Detroit News staff Final Four picks

Detroit News staff
John Beilein

Final Four predictions

Matt Charboneau: Duke has the talent to match anyone and will likely keep Villanova from defending its title and make it out of the East. Over in the West, many believe this is Gonzaga’s year, but the No. 1 seed will fall to No. 2 Arizona, a team that is also playing its best basketball at the right time. Kansas might have the easiest path in the Midwest, though keep an eye on Michigan coming from the No. 7 seed if it gets a shot at the Jayhawks. The South has some heavy hitters and I’m thinking UCLA just might ride Lonzo Ball right to Phoenix. When it’s all said and done, Kansas gets past Duke for the title.

James Hawkins: Reigning champ Villanova has the pieces to repeat, and Gonzaga is perhaps the most complete team. On the other side of the bracket, Iowa State has a trio of talented guards, while UCLA is brimming with shooters who give opposing defenses constant fits. But Villanova has the poise and the experience needed to win it, again.

John Niyo: This seems like another year that favors the chalk. Duke’s the most dangerous — and unpredictable — team in the field, but Coach K’s team is talented enough to keep Villanova from repeating. Arizona’s on a roll with Allonzo Trier back in the lineup. And while Kansas might survive the Midwest thanks to arguably the nation’s best backcourt, watch out if they run into another fresh-faced John Calipari crew in Kentucky in the Final Four. Arizona’s got a home-court advantage if it makes it to the Final Four, but I’ll take the team most would’ve picked before the season, Duke, to win it all.

Bob Wojnowski: So you’ll see familiar names in the Final Four: North Carolina, Kansas, Duke and Arizona. And the winner will be the team that’s balanced and hungry and has a star guard, Allonzo Trier — Arizona. Sean Miller has had stacked teams before and is due to break through, and Arizona will cut the nets in Phoenix.