National Champion Winner Predictions (Updated)
The initial field of 68 teams has shrunk down to the Sweet 16.
There have been many major upsets that have taken place during the first two rounds of action that have shaken up the field.
Here’s a look at which of the remaining teams the CommRadio sports department believes can complete the run to a national championship.
Nope, not gonna change anything after the last version of this article.
Despite a major scare in the round of 32, the Wildcats managed to stay alive against TCU in overtime.
Some of the Wildcats’ potential top opponents in the South region have already been taken down as the No. 3 seed Tennessee got knocked out against Michigan in the round of 32 and No. 4 seed Illinois got knocked out by Houston in the same round.
Now the Wildcats take on those same Cougars in the Sweet 16 and will look to continue a winning streak that has gone on since late February. - Logan Bourandas
Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders might just have the hardest path to the championship, but that does not mean they cannot get through it.
Texas Tech displayed its offensive explosiveness in the first round against Montana State, but lost a little bit of its edge in a six-point victory over the Fighting Irish in the round of 32.
Mark Adams' team will need to regain its offensive attack against the Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16. If they can end Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching career on Thursday, the Red Raiders would still need to take down the winner of Gonzaga and Arkansas to reach the Final Four.
While the offense for Texas Tech can be a question mark behind leading scorer Bryson Williams, the defense is not. The Red Raiders have the seventh best scoring defense in the nation, allowing just 60.2 points per game to opponents.
The runner-up from 2019 looks ready to get through the gauntlet that is their schedule and bring back their first ever championship trophy to campus. - Justin Ciavolella
Gonzaga has always had enough talent but has never won the big dance. However, the 2022 NCAA tournament seems like this is finally Gonzaga’s year.
Last year was supposed to be their year as well, what’s the difference this year? Well, his name is Chet Holmgren.
Gonzaga has had phenomenal top recruits in the past such as Jalen Suggs and Domantas Sabonis. However, Holmgren is a difference maker on both ends of the floor. Holmgren added four blocks to go along with his nine points in Gonzaga’s victory against Memphis Saturday night.
The star of Saturday’s close win was not Holmgren though, it was Drew Timme. Timme after being denied in the National Championship game last year, looks to be like a man on a mission this tournament. Timme had 25 points and was absolutely crucial late in the game.
Timme has become this year’s Christian Laettner. Everyone seems to hate him, but he keeps on producing when the lights are the brightest and stars are what matters in March.
Gonzaga should be the favorite in every matchup the rest of the way. - Aidan Torok
The previous 20 teams to win the NCAA tournament have been top-39 in offensive efficiency and top-22 in defensive efficiency. On top of this, the last 12 teams to win, besides UConn in 2014, have been top 15 in the preseason AP Poll and top 15 in the first AP Poll of the season.
The only teams to meet this criteria are Gonzaga, UCLA and Baylor, but with Baylor being eliminated by the Tar Heels in the Round of 32, the champion should come down to one of UCLA and Gonzaga.
The Bruins went on an impressive Final Four run last year and with the same starting five leading the team this year, they have the experience and talent to go far once again.
Coupling this with Gonzaga’s recent struggles against Memphis and UCLA could be looking at their first National Championship victory since 1995. - Jakob Schnur
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justin Ciavolella is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Aidan Torok is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jakob Schnur is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Second-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Sophmore / Broadcast Journalism
Justin Ciavolella is a first-year student from Sayville, New York, and is majoring in broadcast journalism. Justin is involved in the sports department at CommRadio doing podcasts and articles. He plans to do play-by-play on sports schedules in the near future.