NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Predictions

Story posted March 31, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by CommRadio Sports Department

This year’s Final Four will feature some of the most iconic and historic brands in college basketball — the Duke Blue Devils, the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Villanova Wildcats and the Kansas Jayhawks.

North Carolina has proved itself thus far as a No. 8 seed, powering through teams like Baylor and UCLA to earn another shot at conference rival No. 2 Duke. These teams split the series in the regular season, making this matchup even more exciting and intense between these two historic, bitter rivals.

With this year being Coach K’s last dance, this highly anticipated matchup is what March is all about.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Villanova finds itself in the Final Four once again. The Wildcats have two championships in the past six years under head coach Jay Wright, and find themselves in a challenge as they will face off against No. 1 Kansas.

This isn’t uncharted territory for Villanova and crew, as it always seems to play its best basketball when the calendar strikes March.

With the Final Four set with historic matchups and big-brand names, the party is just getting started in New Orleans.

Here are some national champion predictions from members of the CommRadio Sports Department.

Joe Tuman, Champion: Duke

The four remaining teams in the tournament are all historic, successful programs.

No. 1 Kansas and No. 2 Villanova have eight national championships between them, while arch-rivals No. 8 North Carolina and No. 2 Duke have winning histories both as programs as well as against each other.

When it comes to the Wildcats’ and Jayhawks’ showdown, health could play a big factor in favor of Kansas.

With Villanova’s Justin Moore sidelined with a torn achilles, Ochai Agbaji and the Jayhawks are looking at an easy path to the championship. 

On the other side of things, UNC and Duke’s rivalry takes center-stage for the final time during the Mike Krzyzewski era.

While Armando Bacot and Brady Manek have proven a formidable frontcourt duo, Duke’s entire lineup has been red hot as of late.

The starting five of Roach, Moore Jr., Griffin, Banchero and Williams has excelled in the tournament, as the win over Arkansas saw all five starters (and sixth man Trevor Keels) contribute substantially.

After knocking off the Tar Heels, Duke will then also defeat the Jayhawks to give Coach K a fairytale sendoff.  The talent on his team will be too much to overcome for Kansas.

Jayson O’Connell, Champion: North Carolina

Picking a champion from the remaining teams is like throwing at a dart board while blindfolded. All four teams have proven themselves in their path to the Final Four.

However, North Carolina’s offense is the reason that they shouldn’t be overlooked.

Both R.J. Davis and Caleb Love have shown their acrobatic abilities this tournament by driving to the rim and making layups with tight defense on them. This forces another defender to help protect the rim which leaves an open man for one of the guards to find.

This is how Brady Manek has gotten so many good looks from behind the 3-point line. Though they have gone through cold spells, both Davis and Love have shown that they can get hot from behind the arc as well.

Armando Baycot rolling off a pick has also been a lethal play for the Tar Heels’ offense. Boycott has also been very dominant on the glass, as he’s had at least 10 rebounds in every game in the tournament.

UNC can pick apart a defense in many different ways. If it can hold the other teams under 70 points, it’ll be lifting the trophy come Monday night.

Connor Fenix, Champion: Duke

There haven’t been a lot of correct predictions for this year’s tournament, but seeing these last four teams has made it even more of a challenge to predict which one will hoist the trophy come Monday night.

A team that has charisma, experience, history and a little bit of magic, the Duke Blue Devils are seemingly the only one to win this tournament and satisfy Coach K’s career in the best fashion possible.

The Blue Devils are extremely talented and are firing on all cylinders, making this team a nightmare to matchup with this March. After falling to North Carolina at Cameron Indoor on March 5, Duke enters this matchup with a vengeance against its long-time arch enemy.

It’s Coach K’s final ride, and there isn’t a better way to send off one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history.

The winner of the Duke-UNC matchup will likely be the winner of the tournament, and Duke has a chip on its shoulder entering its third bout against bitter-rival North Carolina, which will contribute to the motivation once this historic matchup has concluded.

Kansas and Villanova are both really good teams, and with Kansas being the only remaining No. 1 seed, it just wouldn’t feel right to see them prevail in a tournament that has already produced amazing outcomes and upsets.

If Duke can suppress UNC’s threats in R.J. Davis and Caleb Love, this offense will prove to be too much for either Kansas or Villanova.

Paolo Banchero has been exceptional all year long, and his leadership and determination is fuel to the fire to the offense in this matchup.

Wendell Moore and Jeremy Roach’s playmaking abilities are what also helped Duke reach this point, and the motivation has not been any higher, as this will be the first time Duke and North Carolina have played each other in an NCAA Tournament.

Duke’s vision is clear the rest of the way and with Coach K’s Cinderella script on the line, the Blue Devils’ high-powered offense will be enough to sneak past Brady Manek and company to propel them to a sixth national title.

Jameson Kramer, Champion: Kansas

With so many of the teams projected to make a deep run in this year’s tournament eliminated, this becomes one of the harder Final Four fields to predict in recent memory.

With the added intrigue of the biggest rivalry game in college basketball being played with the highest stakes in the series history, this year’s conclusion in New Orleans is sure to be one for the ages.

All four teams have their advantages. Duke has the best coach and the most talented roster, North Carolina is playing the best basketball right now, Villanova is probably the deepest and most experienced of the bunch and Kansas is the only No. 1 seed remaining, as well as being the most well-rounded squad.

It could be Duke to come out on top against North Carolina, due to its talent and focus at the moment, as well as the fact that North Carolina won their last meeting.

Coach K has already had one milestone game ruined by the Tar Heels, and he will have his guys ready to compete, even though a Final Four matchup with North Carolina shouldn’t need much extra motivation.

Throughout alll the hype of the game, Duke will be the more focused squad, leading to victory.

In the other Final Four matchup it’ll be two teams also not strangers to postseason success, as Kansas and Villanova square off with a trip to the national championship game on Monday at stake.

Villanova has been outstanding to this point, but the fifth-seeded Houston Cougars have been the highest-seeded team it’s had to go through so far.

Kansas has been great all season long, and the way it played in the second half of its Elite Eight game against Miami was one of the most impressive half of basketball during the tournament.

Villanova’s Collin Gillespie has been a rock for the Wildcats this season, but he won’t be enough to overcome the uber-talented Kansas squad.

In the championship game, Kansas will be much more focused and sharp, as Duke could have a tough time coming down after a huge victory against UNC, partly due to its inexperience.

Although it’ll be a close game, Kansas is the pick to cut down the nets in New Orleans.

Joe Tuman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at

Jayson O’Connell is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Connor Fenix is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Jameson Kramer is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

Joe Tuman 's photo

Joe Tuman

First Year /

Joe Tuman is a first-year student from Warminster, Pennsylvania who is majoring in broadcast journalism.  Thus far, Joe has contributed at CommRadio by writing articles, hosting podcasts, and beat writing for Penn State Women’s Soccer and Women’s Basketball.  Joe is also a big football and basketball fan and aims to pursue a career analyzing or writing about those sports.  You can contact Joe at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Connor Fenix's photo

Connor Fenix

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Connor Fenix is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. Connor is currently a beat writer for both CommRadio and The Daily Collegian. This summer, Connor plans to land a writing internship in South Carolina. To contact Connor, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow him on Twitter @FenixPSU.

Jameson Kramer's photo

Jameson Kramer

Junior /

Jameson Kramer is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. He is involved in the sports department. In addition to Comm Radio, Jameson is involved in the Daily Collegian, and is a member of Eclipse, a THON organization. To contact him, email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).