March Madness 2024 picks: Expert predictions for NCAA Tournament Final Four, national champion

Keytron Jordan, CBS Sports activities

The ultimate weekend of the 2023-24 school basketball season is approaching. Saturday, the Remaining 4 emanates from Glendale, Arizona, with a nationwide champion to be topped subsequent Monday. No. 1 general seed UConn seems to grow to be the primary workforce in practically twenty years to repeat as champions. The Huskies might grow to be the eighth completely different college — and first since Florida in 2006-07 — to win back-to-back NCAA Match titles.

Standing in the best way of historical past is a novel group of Remaining 4 members. Alabama is within the Remaining 4 for the primary time in class historical past after knocking off Clemson within the Elite Eight. NC State and Purdue are making their first look within the remaining weekend of the school basketball season for the reason that early Nineteen Eighties.

Purdue and Alabama have by no means gained the NCAA Match, whereas NC State captured nationwide championships in 1974 and 1983. UConn is in search of its sixth nationwide title and will be a part of North Carolina for the third-most championships all-time behind UCLA and Kentucky.

UConn is the heavy favourite to chop down the nets because it continues a run of dominance all through the final two tournaments. The Huskies have gained their final 10 NCAA Match video games by double-digits and opened as an 11-point favourite towards the Crimson Tide within the nationwide semifinals on Saturday.

Who will win each school basketball sport, and which favorites needs to be on upset alert? Go to SportsLine now to get picks and predictions for each school basketball sport, all from a mannequin that simulates each sport 10,000 occasions.   

2024 Remaining 4 knowledgeable predictions

Gary Parrish

Both UConn or Purdue was ranked No. 1 in 12 of the 20 AP High 25 polls revealed this season, which is among the many causes it is becoming that the Huskies and Boilermakers at the moment are extra doubtless than ever to fulfill within the title sport of the 2024 NCAA Match. Each are sizable favorites within the nationwide semifinals. I imagine each will advance. Then, I am taking Purdue over UConn in what needs to be a traditional championship sport tilt. Sure, I do know UConn could be favored over Purdue, and I do know UConn is the one remaining workforce that has not misplaced at dwelling or on a impartial courtroom this season. The Huskies are clearly and undeniably superior. However I have been on Zach Edey and the Boilermakers for a lot of this season, and I am merely going to imagine in them as our subsequent nationwide champions till any person eliminates them from rivalry.

Matt Norlander

I assume we’re gonna try this factor the place everybody picks the identical end result. Exhausting to not. UConn seems legitimately unbeatable; it’ll take an act from the heavens to finish this workforce’s reign of terror over the event. And also you wish to know the scariest half? The Huskies have not even performed an entire sport up to now! It is true. They beat Illinois by 25 and shot 3 of 17 from 3-point vary. Ridiculous. I will go Purdue over NC State as a result of Edey has entered right into a zone not often touched by school greats. He joins Wilt Chamberlain, Elvin Hayes and Jerry West as the one gamers ever to common a minimum of 30 factors and 15 rebounds by way of 4 NCAA tourney video games. Purdue is over the hump. It has an advantageous matchup towards NC State. It appears like we’re fated to have a Huskies-Boilermakers title sport, and what a wonderful finale that may be. I’m not choosing towards UConn. I have never completed it for months, and there may be zero purpose to alter.

Kyle Boone

UConn was my choose to win the NCAA championship previous to the event, and the Huskies stays my choose as we head into the Remaining 4. They’ve destroyed everybody of their path up to now en path to a second consecutive Remaining 4 and seem destined to grow to be the primary repeat champs since Florida did it in 2006 and 2007. Alabama, and presumably Purdue, loom giant of their approach, and I would not be stunned if each give them tight video games. However UConn has been working at a better degree than another workforce this postseason with depth, measurement, protection and ability. UConn is the workforce that appears destined to chop down the nets. 

David Cobb

UConn’s Donovan Clingan is among the solely gamers in school basketball bodily outfitted to defend 7-foot-4 Purdue star Zach Edey. At 7-foot-2 himself, Clingan is averaging 17 factors, 11.2 rebounds and three.2 blocks per sport over the Huskies’ final 5 contests. The Huskies even have a extra dynamic group of gamers round their star middle than Purdue. If Edey is much less environment friendly than standard due to the matchup with Clingan, UConn’s supporting forged can carry the day and convey this system its second straight championship.

Cameron Salerno

It feels bizarre to choose chalk given how chaotic final weekend was, however that is what I will go along with as a result of Purdue and UConn are on a collision course to fulfill for the nationwide title. On one aspect, you might have the unstoppable power (UConn) vs. the immovable object (Purdue’s Zach Edey). If any participant on this event can comprise the reigning Nationwide Participant of the 12 months, it is UConn large man Donovan Clingan. The Huskies are profitable video games with model factors and by giant margins. It is laborious to see anybody getting in UConn’s approach of repeating.

Dennis Dodd

Generally it is best simply to not overthink issues. UConn is on one. Purdue has one of the best large man in years, for starters. That is going to stir the message boards, however I will take each favorites by
double digits. Hey, I might like to see NC State wake the echoes of 1983 (We’re all DJs!). I truly bear in mind when Alabama was a soccer college. That being mentioned, each semifinals needs to be scientific. The stoic Zach Edey got here out of his shell a bit Sunday within the win over Tennessee. Looks like he cannot be stopped. Identical for UConn, though I am having bother seeing how the world is towards the Huskies. Danny Hurley has created that narrative, maybe as motivation. (Coaches NEVER conflate hate, do they?) Higher simply to play it straight, Dan; you might have one of the best workforce. Search for the primary back-to-back champions since Florida in 2007. 

Jerry Palm

Purdue has been on a mission for the reason that bounce, and that mission didn’t cease with merely incomes a Remaining 4 berth. It has been some time, however the Boilermakers have completed that earlier than. The objective stays profitable the entire thing. No one is extra decided than Zach Edey, who has leveled up on his dominance on this event. UConn has been terrorizing foes on this discipline, however Edey continues to be the unstoppable power.

Chip Patterson

It is rewarding when a chaotic, single-elimination event nonetheless locations among the finest groups from all the season on the sport’s greatest stage within the Remaining 4. That is what we’ve with UConn and Purdue making it to Glendale, and I believe the entire excellence that has been sustained for months will result in a separation within the semifinals organising an all-time title tilt. The Huskies have a giant to match Edey, wings that may disrupt the perimeter and sufficient scoring choices to create matchup benefits relying how Purdue needs to assault on protection. What we noticed in UConn’s 30-0 run towards Illinois was not a fluke however somewhat a fruits of a season-long concentrate on doing each small factor at an elite degree. Now could be when that work pays off, and I believe it’ll once more with a second straight championship for Dan Hurley and the Huskies. 

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