Staff Final Four Predictions
Matt Sparkman South: Kentucky
I never pick a team that has little senior leadership to win an NCAA title, but I do think that UK is too talented not to make it to the semifinals. This, combined with an easy road to the final four, should lead to another final four for John Calipari.
West: Michigan State
I grappled with this one quite a bit. Missouri is REALLY talented, and loves to run, but ultimately, you can’t pick against Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s success in the tournament. Expect a close quarterfinal between Mizzou and MSU, with the Spartans coming out on top.
East: Florida State
Even before the news about Fab Melo’s ineligibilty came out, I expected the Semioles to make a run to the final four. Syracuse struggles to rebound out of the 2-3 zone, and that will cost them against an extremely tough Florida State team.
Midwest: North Carolina
Roy Williams’ bunch is the most talented team in the field, especially now that Melo is ineligible at Syracuse. They’ll be tested by Kansas, but will ultimately advance against Williams’ old team.
Winner: Florida State:
FSU has already taken down UNC twice this season. If they can win for a third time, I expect them to meet Kentucky. The Wildcats don’t have the senior leadership to weather the storms that is necessary for a championship team.
Winner: Kentucky over Kansas
Kentucky has too much fire power, and I believe this to be Calipari's strongest team. If they can overcome a tough second game against Connecticut no one else in their region can hang with them.
Missouri play style is conducive to a strong tournament and their Big 12 conference championship is exemplary of their firepower.
East: Ohio State
With Fab Melo out for Syracuse the power in this region significantly diminishes. Florida State and Ohio State are the strongest teams in this bracket along with Wisconsin and Vanderbilt as contenders. Jared Sullinger will be able to overpower any defense thrown at him and he has the potential to lead his team to a national title.
Midwest: North Carolina
North Carolina was the odds on favorite at the beginning of the year and they have the most talent in the field. The Tarheels have shown weaknesses and injuries haven't helped, but of all the top seeds I believe UNC has the easiest path to a Final Four bid.
Winner: North Carolina over Missouri