Final Four Predictions for the Mens NCAA March Madness Tournament

The first stretch of the mens’ NCAA Tournament came to an end on Monday, Mar. 22, and boy did it deliver. It was filled with wild games and big upsets. Every single seed except for the sixteenth-seed won a game during the first round of the tournament. Fifteenth-seeded Oral Roberts was able to take down second-seeded Ohio State in overtime in the first round. They were then able to knock off the seventh-seeded Florida Gators in the Round of 32, which saw the first elimination of a number one-seed as the Fighting Illini of Illinois lost to the fan-favorite, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. Also in the second round, the twelfth-seeded Oregon State Beavers, who were only able to enter the tournament as a result of them winning an automatic bid through their victory in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship, were able to knock off the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who are led by consensus number one overall pick in the NBA Draft Cade Cunningham. With just 16 teams left in the Indianapolis bubble, it is time to definitively predict who is going to represent each region in the Final Four.

West Region

Through its first two games Gonzaga has been dominant and it would not be prudent to predict that that dominance will come to an end anytime soon. Led during the regular season by freshman Jalen Suggs, and senior Corey Kispert, who are both projected to be top ten picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, Gonzaga dominated Norfolk State in the first round to the tune of a 98-55 beatdown. Then in the second round, they went on to destroy Oklahoma by a score of 87-71. Creighton should pose no problem for Gonzaga, as Creighton nearly lost to UCSB in the first round. On the other side of the region, USC and Oregon loom in a Pac-12 showdown who are both coming off very impressive and dominant performances in the Round of 32. However, expect for the winner of that matchup to be disposed of by Gonzaga in the Elite Eight as the outside shooting and the dominance inside by Drew Timme will be just too much for any of those teams to handle.

Final Four Prediction: Gonzaga

East Region

The East Region is arguably the most wide open. Michigan unconvincingly beat Texas Southern in the first round and were then able to take down LSU in the second round. This was thanks to the fact that LSU is completely inept on defense and their shooters cooled off. Additionally, FSU was not terribly convincing as they won a game that was closer than the score showed against UNC Greensboro in the first round, and then beat Colorado in the second round, who failed to put up the necessary 55 points. On the other hand, eleventh-seeded UCLA, who were led by dominant performances from guards Jaime Jaquez and Johnny Juzang, destroyed Abilene Christian in the second round after they dominated BYU in the first round. At the bottom of the region is second-seeded Alabama who only pulled away very late against Iona and were then able to dominate Maryland in the second round. Although all of these teams have a realistic chance at coming out of this region, the best odds go to Alabama as they play great defense and have solid three-point shooting.

Final Four Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide


The South Region so far has been dominated by one-seed Baylor and you should expect that domination to continue all the way up to the Final Four. Led by their backcourt of senior Macio Teague, junior Jared Butler, and junior Davion Mitchell who are all strong three-point shooters, Baylor was able to destroy Hartford in the first round followed by Wisconsin in the second round. Opposing Baylor in the Sweet Sixteen will be Villanova, who have been significantly hampered ever since their point guard Collin Gillespie was declared out for the season after a knee-injury. They have arrived in the Sweet Sixteen largely thanks to their kind draw as they only had to play the thirteenth-seeded North Texas in the second round. The other Sweet Sixteen matchup in the South Region sees the Cinderella story Oral Roberts face off against third-seeded Arkansas. Although Oral Roberts has been a great story, do not expect them to be a threat to Baylor as fifteenth-seed has ever even made it to the Elite Eight. Arkansas, on the other hand, found themselves down double-digits to Colgate for most of the first half and then barely escaped in the Round of 32 after a potential game-tying lay-up was missed by Texas Tech.

Final Four Prediction: Baylor Bears


The Midwest is the only region where multiple double-digit seeds still exist. One of them being Syracuse, who were led by elite shooting from Buddy Boeheim, the son of their famous head coach Jim Boeheim, and their always stingy zone defense. The other double-digit seed is Oregon State, who carried elite three-point shooting to upset wins over Tennessee and Oklahoma State. The highest seed left in this region is second-seeded Houston who have been very strong on defense throughout the whole season and dominated Cleveland State, but were then well on their way to being eliminated from the tournament in the second round until Rutgers completely fell apart in the final minutes of the game. The final team in the Midwest Region is who I believe to be the strongest, Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers are coming off a dominant victory over the team that many people predicted to be the winners, Illinois, as they led by double digits for pretty much the whole game. Loyola-Chicago has the best chance to make it out of this region thanks to their Associated Press All-American center, Cameron Krutwig, who dominated Illinois’s star center Kofi Cockburn in the second round, their defense that is ranked number-one in the country and held the Big-10 Tournament Champion Fighting Illini team to a measly 58 points and great outside shooting from Braden Norris and Lucas Williamson.

Final Four Prediction: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers