildcats, who had led only 18 seconds of this game, are now up 64-59 over UNC with 5:03 left.

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6:55 p.m.

Well, the South Regional final is looking much more like the game so many expected from North Carolina and Kentucky.

Kentucky has a chance for a lead, down 57-56 with less than 8 minutes left and free throws to come.

Sophomore Luke Maye scored 8 straight for the Tar Heels, including a 3-point play.

That was on the fourth foul for Kentucky senior Derek Willis, leaving the Wildcats forward on the court after a painful tumble.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.

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6:35 p.m.

Bam Adebayo has scored four of Kentucky's first six points of the second half, and his two free throws with 17:35 to go gave the Wildcats their first lead at 39-38.

UNC went scoreless over the final 3:26 of the first half and didn't score in the second until Kennedy Meeks hit two free throws with 17:17 to go to put UNC back up 40-39.

The Tar Heels have gone more than 7 minutes without a basket.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.

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6:10 p.m.

Fans booed the officials heavily at the end of an ugly first half at the South Regional final.

Top-seeded North Carolina led Kentucky 38-33 at halftime in a game with no flow as officials called 10 fouls on each team.

Kentucky played without its fabulous freshmen for a big chunk of the half. De'Aaron Fox was limited to 8 minutes after picking up a second foul with 12:23 left, and Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo also had a pair of fouls each. Monk scored only 6 points, while Adebayo has been thoroughly frustrated missing all five of his shots.

The teams combined to miss their final 11 shots of the half with North Carolina going scoreless over the final 3:26.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.

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5:55 p.m.

Frustration is starting to show for the Kentucky Wildcats, especially freshman Bam Adebayo.

He has missed his first five shots and has only 1 point. Worse, he picked up his second foul with more than 6 minutes left in the half.

North Carolina is having little trouble. The Tar Heels had a stretch hitting seven of nine shots and have pushed their lead to as much as 9 to lead 31-24 off an 8-4 spurt fueled by 6 points from Justin Jackson.

Malik Monk picked up his second personal with 5 minutes left in first half. He joins Fox and Adebayo with two fouls each.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee

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5:35 p.m.

Bad news for North Carolina: Joel Berry II has another ankle injury.

Berry rolled his left ankle when he planted on a drive to the basket with 15:12 left in the first half. He came out of the game before heading to the locker room, though he returned to the bench with 11:15 left.

The junior point guard rolled his right ankle during the first-round win against Texas Southern.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee

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5:25 p.m.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are doing their best to get themselves back to the Final Four.

Isaiah Hicks dunked within the first minute to put the top-seeded Tar Heels ahead, and they have yet to trail against Kentucky. The Tar Heels have hit 4 of 6 shots, while Kentucky missed their first three.

Then De'Aaron Fox started shooting. He drove for a layup for the Wildcats' first bucket, then he hit a 3-pointer. Fox scored a tournament-high 39 points in helping Kentucky down UCLA in the South Regional semifinal on Friday night.

One thing to watch: The Wildcats outrebounded the nation's best rebounders in beating North Carolina 103-100 in December. The Tar Heels have a 5-2 edge on the boards in the opening minutes and lead 11-7 with 15:44 left.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee

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5:10 p.m.

Thanks to the pedigrees of Kentucky and North Carolina, the South Regional final is being called the real national championship game by many fans.

One thing is certain: Never before have a pair of teams combined for as many NCAA Tournament wins as these college basketball powerhouses.

Kentucky and North Carolina rank first and second in tournament berths, games played and victories with a combined 244 tourney wins between them.

Yet these blue bloods that have never competed in a Final Four find themselves once again facing off shy of the national semifinals. This is their fourth regional final against one another. North Carolina leads 2-1 in these games against Kentucky, with the Tar Heels looking to return to the national championship game for a second straight year.

Kentucky is looking for its fifth Final Four berth under coach John Calipari.

