Yahoo Sports college basketball experts Kristen Peake, Frank Schwab and Nick Bromberg bring you their Final Four and national champion picks for the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Frank Schwab: It was a wild season in college basketball, and it was about to lead to a wide open NCAA tournament. And I’m here to give you my Final Four picks and my pick for the championship. We’re going to start in the South. I have Alabama, the Crimson Tide, the number one seed, but that’s the only number one seed I like going to the Final Four. Moving east, I like Duke. Duke won the ACC Championship. They have been coming strong of late.
Moving west, I really like UConn. I thought they are as low seeded as the four. This team was really good at the start of the season, late in the season. Give me the Yukon over there. In the Midwest, Texas is coming off an impressive Big 12 Championship win. Tough out there, especially with Houston in that area, but I’ll take Texas. And then my championship pick, the Alabama Crimson Tide for winning the first national championship in school history.
Kristen Peake: It’s been nothing but a chalk year, and there should be plenty of ups and downs in the Final Four. Out of the East, the only number one team I’m taking to go to Houston is Alabama. They are playing their best basketball right now and they will be hard to beat. In the South, I’m taking on number three Kansas State to advance. The Big 12 was the most competitive conference this year, and K-State has the talent to make a big run.
Out west, I’m taking number three Gonzaga. Mark Few knows how to run a tournament team, and this year is full of experience under the leadership of Drew Timme. And out of the Midwest, watch out for number four Indiana. The guard, forward tandem of Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trace Jackson-Davis is difficult to defend. Those are my final four picks, and for the championship I have the Alabama Crimson Tide winning their first title in school history.
Nick Bromberg: It doesn’t feel like a year where all four number one seeds make it to the men’s final four, but I think a couple end up in Houston. I’m going to start with the hometown team. Houston is the betting favorite to win the Men’s National Championship at BetMGM at Plus550, and I think the Cougars are headed to play in the Final Four in Houston.
The Midwest shapes up nicely for Houston, and I’m banking on Marcus Sasser being healthy enough by the latest Sweet 16. Houston needs him for its last four runs. Alabama must travel south. They are the top overall seed and have a very manageable path to the Final Four. Out East, I’ll pick number two Marquette to continue his run and make the Final Four. The Golden Eagles have won nine straight games and will look to extend that run to 13 consecutive wins. And out West, I’d pick Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four ahead of UCLA and Kansas as Drew Timme searches for a national title.
Seems too close to call a Gonzaga vs. Houston Final Four match, and a stylistic contrast. And I think the winner of that game will eventually lose to Alabama in the national title game. And since the tournament is here, that means the brackets are here. Be sure to get in on the action this year with Yahoo Fantasy’s tourney Pick ‘Em for both men and women. You could win $25,000 in our Best Bracket contest. It’s free to play, so visit tourney.yahoo.com to get started.