42 ESPN experts weigh in on the Final Four and NCAA tournament champions (2024)

  • ESPN

Mar 15, 2023, 10:05 AM ET

By now you're cross-eyed reading about every team competing for the 2023 NCAA title. You've picked your bracket and you're ready for all the rounds. But you're still looking for more.

Here you go.

We polled ESPN's crew of men's college basketball commentators, analysts and writers -- the experts off the court, if you will -- for their thoughts on the best of the field of 68. Who do they have winning each region, and who do they have winning it all?

Our group of 42 experts failed to reach a consensus this season on which team will win its way to a spot in the Final Four and cut down the nets at NRG Stadium in Houston on April 3. They picked from among 10 teams, which proves it's a wide, wide open field, and anyone's for the taking.

Don't forget to fill out your own brackets in ESPN's Tournament Challenge! Printable brackets can be found here.

42 ESPN experts weigh in on the Final Four and NCAA tournament champions (1)

The South region belongs to Alabama

The Crimson Tide's newsmaking off the court didn't hurt their selection as the No. 1 overall seed on Selection Sunday -- and hasn't seemed to hurt their chances to win the South Region, either. Twenty-nine of our 42 experts have Nate Oats' squad entering the Final Four. That's a whopping 69%. Other picks include 2-seed Arizona (7 votes), 3-seed Baylor (4) and one lone taker for 6-seed Creighton. Does Sam Ravech know something we don't about the upset potential within this region?

42 ESPN experts weigh in on the Final Four and NCAA tournament champions (2)

It's a Texas affair in the Midwest

Two teams from the Lone Star State anchor this region: Houston and Texas. Each of the top five seeds in this quarter of the bracket received at least one vote, with over half going to the 2-seed Longhorns (54.8%, or 23 votes), one-third to the 1-seed Cougars (14) and single-digit votes for 3-seed Xavier (2), 4-seed Indiana (1) and 5-seed Miami (1). The third Texan school in this region got a vote, too: Given 's relative success in the SEC this season, it's not entirely outside the realm of possibility for Marty Smith.

42 ESPN experts weigh in on the Final Four and NCAA tournament champions (3)

The East goes Blue

There's a lot of faith in Jon Scheyer among our experts and the larger population of bracket fillers. The first-year Duke head coach, who guided his freshman-dominant crew to a 5-seed, has the confidence of 62% of our experts. In fact, here's an interesting trend: 45% picked both Alabama and Duke to be in the Final Four; 26% picked Alabama, Texas and Duke for the Final Four.

A brave few (2) believe 1-seed Purdue's chances to reach the Final Four, but for the most part, our experts predict some significant upsets here. And why not? In addition to the Blue Devils, Big East champ Marquette is as dangerous as a 2-seed gets and comes in as the second overall favorite (11 of 42).

The West is at an impasse

This might be the most interesting of the regions this year, at least to ESPN's experts, who were split five ways on the eventual winner. There was surprisingly less confidence in reigning champs and 1-seed Kansas (19.5%) than in 4-seed UConn (31.7%). Gonzaga is tapped by 24.4% to slide into that Final Four spot. UCLA, even with injured defensive star Jaylen Clark out, still has a shot to some. And Arkansas, home to a couple of projected first-round NBA draft picks, gets a couple of nods.

So, who's going to cut down the nets?

Because that's what you, and we, all want to know.

Unfortunately, our experts are just as split as the rest of us. A combination of Texas and Houston (38.1%) has the Midwest Region winning out over Alabama and the South (26.2%). Meanwhile, a potential repeat for Kansas is not preferred by our experts (7.1%). Or, for that matter, a larger population. According to 9,295,314 brackets (and counting), just under 11% are predicting the Jayhawks to bring the Big 12 a third consecutive championship. Duke and UConn are more favored by our experts (11.9% and 9.5%, respectively) than by the larger bracket population 3.1% and 2.1% respectively).

And no, Jay Bilas doesn't have his alma mater winning it all -- although fellow Duke alum Carlos Boozer does.

See how everyone voted* below.

* Champion picks are indicated with an asterisk

ESPN's Kyle Soppe contributed to this story.

