Final Four 2019: Schedule, Odds and Elite 8 Predictions

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2019

Duke guard Tre Jones (3) reacts after scoring against Virginia Tech during the second half of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament East Region semifinal in Washington, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

In one week, the men's Final Four will take place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the first time. Before that, though, the NCAA tournament field needs to be cut in half.

The Elite Eight round takes place Saturday and Sunday, with two matchups each night. The winners advance to next Saturday's national semifinals.

The national championship game will then take place April 8.

There are three No. 1 seeds, two No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds and one No. 5 seed remaining in this year's tournament.




NCAA Tournament Schedule, Odds (All Times ET)

Elite Eight


No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (-4), 6:09 p.m., TBS

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 1 Virginia (-4.5), 8:49 p.m., TBS



No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 2 Kentucky (-2.5), 2:20 p.m., CBS

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Duke (-1.5), 5:05 p.m., CBS


Final Four

April 6

Semifinal 1, 6 p.m., CBS

Semifinal 2, 8:30 p.m., CBS


April 8

National championship, 9 p.m., CBS


Elite Eight Predictions

No. 1 Gonzaga over No. 3 Texas Tech

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Rui Hachimura #21 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs dunks the ball against Mfiondu Kabengele #25 of the Florida State Seminoles during the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Honda Center on March 28, 2019 in Anahe
Harry How/Getty Images

In a matchup of contrasting styles, Gonzaga's high-powered scoring attack will get the better of Texas Tech's stout defense in this opening Elite Eight game.

The Bulldogs average 88.2 points per game and shoot 52.8 percent from the field. The Red Raiders hold opponents to 58.7 points per game and 36.5 percent shooting.

"They're really good offensively, and we're really good defensively," Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney said, according to the New York Post. "We'll see who wins out."

It will be Gonzaga, which will make the Final Four for the second time in program history and for the first time since 2017.


No. 1 Virginia over No. 3 Purdue

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Much like Saturday's first matchup, this is another one featuring contrasting styles.

Virginia has allowed 56 or fewer points in each of its three NCAA tournament wins. Meanwhile, Purdue scored 99 points in its overtime win over No. 2 seed Tennessee in the Sweet 16 round.

However, the Cavaliers have been dominant for much of the season, and they will continue their run to their first Final Four since 1984.

"It helps that we try to stay calm under pressure and that we try to execute and get stops defensively, no matter what the score is or how hectic the game is going," Virginia guard Kyle Guy said, according to ESPN.com. "That will always be in our advantage, and we're going to try to continue to bring that to every game."


No. 2 Kentucky over No. 5 Auburn

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

This will be the third time these SEC rivals have faced off this season. Kentucky won both previous meetings, beating Auburn 82-80 on Jan. 19 and 80-53 on Feb. 23.

Sunday's game will be closer than their last matchup, but the end result will be the same. Auburn may be coming off a win over No. 1 seed North Carolina, but it won't be able to take down a Kentucky squad that has sophomore forward PJ Washington back in the lineup.

After not playing since the SEC tournament semifinals, Washington returned during the Sweet 16 round, scoring 16 points in Kentucky's win over No. 3 seed Houston.

"I took some pain pills before the game. Kind of started hurting in the second half, but I have to tough through it," Washington said, according to the Associated Press. "Through the end of the game, it was trying to cramp up."


No. 1 Duke over No. 2 Michigan State

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

This will be the toughest test that Duke, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, has faced yet. And the Blue Devils are coming off a pair of slim victories, as they beat No. 9 seed UCF by one point in the second round and No. 4 seed Virginia Tech by two points in the Sweet 16.

However, this Duke team is too talented not to make it to the Final Four, as it features a trio of star freshmen in Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. However, Reddish missed Duke's game against Virginia Tech on Friday with a knee injury, and his status for Sunday is unknown.

Nonetheless, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski will guide his team past another veteran coach, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, into the next round.

"They've never backed down; they've never been afraid the whole year," Krzyzewski said, according to CBSSports.com. "And we played this amazing schedule. And the spotlight's on these kids from day one to now. So to have that on them and still respond the way they do, it's really terrific for these kids."