Expert Brackets 2014: Who Are the Consensus Final Four Teams?

From Bleacher Report - College Basketball
March 18, 2014 - 1:14pm

Now that we have had almost 48 hours to let the drama of Selection Sunday sink in, it is time to look at who the experts think will go far in the NCAA tournament.  While most of these brackets will end up being wrong—after all, these analysts are human just like you and I—it is fun to look at who the trendy pick to advance far in the Big Dance is this season. Below is a look at a dozen expert brackets from a few different media outlets as we look at who the consensus Final Four teams are.    Michigan State Michigan State received a massive amount of love from the folks in Bristol on Selection Sunday as five ESPN analysts all chose the Spartans to win the national championship. Jay Bilas, Jay Williams and Dick Vitale all have Tom Izzo's team knocking off Louisville in the title game, while Digger Phelps and Seth Greenberg had Sparty defeating Oklahoma State and Duke, respectively. The Spartans are also the favorite to win it all in the bracket of B/R's college basketball lead writer, C.J. Moore.  Three analysts from Sports Illustrated also had the Spartans reach the Final Four and so did Nicole Auerbach of USA Today.    Florida While Michigan State was the sexy pick for ESPN staffers, Florida was the one team SI's team of college basketball scribes could not stay away from. Luke Winn, Seth Davis and Pete Thamel all opted for the Gators to come out of the South Region and win it all.  Auerbach also selected the Gators as her national champion with Billy Donovan's team taking down Arizona in the final.    Louisville Of the 12 expert brackets we took a glance at, six of them had Louisville reaching the Final Four, but not winning the title game.  Repeating as national champion is a difficult task to achieve, with Florida being the last team to reach greatness in two consecutive seasons back in 2006 and 2007.  Rick Pitino's team is a sexy pick to advance far in the tournament because of how well it played in February and March, but it has to get past Wichita State, Duke and Michigan to make the Final Four, which is a daunting task for any team no matter how hot it is.    Wichita State The Shockers head into the NCAA tournament without a single blemish on their record, but it will be tough to keep that perfect season intact, according to these experts.  Only Winn, Davis and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports predicted Gregg Marshall's team to advance to the Final Four. One of the reasons for that is the difficulty of their bracket, which features Louisville, Duke, Michigan and a potential third-round game with Kentucky.    Kansas The one true wild card of all the tournament teams is the Kansas Jayhawks.  Kansas will be without star freshman center Joel Embiid for the first two games of the tournament, but he is expected to return if the Jayhawks reach the Sweet 16.  A healthy Embiid makes the Jayhawks a legitimate title contender, which is why they are predicted to reach the Final Four by Bilas and Parrish.  If Embiid's back was in better shape, we could've seen the Jayhawks reach the Final Four in more expert brackets.    All Your Bracket Essentials: Download the Printable Bracket Follow the Latest Bracket Updates Live Play the Free Bracket Challenge Read more College Basketball news on

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