42 ESPN experts weigh in on the Final Four and NCAA tournament champions (2024)


Who is predicted to win March Madness 2024 women's? ›

The title game is set for the women's NCAA March Madness tournament. The South Carolina Gameco*cks will put their undefeated record on the line against Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes — and per usual, South Carolina is favored.

What coach has the most NCAA tournament games? ›

Mike Krzyzewski has the most NCAA Tournaments wins by a coach. He won 101 tourney games in 42 seasons as Duke coach. No other coach has more than 77 wins (Roy Williams). Coach K's total NCAA wins record is likely unbreakable.

How many people are in the ESPN bracket challenge? ›

Ashtyn Gold correctly picked the Final Four matchups in ESPN's Tournament Challenge contest. In addition, of the 22.6 million people who entered the contest, her bracket is ranked 109 and in the 99th percentile of all brackets.

How can I watch March Madness? ›

The Final Four will simulcast across TBS and TNT. You can also watch the final three games of the NCAA Tournament on the March Madness Live app and on Max's B/R Sports Add-On.

Who is favored to win the women's Final Four? ›

Who is the favorite to win the 2024 women's NCAA Tournament with the field is down to four teams? FanDuel Sportsbook has released updated odds before the women's Final Four for the winner of March Madness and the South Carolina Gameco*cks, a No. 1 seed, are still the favorite to bring home the national title at -200.

Who's projected to win the NCAA tournament? ›

Who is the favorite to win the 2024 NCAA Tournament now that the field is down to 32 teams? FanDuel Sportsbook has released updated odds for the winner of March Madness and UConn, the No. 1 seed in the East Region, is still the favorite to bring home the national title at +280.

Has John Calipari won a national championship? ›

He was the head coach at the University of Kentucky from 2009 until the end of the 2023-2024 season, which he led to one NCAA National Championship in 2012. He has been named Naismith College Coach of the Year three times (1996, 2008, and 2015), and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

What do you get if you win the ESPN bracket Challenge? ›

PRIZES. GRAND PRIZE: TWENTY (20) WINNERS shall each receive US$5,000.00. FIRST PRIZE: TWENTY-FIVE (25) WINNERS shall each receive US$1,000.00.

How many ESPN brackets picked UConn? ›

UConn also was the favorite in the ESPN Tournament Challenge at 24.7%, followed by Houston at 13.6% and Purdue at 10.1%. Sheldon Jacobson, who runs the BracketOdds website, said most people don't take the proper approach to filling out their brackets, choosing games from the first round to the championship game.

Are any brackets still perfect? ›

2024. The final perfect men's bracket almost made it through the first round, but No. 8 Utah State's win against No. 9 TCU busted the last standing bracket on the 31st game of the tournament.

Where is March Madness 2024 being played? ›

The 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament tipped off with Selection Sunday on March 17, followed by the First Four games on March 19 at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Below are the dates and locations for March Madness, which ended with the championship game at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, AZ on April 8.

Who are the announcers for the NCAA Tournament 2024? ›

Adam Lefkoe will host studio coverage from TNT Sports' Atlanta studio alongside Jay Wright, Candace Parker and Seth Davis. Adam Zucker will also serve as a host from New York, while Wally Szczerbiak and Wright will also make appearances from the CBS Broadcast Center. Jamie Erdahl will provide game updates.

Where is the final four of 2024? ›

The NCAA Men's Final Four is returning to San Antonio. The city is no stranger to college basketball as the city has hosted 4 previous NCAA Final Fours in 1998, 2004, 2008 and 2018.

Where is the women's March Madness in 2024? ›

The 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament tipped off with Selection Sunday on March 17, followed by the First Four games on March 20. Below are the dates and locations for Women's March Madness, which ended with the championship game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH on April 7.

Where is the women's Final Four in 2024? ›

Four It All. In The Land.

Witness the top teams in the nation compete for a national championship as the 2024 NCAA Women's Final Four returns to Cleveland April 5 & 7 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse! Limited tickets available!

Where are the 2024 women's basketball regional sites? ›

For the second straight season, championship regional action will take place at two host sites, MVP Arena in Albany, New York and Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, with 16 teams, eight at each site, battling it out for the opportunity to compete in Cleveland for the national championship.


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