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March Madness Final Four Predictions (NCAA)

Mar 15, 2021

Many predict Jalen Suggs and Gonzaga to take the title this year

March Madness has finally returned! With Selection Sunday in the books, we’ve got some experts who are ready to throw their hats in the ring and take a shot at which schools are poised to make it to the Final Four and which team is primed for a Cinderella run. Read all the way through to see who many other analysts are picking to make the Final Four and take home the title!

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Q1. Who are your picks for the Final Four and why?

East: Colorado (5) | West: Gonzaga (1) | South: Baylor (1) | Midwest: Oklahoma St. (4)
“Gonzaga, Colorado, Baylor, and Oklahoma State are my picks to reach the Final Four. Gonzaga is the first team since 2015 to enter the NCAA tournament without a loss. Led by potential top-10 NBA draft picks Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert, Gonzaga is the team to beat this year. Colorado has one of the most experienced starting fives in the country, led by senior point guard McKinley Wright IV, who’s averaging 15.5 points, 5.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals this season. Oklahoma State has the projected 2021 NBA No. 1 pick in Cade Cunningham, who’s averaging an elite 20.2 points and 6.3 rebounds while making 41.1% of his three-point attempts this season. Baylor has the easiest path to the Final Four with the South region being void of elite competitors. They also lead the nation in three-point percentage (41.8%), which should help them get to the Final Four.”
– Jacob W. Dunne (New Life Fantasy)

East: Michigan (1) | West: Gonzaga (1) | South: Ohio State (2) | Midwest: Houston (2)
“My picks for the Final Four are Gonzaga, Michigan, Ohio State, and Houston. Undefeated Gonzaga (26-0) is the betting favorite to win and has 2-1 odds to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament. They are considered one of the best college teams ever and are led by elite PG Jalen Suggs. Michigan has a great offense and 6-1 odds to win it all. The Wolverines shoot well from downtown and rank sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency. Ohio State has 16-1 odds to win the NCAA tournament and will most likely face No. 1 seed Baylor to advance to the Final Four. Houston, led by star player Quentin Grimes, has one of the easier paths to advance. They could potentially face West Virginia, Oklahoma City, and Tennessee, all of whom ranked 21st or lower in the entire field.”
– Brad Camara (FantasyPros)

East: Texas (3) | West: Gonzaga (1) | South: Baylor (1) | Midwest: Illinois (1)
“Gonzaga, Texas, Baylor, and Illinois. I like all four of the top seeds in this year’s tournament to make it to Indianapolis with the exception of Michigan, which will be without Isaiah Livers. Gonzaga is one of the strongest No. 1 seeds we’ve seen in recent memory, and they should be the favorite to finish the year undefeated. Texas has plenty of talent and a favorable path to the Final Four with a now-vulnerable Michigan in its region. Illinois will likely face some resistance deeper into its region with the likes of Tennessee and WVU looming, but the Illini’s high-scoring offense should be able to overcome its opponents and make a title run. Baylor has the easiest road to the Final Four through its region, and the offense is led by a pair of likely first-round NBA selections in Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler.”
– Zachary Hanshew (FantasyPros)

East: Michigan (1) | West: Gonzaga (1) | South: Baylor (1) | Midwest: Illinois (1)
“Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor, and Illinois are my picks for the Final Four. To me, Michigan and Illinois have the greatest chance to make it all the way. I don’t believe that Gonzaga will complete the perfect season, although they will definitely be the chalk pick to do so. Baylor to me is the weakest team in my Final Four, and I could see Ohio State beating them in the tournament.”
– Ethan Masel (The Fantasy Bulletin)

Q2. What Cinderella team do you think has the best chance of making it deep in the tournament and why?

