2022 NCAA Tournament: Expert Consensus Final 4 Picks (March Madness)

Mar 16, 2022 - 11:04 AM

Who would the experts pick to take down their bracket pool? To answer that question, we’ve analyzed and compiled dozens of expert brackets to produce our own consensus tournament bracket.

Let’s take a look at who the experts to make the Final 4!

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East Region – Kentucky Wildcats

Let me lead with this: If Kentucky is 100% healthy, the Wildcats are my favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. No team has improved more over the season than this one, with Oscar Tshiebwe and his impeccable rebounding leading the charge. Not only does this squad have the fourth most efficient offense in the nation, but their top-ranked offensive rebounding percentage gives Kentucky plenty of second-chance opportunities, which they convert at a high rate.

While starters Savir Wheeler and TyTy Washington have been playing through injuries, I want to make sure they are 100% healthy before filling out my bracket. Keep track of their status, because their health might be the only thing holding back this Kentucky team.

Kentucky can match up with any squad in the nation. Their efficient offense and top-25 defense create a clear blueprint for a championship. John Calipari is an incredible coach who has led more than his fair share of tournament runs. Everything is lining up to go Kentucky’s way.

West Region – Gonzaga Bulldogs

While Gonzaga the past few years has been “clear Tier 1” dominant, this year they are only “tier 1” dominant. Mark Few has led Gonzaga to another WCC title, capturing their third straight 1 seed in the tournament.

When discussing this squad, you have to start with Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme. The duo gizes Gonzaga the best frontcourt in the nation and makes it nearly impossible to stop this team down low, where the Bulldogs prefer to shoot the rock. Even if teams swarm down low, the Bulldogs have the ability to kick it out for beyond-the-arc looks (ranking 18th in the nation at 3pt%), and they captialize on missed shots (ranking seventh in second-chance conversion percentage). What isn’t discussed as much about the bulldogs is their sixth-ranked KenPom defense. Few’s squad rebounds well to eliminate potential second-chance opportunities and stays out of foul trouble to help boost their defense, which ranks first in 2pt%.

Gonzaga isn’t exactly unstoppable, however. Holmgren is still developing, and we’ve witnessed the Bulldogs put up some duds. If this team is to be upset early, it would be by a big, physical team that limits Gonzaga down low, combined with the Bulldogs being off from deep. That said, this is still a dynamic team that should be your favorite to cut down the nets in New Orleans. I would be surprised if this team doesn’t make the Final Four.

Check out all of our 2022 March Madness Coverage >>

South Region – Arizona Wildcats

With how insane this college basketball season has been, Arizona has flown under the radar as one of the bigger surprises of the year. With a first-year coach and a handful of transfers, the Wildcats were unranked in the preseason polls. Still, they managed to put together a terrific season, earning their first 1 seed since 2014.

Arizona may have the most dynamic offense in men’s college hoops. If you have not watched this team play so far, I recommend stopping whatever you’re doing now and watching their highlights.

Christian Koloko is an efficient scorer down low and a shot-blocking machine. Bennedict Mathurin has the ability to shoot the lights out, and Azulas Tubelis is the glue guy who brings it all together. We will see how the Kerr Kriisa ankle injury impacts this squad.

The size of this team is yet another reason to back the Wildcats in March, as any team would be lucky to shoot well inside against them. If you are looking for holes in this team, their inexperience is a big one. The unpredictability of March might impact Arizona, and we have seen some dud games. Arizona’s resume isn’t the most impressive, with few Quad I wins, but this team still has a good chance to make a Final Four run.

Midwest Region – Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks are back as a high seed. (What’s new?) Bill Self’s team might not have earned a 1 seed, but don’t think Kansas is any less of a championship-caliber team because of it.

Ochai Agbaji was electric to watch this year and has rounded into form, shooting up NBA draft boards the entire season. The Jayhawks’ third-ranked strength of schedule, their seemingly countless number of one-possession and overtime games, and their highly tenured coach make them arguably the most prepared team to handle the madness of March.

Self’s squad was surprisingly lacking on the defensive side of the ball this season, only ranking 30th nationally and fifth in conference. Kansas is not a squad that typically gets blown out, but we saw it this year when they simply crumbled against Kentucky. Their usual dominance in Allen Fieldhouse was upended, and they stalled near the end of the regular season, finishing 2-2. Agbaji has to elevate his game even more if this team is going to make a deep run, and Kansas has to do a better job of limiting opponents on the offensive boards. Both are possible, but beware of good rebounding teams that could take down these mighty Jayhawks.

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