Predictions: Who's going to the Final Four?

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 20:24:54-04

After arguably the two most exciting rounds in NCAA Tournament history, just two wins stand between 16 teams and their bid to advance to the Final Four.

Here are predictions for each of the next two rounds of the tourney, which resumes Thursday night.

South region: 1 Kansas vs. 5 Maryland; 2 Villanova vs. 3 Miami

The gritty Hurricanes are a trendy pick in this region, but Perry Ellis and the battle-tested Jayhawks are built for March. Kansas will have little trouble getting past a Maryland team that has yet to be tested in the tournament before going up against the Hurricanes, which will dispatch Villanova in the Sweet Sixteen.

Elite Eight picks: Kansas, Miami

Final Four pick: Kansas

West region: 1 Oregon vs. 4 Duke; 2 Oklahoma vs. 3 Texas A&M

The Aggies are lucky to be alive after pulling off the most improbable comeback in tournament history Sunday, but they'll be outclassed by Buddy Hield and the Sooners. Duke is a popular pick to take out top-seeded Oregon, but Dillon Brooks and the red-hot Ducks will survive the Blue Devils and set up an epic Arizona vs. Wisconsin-esque Elite Eight showdown. 

Elite Eight picks: Oregon, Oklahoma

Final Four pick: Oklahoma

Midwest region: 1 Virginia vs. 4 Iowa State; 10 Syracuse vs. 11 Gonzaga

Is this the year the Zags finally break through and advance to their first-ever Final Four? After destroying third-seeded Utah in the second round, they should have no problem getting past Syracuse. But as they say: defense wins championships, and Virginia is arguably the nation's top defensive unit. Look for the Cavaliers to upend ISU and go on to crack the Final Four for the first time in 32 years.

Elite Eight picks: Virginia, Gonzaga

Final Four pick: Virginia

East region: 1 North Carolina vs. 5 Indiana; 6 Notre Dame vs. 7 Wisconsin

Want a sort-of Cinderella Final Four pick? Look no further than Yogi Ferrell and the Hoosiers. This year's Indiana team is rolling at the right time and matches up well with Brice Johnson and the Tar Heels. The overachieving Badgers are making yet another deep tournament run that will continue all the way to the Elite Eight before their luck runs out.

Elite Eight picks: Indiana, Wisconsin

Final Four pick: Indiana