Road to the Big Dance: My Final Four Predictions

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SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 07: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates by cutting down the nets after defeating the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in overtime during the 2008 NCAA Men's National Championship game at the Alamodome on April 7, 2008 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

We are just under 2 months, or 53 days, away from Selection Sunday, and there are plenty of teams just waiting to hear their name called so that they can make a run at a national championship in Indianapolis. There are, however, some teams that are more poised to run through the competition and take home the trophy. Here, we will break down my Final Four predictions, in no particular order.

Final Four Predictions

These teams have displayed a particular dominance in an unprecedented season, and outside of a possible snafu against a high-ranked opponent, haven’t seemed to show a chink in the armor of these teams. I am also going to throw in a bold prediction pick, because who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story, am I right?

Baylor Bears

This one seems like a shoe-in for a deep run this March, given how they lead my Final Four predictions. The Bears have been playing solid basketball, even against some of the best competition in the country. At a cool 13-0, they have beaten every team they have played handily, with their closest wins being against #15 Texas Tech and #9 Kansas, where they won by 8 points a piece.

Obviously in the NCAA Tournament, anything can happen. But, I can’t see a single flaw in this Bears team. The only thing that can really beat them is a team stronger in the rebounding category, and at the moment, there are not many teams capable of that. I fully expect to see the Bears in the Final Four this March.

Gonzaga Zags

Once again, this is not really a bold prediction. The Zags have been playing solid basketball, with Mark Few leading the Zags to a 14-0 record. They’ve got wins against Virginia and Iowa both, and neither were particularly close. Outside of those wins, though, their schedule is barren when it comes to dominant wins over strong teams.

They are a system team, with not many playmakers standing out. This bodes well for a team wanting to make a Final Four run. What really stands, however, is that their team is very disciplined in their coaching. Coach Few has a system down that has worked for years, but this time, it might just lead them to a championship.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Chris Beard is no stranger to the postseason. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that Texas Tech was in the Final Four rolling past Michigan State and playing against Virginia in the National Championship game. This time around, I see Beard’s squad making another run at a title.

The biggest addition for the Red Raiders is that of Mac McClung. His playmaking ability has literally won them big games, evidenced by his clutch game-winning three against the Texas Longhorns. Despite having some games canceled due to COVID, the Red Raiders still have a resume that has them looking like a team that can make a deep run late into March. In fact, my Final Four prediction would probably have them closing the deal this season.

Michigan Wolverines

Another team that is no stranger to the postseason, Michigan is one of this teams that is dominant on both sides of the ball. The 12-1 Wolverines squad reps wins over a plethora of ranked teams, like Northwestern, Minnesota, and most recently a powerful win over a Wisconsin team that, had they not suffered that embarrassing loss, I might have considered putting on this list.

The biggest thing to watch for with the squad from the Great White North is going to be the three ball. The Wolverines are at their best when they are hot from deep, with guys like Isaiah Livers heating up from beyond the arc, while playing tenacious defense on the other end that smothers teams and keep them from getting the shot off.

Cinderella Pick: Utah State

I really didn’t see myself making this pick at the beginning of the season. The Aggies are currently sitting at 11-3, and while they haven’t played a juggernaut of a schedule, they are playing fundamentally sound basketball in the Mountain West.

The Craig Smith-led team out of Logan, UT are playing well above expectations, and they look like the perfect team to make a shockwave similar to UMBC when they upset Virginia as the 16-seed. That’s why they’re my Cinderella pick for my Final Four predictions.


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