CALGARY, Alta. — Two Final Fours were set on the same day.
On Sunday, the North Carolina Tar Heels and South Carolina Gamecocks rounded out this year’s Final Four, joining both the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Oregon Ducks in Phoenix.
With just a handful of games left in the 2016-17 season, the end is in sight.
However, the season isn’t completely over for those programs who have played their last game. The College Court Report Freshman of the Year Fan Vote is still in full swing, and the field has been trimmed down to its own Final Four.
This past week, in the Elite Eight, fans came out in full force once again to support their favourite first-year players from across the country. Over 29,000 votes were cast in the round across all three platforms (online polls, Facebook, and Twitter).
Two players, and their respective athletic departments, attempted to make a big comeback over the weekend, but fell short in the end.
Below, you can see the results for all four match-ups from the Elite Eight.
Garrett Sams (North Florida) – 56.96%
A.J. Lawson (North Texas) – 43.04%
From the outset of the Fan Vote back at the end of February, Sams has been a front-runner in the East Region. Behind a consistent presence in the online polls and on Facebook, he has cruised in his previous match-ups. Over the weekend, the North Texas Mean Green launched a ferocious comeback on Twitter to try and help Lawson come away with the win.
Lawson picked up more votes via social media than Sams, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead in the online polls, and North Florida’s star freshman is off to the Final Four.
Jashaun Agosto (LIU Brooklyn) – 55.11%
Denzel Mahoney (Southeast Missouri State) – 44.89%
Just like the East Region, the West Region played out the exact same way. Agosto has had a strong presence in the online polls since day one, with a large contingent of family and friends casting votes on a regular basis. Mahoney had picked up some serious steam over the past two weeks, but found himself behind early in the week, and was never able to recover.
Thanks to a heavy presence on social media, Mahoney amassed the most votes on Twitter this past week. However, he was up against the top vote-getter in Agosto, and the Blackbirds’ guard is off to the Final Four.
Jalone Friday (Abilene Christian) – 64.43%
Tarkus Ferguson (UIC) – 35.57%
For the second year in a row, the Abilene Christian Wildcats and their fans have pushed one of their freshmen to the brink of the Final Four in the Freshman of the Year Fan Vote. Friday has arguably been the one to beat since the start, but was in tough against Ferguson in the Elite Eight. Ferguson opened the week with an early lead, but was unable to maintain his momentum over the seven-day round.
The Wildcats are back in the Final Four for the second straight year, as Friday toppled Ferguson to keep his momentum intact.
Carson Williams (Northern Kentucky) – 70.54%
Mike Smith (Columbia Lions) – 29.46%
Entering the Elite Eight, Smith had been the dark horse in the contest. He had taken leads at the start of the weeks, and held on each time to reach this point in the Fan Vote. Unfortunately, he ran into Williams, who has used a strong presence on Facebook to get to where he is. Once again, Norse fans showcased their support on Facebook, and helped Williams take an early lead, one that he wouldn’t give up.
Behind another strong week, Williams rounds out this year’s Final Four in the Freshman of the Year Fan Vote.
– T. Bennett