Alabama Basketball: Expert picks Final Four and National Champion


Hours away from the opening curtain of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Alabama basketball fans are excited and anxious. Most of us are also optimistic the Alabama Crimson Tide will make a deep run in the Big Dance. How deep, none of us can know.

Coping with the unknown, fans often rely on cliches. They are numerous, including,

  • “anything can happen in one game”
  • “you gotta take’em one at a time”
  • “go with the chalk”
  • “it ain’t over til the fat lady sings” (my favorite)

Or, we can look to college basketball experts for guidance. According to BOYDS BETS, 70 million NCAA Tournament brackets are filled out each year. Other sources claim the number is closer to 100 million worldwide. There has never been a verified perfect bracket.

Without a second devoted to research, I estimate the number of so-called Big Dance experts to be in the thousands. I make no claim to being one of them. Undaunted by lack of expertise, I am picking Alabama Basketball to win it all.

With that out of the way, let’s see how some real experts have picked the Final Four teams and the National Champion. Ten experts were chosen, At least two, ESPN’s Jay Bilas and former Villanova coach, Jay Wright have unimpeachable credibility. At the least, the other eight are smarter than me.

The other eight are Sporting News sources, Ryan Fagan, Mike Decourcy, Bill Bender and Elliott Pohnl; Fox Sports sources, John Fanta, Michael Cohen and Andy Katz; and one analytics source, FiveThirtyEight.

Other Alabama basketball fans might choose an entirely different group of also credible experts. This compilation was held to 10 sources for mathematical simplicity.

Alabama Basketball and other Final Four Teams

  • Alabama Crimson Tide (80%) – every source except Andy Katz and Jay Bilas has Alabama in the Final Four
  • Texas Longhorns (70%) – seven of ten to make FF
  • Duke Blue Devils (60%) – six of ten to make FF
  • Kansas Jayhawks (50%) – five of ten to make FF
  • U Conn, Marquette, Purdue, Houston and Arizona (20%) – each with two of ten to make FF
  • UCLA, Gonzaga, Indiana and Arkansas (10%) – each with one of ten to make FF

Alabama Basketball and other National Championship Teams

  • Kansas Jayhawks (30%) – three of ten to win it all
  • Alabama and Houston (20%) – two of ten to be the National Champion
  • U Conn, Purdue and Marquette (10%) – one of ten to win it all

Next. Bama and the Big Dance. dark

My ‘non-expert’ Final Four picks are the Crimson Tide, Marquette, Texas and UCLA, with my least confidence in the Bruins.