42 ESPN experts weigh in on the Final Four and NCAA tournament champions

By now, you’re reading cross-eyed about every team vying for the 2023 NCAA title. You have chosen a grid and are ready for all rounds. But you’re still looking for more.

Here you go.

We polled the Sportzshala team of commentators, analysts, and writers on men’s college basketball (and off-court experts, if you will) to find out what they think of the top 68 players. did everyone win?

Our panel of 42 experts couldn’t agree this season on which team will win the way to a Final Four spot and cut the nets at NRG Stadium in Houston on April 3rd. They chose from 10 different teams, which proves it’s a wide, wide open field and anyone can take it.

Do not forget fill in your own brackets V Sportzshala Tournament Challenge! Printing brackets can be found here.

The southern region belongs to Alabama.

Crimson Tide’s off-court news didn’t hurt their selection as the No. 1 seed overall on Qualifier Sunday – and it didn’t seem to dampen their chances of winning the South Region. 29 of our 42 Expert Advisors have Nate Oates’ team making it to the Final Four. That’s a whopping 69%. Other picks include 2-seed Arizona (7 votes), 3-seed Baylor (4) and a single 6-seed Creighton taker. Does Sam Ravech know something we don’t about the potential for disruption in this region?

It’s a Texas Midwest business

Two teams from the Lone Star state have established themselves in this region: Houston and Texas. Each of the top five seeds in this bracket quarter received at least one vote, with over half going to the 2 seed Longhorns (54.8%, or 23 votes), one third to the 1 seed Cougars (14) and single digit votes to Xavier with 3 seeds (2), Indiana with 4 seeds (1) and Miami with 5 seeds (1). The third Texas school in the region also got a say: given Texas A&M’s relative success in the SEC this season, Marty Smith could well be counting on it.

East turns blue

Among our experts and most of the people involved in braces fillers, there is a lot of trust in John Scheyer. 62% of our experts trust freshman head coach Duke, who led his freshman-dominated team to the top five seed. In fact, here’s an interesting trend: 45% chose both Alabama and And The Duke will go to the “Final Four”; 26% chose Alabama, Texas and Duke for the Final Four.

Few daredevils believe in Purdue’s 1st seed chance of making it to the Final Four (2), but for the most part, our pundits predict serious setbacks here. And why not? Aside from the Blue Devils, Big East champion Marquette is just as dangerous as a two-seeded player and is second overall (11 of 42).

The West is at a standstill

This may be the most interesting of the regions this year, at least for Sportzshala’s pundits, who are divided into five different parties as to the eventual winner. There was surprisingly less confidence in reigning champions and top seed Kansas (19.5%) than in 4 seed UConn (31.7%). Gonzaga was selected by 24.4% to reach the Final Four. UCLA, even with injured defense star Jaylen Clark, still has a chance. And Arkansas, home to a couple of predicted first-round NBA draft picks, gets a couple of nods.

So who will cut the nets?

Because that’s what you and we all want to know.

Unfortunately, our experts are just as divided as everyone else. The combination of Texas and Houston (38.1%) gives the Midwest region an edge over Alabama and the South (26.2%). Meanwhile, our experts do not like the potential repeat for Kansas (7.1%). Or, for that matter, a larger population. At 9,295,314 brackets (and rising), just under 11% predict the Jayhawks will bring the Big 12 a third championship in a row. Duke and UConn are more popular with our experts (11.9% and 9.5%, respectively) than with the wider population (3.1% and 2.1%, respectively). No, Jay Bilas’ alma mater doesn’t win everything.

See how everyone voted* below.

*Champions peak marked with an asterisk

Kyle Soppe of Sportzshala contributed to this story.


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