The 2018 Final Four kicks off Saturday, March 31 when Michigan plays Loyola Chicago in the first national semifinal at 6:09 p.m. ET. Kansas and Villanova play in the other semifinal at 8:49 p.m. ET.
Here are some predictions for the Final Four from prominent college basketball analysts around the nation.
FiveThirtyEight gives Michigan a 69 percent chance of advancing to the national championship to Loyola Chicago’s 31 percent. The website gives Villanova a 64 percent chance of advancing to the national championship to Kansas’ 36 percent.
Michigan has a 25 percent of winning the tournament. Villanova has a 46 percent chance, Kansas has a 23 percent chance and Loyola Chicago has a 7 percent chance.
CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish predicts Michigan and Kansas will advance to the national championship.
Parrish predicts Michigan to beat Loyola Chicago, 67-65, but he isn’t ruling out the Ramblers:
But Loyola-Chicago is now 30th at KenPom while Michigan is No. 7. So the gap between these two teams isn’t as wide as some probably think, which is why the Ramblers have a realistic chance to become the first double-digit seed in history to play in the final game of the NCAA Tournament. Remember, they’ve already beaten one No. 3 seed. So it’s not crazy to think they could do it again.
Parrish predicts Kansas to beat Villanova, 79-78.
Bleacher Report‘s Kerry Miller predicts Michigan and Villanova will advance to the national championship.
Miller predicts Michigan to beat Loyola Chicago, 69-61. Here’s his explanation for the outcome:
Michigan’s perimeter defense is among the best in the nation. The Wolverines rarely allow three-pointers and their defensive assist rate is lower than that of any team Loyola-Chicago has faced all season. Thus, the Ramblers won’t be able to probe the defense with passes as well as they usually do.
Miller predicts Villanova to beat Kansas, 83-80.