The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Sports Editors’ 2024 March Madness Final Four Picks

Jack Donovan:

North Carolina State (NC State) has embarked on an incredible run this month. The Wolfpack lost seven of their last nine regular season games before winning nine straight games across the ACC and NCAA tournaments to make an improbable appearance in the Final Four. Just a No. 11 seed, NC State is now set to take on the No. 1 seed Purdue, who are led by the reigning National Player of the Year, Zach Edey. Edey has been supplemented with some excellent guard play and three-point shooting, but he’s truly a one-man wrecking ball, averaging 30 points and over 16 rebounds per game in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack have had a great run, but I don’t think they can hang with this Purdue squad, who I see winning by around 15 points. 

On the other side of the bracket, No. 4 seed Alabama takes on the No. 1 overall seed in the University of Connecticut (UConn). The Crimson Tide, led by Mark Sears, have been one of the best offenses in the Tournament. On the other side, the defending champion Huskies have a much more well-rounded attack, with defensive anchor Donovan Clingan the standout. UConn has won all four of their Tournament games in 2024 by 25 or more points, highlighted by an outrageous 30-0 run in their Elite Eight matchup against Illinois. They seem unbeatable and I expect that to continue with another lopsided victory over Alabama.

With Purdue and UConn in the championship, we see a matchup between two of the three best teams entering the NCAA Tournament. Purdue will give UConn some trouble, but I still like UConn to repeat as national champions.


Ian Gisiger:

What a ride it has been, folks. 64 teams entered the NCAA Tournament, many with championship aspirations, but nevertheless, four battle-tested squads remain standing. As always, there has been excitement in every round. I did not expect NC State to upset Duke, but their big players showed up when it mattered most, with D.J. Burns Jr.’s 29 points earning a shoutout from premier NBA big man Nikola Jokic. I really wanted to see Jarred McCain’s TikToks in the Final Four, who himself put up 32 points, but, alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

My bracket is most definitely busted; however, my prospective champion, Purdue, remains standing. I am a believer of Zach Edey and it’s not just because we are both Canadian. The Boilermakers are on one heck of a revenge tour after last year’s disappointment, and I believe we will see then in the finals. Edey will just be too much to handle for NC State. In the other semifinal, I have UConn over Alabama. Coach Dan Hurley’s hard-nosed coaching style has taken social media by storm over the past couple of weeks. His almost performative but clearly effective antics have proven as a recipe for success for the reigning national champs, and I think we will see the powerhouse program return to the finals. The final matchup between these two heavyweights will be tightly contested. Still, I think Purdue reeling from last year will have the hunger that UConn may not. The boilermakers will serve as too much of a challenge for the huskies. Purdue (and Canada) win this one.


Richie Rosen:

Alabama has had a great run during this year’s NCAA Tournament. Their performance this year marks the first time that the program has reached the Final Four and it’s a testament to the coaching staff as much as it is to the players; Alabama has been building towards this moment for over the past five years. With that being said, I don’t see them being the object that halts the unstoppable force that is this year’s UConn squad. UConn has steamrolled its way through the Tournament and although Alabama is going to be their most trying test yet, I think that the Huskies are going to end up comfortably in the championship game. 

Picking NC State is definitely a long shot here, but I want to see it happen — and it’s not like they don’t have a chance. The Wolfpack has silenced any doubters about their legitimacy after taking down No. 4 seed Duke last Saturday by 12 points. Purdue, however, is going to be tough. The top-seeded Boilermakers have also proven themselves to be a worthy top-dawg. Their 72-66 win over Tennessee was proof enough. Ultimately though, I think that momentum is the biggest needle-mover at this stage in the tournament and, right now, there is no team with more of it than NC State. I’m going to stick with the underdogs here, though, and say that the Wolfpack is going to continue their historic run, come April 6. 


Caroline Michaud:

As they say, anything can happen in March. While we still have two one-seeds alive in this year’s final four, it’s safe to say nothing about this year’s tournament, as is true every year, is predictable. I’ll start with this year’s Cinderella story: NC State . Out of the three ACC teams from the Raleigh/Durham area, it’s safe to say no was expecting the Wolfpack to still be in the hunt this late in the Tournament. While Purdue and Zach Edey have been strong in March, I have to pick the underdog here. NC State has been able to have this run due to their ability to hold their opponents back on defense. If the Wolfpack can guard Edey, who’s put up four double-doubles in the Tournament so far, I think they can take Purdue. While I might regret putting my No. 11 seed pick over the No. 1 pick in writing, NC State handed Duke their largest margin of defeat this season, proving that they are here to play. 

Moving on to Alabama’s matchup against UConn, my bracket has the Huskies going all the way. While looking at the numbers, it may appear that the Crimson Tide can hang with UConn heading into this matchup, let’s not forget that Alabama has trailed in each of their games during the Tournament, while UConn has only trailed for a matter of seconds. For Alabama to prevent UConn from attempting repeat national championships, they’re going to need to be accurate from the 3-point line; otherwise, I see the Huskies running away with it. Whether it’s against NC State or even Purdue, the Huskies are my favorite by a long shot.

More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *