March Madness Predictions 2022 | NCAA Tournament Bracket Best Bets & Picks
The Game Day’s staff bracket for this year’s NCAA Tournament is here.
Seven of our college basketball experts submitted their brackets, which were then tabulated and combined into one that represents their collective choices.
We were lucky enough to have March Madness brackets filled out by
- Frank Ammirante
- Zach Brunner
- Adam Kramer
- Tanner McGrath
- Pat Pickens
- Jason Radowitz
- and me, Garrett Chorpenning
Unsurprisingly, our CBB tournament expert picks saw few unanimous decisions.
Check out the bracket below to see our March Madness tournament picks in full, and stick around to see our writers defend their picks and name their 2022 National Champions.
Please note that all college basketball odds and statistics are current as of Friday, March 18, at 12 p.m. ET.
March Madness Expert Bracket Picks
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March Madness Bracket Prediction Results
- WEST: Gonzaga was the overwhelming favorite to represent the West in the Final Four, with only one writer picking against them.
- SOUTH: The South region was also heavily skewed in favor of Arizona.
- MIDWEST: Kansas outlasted a mostly chalk region to reach the Final Four.
- EAST: Kentucky got just enough support to advance to the Final Four.
Experts’ Favorite Cinderellas
A handful of Cinderellas emerged in the process as well. 13-seed Vermont was chief among them, with the Catamounts being picked to upset both Arkansas and Connecticut en route to the Sweet Sixteen.
Elsewhere, 11-seeded Virginia Tech was chosen to beat Texas, and 13-seed South Dakota State was picked over Providence.
- I’ve already mentioned the Hokies, but I’m also high on South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits shoot the lights out and haven’t lost a game in three months. Keep an eye on Colgate and UAB, too — I have a feeling they could each knock off their respective first-round opponents, Wisconsin and Houston. –GARRETT CHORPENNING
- Creighton. The Blue Jays have been heating up, with 10 wins in their past 13 games, including victories over Marquette and Providence in the Big East Tournament and a tight game with eventual champion Villanova. Creighton is battle-tested and is flying below the radar. Don’t be stunned if they go on a run. — PAT PICKENS
- Keep an eye on Virginia Tech, a legitimate contender that could send some top seeds home early. The Hokies just knocked off Duke to win the ACC Tournament. —FRANK AMMIRANTE
- Gonzaga is the heavy tourney favorite, but they could run into my favorite Cinderella: Vermont. The Catamounts are experienced, protect the ball, and have a terrific offense. I do, however, have them losing to the Zags in a heartbreaker. —ZACH BRUNNER
- Double-digit seeds that could make the Sweet 16: (1) No. 13 Vermont: My favorite team and the most dangerous offensive team in the top-end of the bracket; (2) No. 10 Davidson: Also electric offensively; and (3) No. 11 Virginia Tech: Has a great inside-out duo with Keve Aluma and Storm Murphy. — TANNER MCGRATH
- I’ve got USC and Michigan going to the Elite Eight. Other teams that can potentially get to the Sweet 16 would include Vermont and South Dakota State. Both of these teams have electric offenses that can stick with any team in the nation. —JASON RADOWITZ
Final Four & National Champion Picks
National Champion Pick
- Gonzaga (3 votes)
- Arizona (2 votes)
- Kentucky (1 vote)
- Tennessee (1 vote)
Final Four Picks
- Gonzaga (6 votes)
- Arizona (6 votes)
- Kentucky (4 votes)
- Kansas (4 votes)
- Tennessee (2 votes)
- Purdue (2 votes)
- Auburn (2 votes)
- Iowa (1 vote)
- Texas Tech (1 vote)
- Texas (1 vote)
FRANK AMMIRANTE: We’re going with some chalk in the Final Four. Gonzaga is the most balanced team in the nation.
Kentucky is led by one of the best players in college basketball in Oscar Tshiebwe to go along with a coaching legend in John Calipari.
Arizona is the second-best team in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. Kansas has a prolific offense with guard Ochai Agbaji running the show.
Ultimately, though, I’m picking Kentucky to win it all this year. They’re poised to make up for a disappointing season in 2021.
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ZACH BRUNNER: I believe Gonzaga has the easiest route the Final Four. However, they could run into my favorite Cinderella — Vermont. The Catamounts are experienced, protect the ball, and have a terrific offense. I do, however, have them losing to the Zags in a heartbreaker.
Health concerns hurt Arizona, helping Tennessee to escape from the South. In the Midwest, Kansas sees a relatively easy route to the Final Four as well. Kentucky represents the East region. In the National Championship between Gonzaga and Kansas, the Bulldogs’ improved defense will be the difference late.
GARRETT CHORPENNING: I’m going mostly chalk for my Final Four, with Gonzaga, Kentucky, Arizona, and Kansas all heading to New Orleans. Ultimately, I think Gonzaga gets the job done, though I think each team will have a scare or two along the way.
It wouldn’t shock me to see all four of these teams bounced in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. Texas Tech is a big threat in the West. Virginia Tech and UCLA are both capable of upsetting Kentucky. Tennessee could knock off Arizona. I feel the most secure about Kansas, but Iowa is red-hot and my favorite dark-horse contender.
ADAM KRAMER: Give me Gonzaga, Purdue, Tennessee and Auburn for my Final Four — a mix of hot teams, class and talent. As for the National Championship, I’m taking Tennessee over Purdue.
I know, I know. It’s the hot hand. But I love how this team is playing, and I think the draw actually suits them. Purdue rebounds after a loss in the Big Ten Championship Game only to come up just short.
TANNER McGRATH: I really do think this is Gonzaga’s year. Sigh. I’m ready to be disappointed again.
Last season’s Zags team was better than this one, but the competition is significantly weaker. There is no Baylor that is on the same level or better. Instead, the biggest challenger will be Arizona, a team that’s short its starting point guard.
Kentucky’s roster is too talented and too well-rounded not to make a Final Four run, and I think Iowa is getting hot at the right time. But those teams are both a tier below Gonzaga and Arizona.
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PAT PICKENS: Gonzaga, the No. 1 overall seed, has been on a collision course with the Final Four since falling to Baylor a year ago. With few true heavyweights in its region — unfortunately, Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t have a vintage Duke team in his final run at a sixth national championship — the Zags should roll to New Orleans.
The rest of the top seeds might not be so lucky. Auburn, which at times was the No. 1 team in the nation, should join Purdue, which has arguably the nation’s scariest 1-2 punch in Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey, and Pac-12 champ Arizona. In the end, I’m taking Arizona over Gonzaga.
JASON RADOWITZ: Arizona looks like the best and most complete team in the nation. After coming back from double digits down in the Pac-12 Finals against UCLA, it’s obvious that this team has no quit in them. They’re my pick to win it all.
In the Final Four, I’m also including Kansas, Texas Tech, and Texas. Kansas should be able to cruise to the Elite Eight, where they’ll be challenged by USC. Texas Tech has arguably the best defense in the nation. Texas really doesn’t get enough credit for what it’s accomplished this year, especially on defense.
2022 Bracket Best Bets
Arizona to Win NCAA Tournament (+550) at Caesars
Gonzaga’s odds are too obvious; go with the No. 2 pick from this crew.
Arizona: Win NCAA Tournament
Bet $20, Payout $130
Creighton To Win Midwest Region (+3000) at Caesars
Creighton’s lockdown defense could take them far in this tournament.
Creighton: Win Midwest Region
Bet $20, Payout $620