West: UC Santa Barbara (12)
“It’s UC Santa Barbara for me. The No. 12 seed Gauchos rolled their way through the Big West and finished the season 22-4 with a nearly 14-point differential between points scored and points allowed. The first-round matchup with five-seed Creighton is winnable, as is the next round tango with Ohio/Virginia. This team features five juniors and three seniors, so experience and cohesion will play a key role in this Cinderella story. If UCSB makes it to the Sweet 16, they’ll likely face a buzzsaw in Gonzaga, but rattling off a couple wins certainly isn’t out of the question.”
– Zachary Hanshew (FantasyPros)

South: Oral Roberts (15)
“Oral Roberts held off North Dakota State in the Summit League Final to achieve their program’s first title in 13 years. Their best player, Max Abmas, is the nation’s leading scorer at 24.2 points per game. He’s shooting 49% from the field this season, including 44% from three-point range. If Abmas’ elite scoring can vault No. 15 ranked Oral Roberts past No. 2 Ohio State, then it’s potentially smooth sailing until the Golden Eagles face Baylor in the Elite Eight.”
– Jacob W. Dunne (New Life Fantasy)

West: Ohio (13)
“Ohio is my selection as a Cinderella team that could make noise in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Ohio has a fast-paced offense led by Jason Preston that can catch fire on any single night. They nearly beat No.1 seeded Illinois during the regular season, losing by just two points. Ohio will draw Virginia in the first round, who recently withdrew from their conference tournament after a player tested positive for COVID-19. Ohio can light up the scoreboard and they are a team I can see advancing until they face Gonzaga.”
– Brad Camara (FantasyPros)

South: Winthrop (12)
“I’m taking Winthrop. They went 23-1 and are facing a Villanova team that ranks bottom-300 in pace. I predict that Winthrop will outrun Villanova and make a deeper run in the tournament then many people expect. I believe they have Elite Eight potential.”
– Ethan Masel (The Fantasy Bulletin)

Final Four & Championship Picks from Other Experts:

* Links provided to picks and reasoning from each respective expert.

Expert East West South Midwest Champion
Bill Bender (Sporting News) Florida St. Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Illinois
Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) Michigan Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Gonzaga
Mitch Albom (Detroit Free Press) Michigan Gonzaga Ohio St. Houston Gonzaga
Jeff Seidel (Detroit Free Press) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Shawn Windsor (Detroit Free Press) Alabama Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Gonzaga
Orion Sang (Detroit Free Press) Connecticut Gonzaga Texas Tech Illinois Illinois
Chris Solari (Detroit Free Press) Alabama Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Illinois
Pat Mayo (DraftKings) Colorado Iowa Ohio St. Illinois Illinois
John Adams (Knoxville News Sentinel) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor W. Virginia Alabama
Will Backus (Knoxville News Sentinel) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Gentry Estes (The Tennessean) Alabama Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Illinois
Mark Giannotto (The Commerical Appeal) Alabama Gonzaga Arkansas Illinois Gonzaga
Glenn Guilbeau (Lafayette Daily Advertiser) Michigan Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Drake Hills (The Tennessean) Texas Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Cecil Hurt (The Tuscaloosa News) Texas Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Jason Munz (The Commerical Appeal) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Oklahoma St. Gonzaga
Mike Organ (The Tennessean) Michigan Gonzaga Ohio St. Alabama Gonzaga
Josh Vitale (Montgomery Advertiser) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Mike Wilson (Knoxville News Sentinel) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Illinois
Timothy Rapp (Bleacher Report) Texas Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Ricky O’Donnell (SB Nation) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Oklahoma St. Gonzaga
FiveThirtyEight Michigan Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Pat Forde (Sports Illustrated) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Jeremy Woo (Sports Illustrated) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Oklahoma St. Baylor
Jason Jordan (Sports Illustrated) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Molly Geary (Sports Illustrated) Florida St. Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Gonzaga
Kevin Sweeney (Sports Illustrated) Alabama Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Gonzaga
Michael Shapiro (Sports Illustrated) Texas Gonzaga Ohio St. Illinois Gonzaga
Elizabeth Swinton (Sports Illustrated) Michigan Gonzaga Baylor Houston Gonzaga
Nick Selbe (Sports Illustrated) Alabama Gonzaga Baylor Illinois Illinois

Top-voted teams for each region: East: Alabama, West: Gonzaga, South: Baylor, Midwest: Illinois

Your 2021 Consensus Predicted NCAA Champion: Gonzaga!


Thank you to the experts for their March Madness predictions. Please give them a follow on Twitter for more advice.

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