March Madness Final Four Prediction

After two weeks of shocking upsets, high emotions, and close games, this year’s field of 64 in the NCAA tournament has been narrowed down to the best four teams in college basketball. The Final Four features not many surprises as four storied franchises remain: Duke, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. The early rounds of the tournament featured some big bracket buster upsets such as two 3 seeds, Baylor and Iowa State, falling in the first round. However, unlike years past, there are no classic “Cinderella” teams such as Butler five years ago or George Mason in 2007 who both made deep runs as lower seeds to the Final Four. Duke, Wisconsin, and Kentucky were all number one seeds and few expected any of them to be knocked off before this point. The only unexpected result amongst the one seeds was when the fourth one seed, Villanova, fell at the hands of North Carolina State who made a bold run to the Sweet 16 before losing to Louisville. The real headline amongst the number one seeds is the Kentucky Wildcats who currently sit at 38-0. If the Wildcats are able to win out this weekend, they would become the first team to ever achieve a 40-0 record throughout one entire season. On the other hand, Michigan State who is historically good in March Madness got off to a slow start on the season but heavily picked up their play in the last month of the season in the Big 10. Although they were a seven seed I am not surprised that they have made it this far because of coach Tom Izzo’s experience and great tournament players such as point guard Travis Trice who has some past tournament experience.

Kentucky vs. Wisconsin:

Kentucky led by a star studded freshman class including a consensus number one overall pick in next years NBA draft and All American center Karl Anthony-Towns will take on the Wisconsin Badgers led by player of the year candidate and All American Frank Kaminsky. Kentucky was challenged in the Elite Eight by a very solid Notre Dame team but managed to pull out at the end thanks to a great performance from Towns. Meanwhile, the Badgers played a very good Arizona Wildcat team but were able to pull away in the second half as a result of star junior Sam Dekker who scored 23 points in the win. Although Wisconsin is extremely disciplined, well coached, and has a star studded cast, I don’t see Kentucky losing their winning streak here. I think it will be a closely contested game that will come down to the end but the Wildcats and Towns will prove too much.

Prediction: Wisconsin 54 Kentucky 57

Duke vs. Michigan St.

Duke and All American center Jahlil Okafor will take on a seven seeded Michigan State team who has played exceptionally well over the last month. Led by senior point guard Travis Trice who has averaged nearly nineteen points a game in the Spartans tournament run, Michigan State will contend much closer with Duke than most people think. I look for Michigan State to stay with Duke but be unable to contain Okafor for the entire game. I have Duke moving on to play Kentucky for a national championship.

Prediction: Duke 63 Michigan State 58