Final Four 2014: Updated Bracket and Latest Expert Picks for Semifinals

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Final Four 2014: Updated Bracket and Latest Expert Picks for Semifinals
Jae C. Hong

Thanks to almost a week of buildup, experts and fans alike have had a chance to intimately dissect each 2014 Final Four matchup in order to make the best possible picks.

Of course, successfully maneuvering around a bracket is an inexact science. Or something. Or impossible.

The field is narrowed to four, which doesn't make things any easier. There's the surging, possibly Cinderella-worthy Kentucky Wildcats. The same goes for the Connecticut Huskies. The dominant Florida Gators and Wisconsin Badgers are in Dallas, too.

Expert analysis abounds after the lengthy wait, so here's a look at the most pertinent predictions from media juggernauts.

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

Bleacher Report

 

2014 Final Four
Date Matchup Time Channel Predicted Winner
4/5/14 Florida vs. UConn 6:09 p.m. TBS Florida
4/5/14 Wisconsin vs. Kentucky 8:49 p.m. TBS Kentucky

NCAA

 

Expert Picks

Bleacher Report Roundtable

Let's start at home with Bleacher Report's Jason King, Kerry Miller and C.J. Moore, who are heavily in favor of Florida, a team that has won 30 straight games, over UConn.

Connecticut, the last team to beat the Gators before they went on their streak, has been on a roll thanks to star point guard Shabazz Napier, but King in particular astutely breaks down why this time around the Gators will get the last laugh:

No team in the tournament is as hungry as Florida. The Gators start four seniors—all of whom have lost in the Elite Eight the past three seasons. Connecticut needed a miraculous, last-second shot to defeat Billy Donovan’s squad in Storrs back on Dec. 2, but Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin, one of the nation’s top defenders, wasn’t on the court for the final three minutes because of an injury.

The Wisconsin-Kentucky duel is a bit trickier, as illustrated by the fact Miller stands alone against B/R's other two experts. He's picking the Badgers, citing their experience and pesky defense that flustered the likes of No. 1 Arizona. Moore and King instead are rolling with the superior team talent-wise.

 

B/R Pick Consensus

  • Florida: 3
  • Connecticut: 0
  • Wisconsin: 1
  • Kentucky: 2

 

ESPN Roundtable

It's hard to argue with names like Rece Davis, Jay Williams, Seth Greenberg, Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale. Even they seem rather in agreement as to how the action will unfold in Dallas.

For Florida-UConn, Bilas seems adamant that Napier will get his no matter what but says Michael Frazier II—not Scottie Wilbekin—will have to knock down critical shots for the Gators to prevail.

Frazier himself seems poised, as his calm and collected manner was on display in interviews with the media leading up to the big weekend:

All experts concur that Frank Kaminsky is going to pose a serious problem for Kentucky in the other bout but have assured fans that the Wildcats' overall talent and offensive prowess will win the day.

 

ESPN Pick Consensus

  • Florida: 3
  • Connecticut: 1
  • Wisconsin: 1
  • Kentucky: 3

 

CBS Sports Roundtable

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The SEC reigns supreme once again, this time in the minds of CBS experts Gary Parrish, Doug Gottlieb, Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello.

Which set of experts got it right?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Parrish put it best as it pertains to the Kentucky-Wisconsin bout—the Wildcats have continued to roll in spite of the loss of Willie Cauley-Stein, as all coach John Calipari had to do was pluck a future pro center off the bench in order to keep the ball rolling.

As for the other matchup, the experts find it hard to ignore Florida's momentum, recent play and overall talent against a team with just one star player.

 

CBS Sports Pick Consensus

  • Florida: 4
  • Connecticut: 0
  • Wisconsin: 1
  • Kentucky: 3

 

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