The winner will play Midwest Region champ Oregon in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Memphis, Tennessee.

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4:45 p.m.

South Carolina has completed its surprise run to the Final Four.

The seventh-seeded Gamecocks held on down the stretch to beat 4-seed Florida 77-70 in the East Region final in New York.

The Gamecocks' tournament run included upsets of 2-seed Duke - the preseason No. 1-ranked team - and 3-seed Baylor.

South Carolina joins Gonzaga and Oregon in the national semifinals. Kentucky and North Carolina meet later Sunday to determine the last spot in Phoenix.

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4:25 p.m.

The all-SEC East Regional final looks as if it will come down to the wire.

There have been 12 lead changes and seven ties so far and with 5:27 left in the second half South Carolina leads 59-57. The Gators still have not hit a 3 in the second half (0-for-12).

Sindarius Thornwell made a tough shot in the lane to give the Gamecocks the lead. He has 21 points and three fouls.

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4 p.m.

Florida was called for seven fouls in the first 5 minutes of the second half, putting South Carolina in the bonus for 15 minutes. Could be a long second half at the Garden with all those free throws.

The Gamecocks lead 49-48 with 11:03 left, with Florida going scoreless for more than 3 minutes and missing its last six shots.

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3:50 p.m.

KeVaughn Allen, who was shaken up at the end of the first half, started the second half for Florida - and promptly shot an air ball on his first attempt.

South Carolina whittled the Gators' halftime lead to 1 as the teams picked up where they left off, trading baskets. The Gamecocks have trailed at the half twice already in this tournament.

Sindarius Thornwell, who has scored at least 24 points in each previous tournament game, leads the Gamecocks with 15 points.

Florida led 46-43 with 15 minutes left.

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3:20 p.m.

Florida finished the first half with a 17-9 flourish to take a 40-33 lead at halftime against South Carolina in the East Regional final.

The Gators went 7 for 12 from 3-point range, led by Justin Leon. The senior was 3 for 5 and scored 13 points.

One thing to watch for in the second half: Florida's KeVaughn Allen, the team's leading scorer, seemed shaken up when he collided with PJ Dozier of South Carolina going for a loose ball.

With less than a minute left in the half, Allen was taken to the locker room by athletic trainers.

Sindarius Thornwell is carrying South Carolina with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

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3:05 p.m.

If only the Knicks could get the Garden sounding like this.

South Carolina and Florida are going shot for shot at MSG and have the sellout crowd - which sounds like mostly Gamecocks fans - rocking as if it was the Georgia Dome for an SEC football title game. Florida got 3-pointers from Devin Robinson, KeVaughn Allen and Chris Chiozza on consecutive possessions to take a 32-28 lead with 3:01 left. Chiozza's banked 3 as the shot clock expired stood up to a video review.

Chiozza is getting good at beating the buzzer at MSG this weekend. His game-winner as time expired against Wisconsin on Friday got the Gators into the Elite Eight.

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2:45 p.m.

The shooting has been on target at the Garden.

South Carolina and Florida are a combined 12 for 20 and the Gamecocks lead 15-14 with 11:41 left in the first half.

But it hasn't been all offense. Some physical defense has led to 11 turnovers, seven by the Gators. The Gamecocks have turned those giveaways into 8 points.

Among those in the crowd watching the contest: NCAA President Mark Emmert.

- Ralph D. Russo reporting from New York.

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2:35 p.m.

Well, things didn't get off to a smooth start for South Carolina-Florida.

Officials twice had to stop the game in the opening minute due to a bit of clock trouble. A TV replay on the second one showed the shot clock resetting to 15 seconds instead of the full 30.

The issue appeared to be resolved fairly quickly - knock on wood.

The all-Southeastern Conference Elite Eight game saw the football schools playing a physical game a little more than four minutes in, with the Gators leading 7-6 in a game featuring plenty of bumping and tight defense.

And the officials are letting them play. Only one foul has been called so far.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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