There are plenty of disagreements among the experts when it comes to March Madness 2016, but a couple of teams appear to be consensus Final Four picks. Kansas and Michigan State entered conference championship week atop the AP Top 25 Poll, and most experts believe they will win their respective regions.
Kansas was named the No.1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, having posted the best record of any team in college basketball. It came as a surprise when Michigan State was named the No.2 seed in the Midwest, but they are still favored to win their region. With two of the best coaches in the sport, the Jayhawks and Spartans have the best betting odds to win the national championship, and more experts are picking one of them to win it all than any other team.
No.1 seed Virginia is Michigan State’s biggest competition in the Midwest, though almost every expert seems to be giving Tom Izzo’s team the edge. Kansas is the overwhelming favorite in the South, though a few experts have picked them to be upset by the No.4 or No.5 seed in the region.
In the East, No.1 seed North Carolina is favored and the pick of most experts. But their biggest competition comes from No.4 Kentucky, who has better odds than No.2 Xavier or No.3 West Virginia. Not only were the Wildcats ranked second in the top 25 to start the season, but they’ve had great success during March in recent years. John Calipari’s group has reached the Final Four in four of the last five years, including 2014 when they were a No.8 seed.
The most dissension among college basketball experts easily comes in the West. Oregon was named the No.1 seed in the region, though many had predicted Michigan State would get the final top seed instead of the Ducks. Oregon, Oklahoma and Texas A&M have all been picked by multiple experts to reach the Final Four in Houston, though they haven’t gotten much respect as legitimate national title contenders.
Villanova might have been a No.1 seed if they won the Big East Tournament, but their loss to Seton Hall in the championship game gave them a No.2 seed. No experts are picking them over Kansas, and only one No.2 seed has reached the Final Four in the last three years.
Expert Final Four Predictions
Seth Davis, CBS Sports (West Virginia, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Kansas)
Kenny Smith, CBS Sports (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Maryland)
Charles Barkley, CBS Sports (North Carolina, Oregon, Michigan State, Kansas)
Clark Kellogg, CBS Sports (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Kansas)
Doug Gottlieb, ESPN (Kentucky, Oklahoma, Michigan State, California)
Dick Vitale, ESPN (Kentucky, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Kansas)
Jay Bilas, ESPN (North Carolina, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Kansas)
Seth Greenberg, ESPN (Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan State, Kansas)
Jay Williams, ESPN (North Carolina, Oregon, Michigan State, Kansas)
FiveThirtyEight (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Kansas)
Bobby Ilich, International Business Times (North Carolina, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Kansas)
Greg Price, International Business Times (Xavier, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Kansas)
Anthony Riccobono, International Business Times (Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan State, Kansas)