March Madness 2022 starts with 68 teams, but only a portion of the field has a realistic chance of making the Final Four. No team seeded No. 12 or lower has ever won its NCAA Tournament region. Of the last 24 teams to make the Final Four, 15 have been a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed.

Here are Final Four predictions for March Madness 2022:

West Region: No. 1 Gonzaga

Anything less than a trip to the Final Four would be a failure for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are the clear favorites to win the NCAA Tournament one year after their only loss came in the national championship game. Gonzaga leads college basketball with 87.8 points per game and an average scoring margin of 22.5 points. Leading scorer Drew Timme is as steady as any player in the tournament. Chet Holmgren’s defense at the rim could be the difference-maker that finally gets Gonzaga over the hump for their first title.

East Region: No. 2 Kentucky

There’s a reason why Kentucky has better championship odds than No. 1 Baylor, the top seed in the East. One of the most well-rounded teams in college basketball, the Wildcats are primed to make another Final Four run. Guards TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler lead the nation’s ninth-most efficient offense. Oscar Tshiebwe is arguably the sport’s best player, averaging 17.1 points and an NCAA-best 15.1 rebounds per game. Baylor hasn’t looked like a top contender since losing key players to injuries in the middle of the season. No. 3 Purdue’s defense will prevent the Boilermakers from making a Final Four run.

South Region: No. 2 Villanova

With two national championships since 2016, Jay Wright has arguably become college basketball's top head coach. His current team is led by veterans and capable of winning another title. Four of Villanova’s top-five scorers are seniors. Back-to-back Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie and junior guard Justin Moore give Villanova an elite backcourt, scoring a combined 30.9 points per game. The Wildcats don’t beat themselves, averaging fewer turnovers than 60 teams in the NCAA Tournament field.

Midwest Region: No. 2 Auburn

The Tigers have lost some steam heading into the NCAA Tournament with a 5-4 record in their last nine games. There’s still a good chance that Auburn’s talent will carry it to a second Final Four appearance in three years. The Tigers have the nation’s best frontcourt. Jabari Smith averages 17.1 points per game and could be a top-two draft pick. Walker Kessler leads all tournament players with 4.5 blocks per game. Guards Wendell Green Jr. and K.D. Johnson can be erratic at times, but their ability to make big shots will be important as the team gets deeper into March Madness.

John Calipari Kentucky
John Calipari is well compensated for producing NBA players each year. Getty