College Hoops

March Madness 2024 picks: Expert predictions for NCAA Tournament Final Four, national champion

March Madness 2024 picks: Expert predictions for NCAA Tournament Final Four, national champion

The final weekend of the 2023-24 college basketball season is approaching. Saturday, the Final Four emanates from Glendale, Arizona, with a national champion to be crowned next Monday. No. 1 overall seed UConn looks to become the first team in nearly two decades to repeat as champions. The Huskies could become the eighth different school — and first since Florida in 2006-07 — to win back-to-back NCAA Tournament titles.

Standing in the way of history is a unique group of Final Four participants. Alabama is in the Final Four for the first time in school history after knocking off Clemson in the Elite Eight. NC State and Purdue are making their first appearance in the final weekend of the college basketball season since the early 1980s.

Purdue and Alabama have never won the NCAA Tournament, while NC State captured national championships in 1974 and 1983. UConn is seeking its sixth national title and could join North Carolina for the third-most championships all-time behind UCLA and Kentucky.

UConn is the heavy favorite to cut down the nets as it continues a run of dominance throughout the last two tournaments. The Huskies have won their last 10 NCAA Tournament games by double-digits and opened as an 11-point favorite against the Crimson Tide in the national semifinals on Saturday.

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2024 Final Four expert predictions

Gary Parrish

Either UConn or Purdue was ranked No. 1 in 12 of the 20 AP Top 25 polls published this season, which is among the reasons it’s fitting that the Huskies and Boilermakers are now more likely than ever to meet in the title game of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Both are sizable favorites in the national semifinals. I believe both will advance. Then, I’m taking Purdue over UConn in what should be a classic championship game tilt. Yes, I know UConn would be favored over Purdue, and I know UConn is the only remaining team that has not lost at home or on a neutral court this season. The Huskies are obviously and undeniably awesome. But I’ve been on Zach Edey and the Boilermakers for much of this season, and I’m simply going to believe in them as our next national champions until somebody eliminates them from contention.


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