WhatIfSports.com simulated the Final Four 1,001 times using its college basketball simulation engine. See which teams are favored to win on Saturday, and which squad will capture the title on Monday night.
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
Gonzaga is the most likely team to emerge victorious this Saturday, with the Bulldogs’ 78.9 winning percentage pacing all Final Four participants. The Zags are only second in championship likelihood, though. Mark Few’s squad cut down the nets in 35.6 percent of simulations.
All is not lost for South Carolina, however. Our simulation engine has picked against the Gamecocks at literally every turn. Before the tournament began, we had Marquette upsetting South Carolina in the first round, with the Gamecocks reaching the Final Four in just 0.9 percent of simulations. Even after the field was narrowed to 16, South Carolina’s Final Four odds improved to only 5.8 percent, the lowest of any Sweet 16 team. Despite the odds, South Carolina’s championship hopes are still alive. The latest figures give the Gamecocks a 21.1 percent chance to reach the title game and a 5.0 percent chance to win it all.
The Tar Heels are the new title favorite, per the WhatIfSports simulation engine. UNC takes down Oregon in 66.0 percent of simulations and wins the championship 44.2 percent of the time. North Carolina’s title odds are the highest of the Final Four teams, edging Gonzaga by 8.6 percent.
But Oregon is no pushover. The Ducks knock off UNC 34.0 percent of the time and go on to win the championship in 15.6 percent of simulations. Oregon is without the services of leading shot-blocker Chris Boucher, but Jordan Bell stepped up with a whopping eight rejections against Kansas. Unexpected production like that could deliver another upset or two in favor of the Ducks.