Elite 8 2019: Full Schedule and Final Four Bracket Predictions

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2019

Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts to a referee's call during the second half of the team's NCAA men's college basketball tournament East Region semifinal against Virginia Tech in Washington, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Which college basketball teams will be traveling to Minneapolis to take part in this year's men's Final Four? It's time to find out.

The Elite Eight round unfolds Saturday and Sunday, with spots in next weekend's national semifinals on the line. The winners will secure their berth in this year's Final Four, and then look to go on to the national championship game on April 8.

First, though, this weekend has four great matchups that should provide some excellent action.




NCAA Tournament Schedule (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

Saturday, April 6

Semifinal 1, 6 p.m., CBS

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


Monday, April 8

National championship, 9 p.m., CBS


Final Four Predictions

This year's NCAA tournament has been dominated by the top seeds. Although No. 1 seed North Carolina was eliminated on Friday, the other three No. 1 seeds—Duke, Gonzaga and Virginia—are all in the Elite Eight.

There's also no team seeded lower than a No. 5 seed remaining. And Auburn is the lone No. 5 seed in a field that has seven Nos. 1, 2 or 3 seeds.

Don't expect upsets at this point, as the top teams in the country have shown throughout March Madness they are the best. That's why Duke, Gonzaga and Virginia will all advance to the Final Four and be joined by No. 2 seed Kentucky.

Duke has had a pair of close calls the past two rounds, as it 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. Plus, freshman standout Cam Reddish missed Friday's game against the Hokies, and it's uncertain what his status is for Sunday and beyond.

However, fellow freshmen Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett will carry the load for the Blue Devils.

"I can't say we're destined to be in the championship because that'll give somebody else fuel," Williamson said, according to ESPN.com. "So whoever wants it more, I think that's who wins."

Duke will be joined in the Final Four by ACC rival Virginia, which has relied on defense for much of the season, including during the NCAA tournament. The Cavaliers will continue to stay true to the style that has worked so well for them in the past.

Kentucky didn't win the SEC regular-season championship or the conference tournament title, but the Wildcats could be peaking at the right time. Sophomore forward PJ Washington returned for their Sweet 16 win over No. 3 seed Houston, and having him back will help Kentucky continue its run.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Gonzaga may not have had as difficult of a conference schedule as these other three schools, but the Bulldogs have shown they belong. Not only have they won three NCAA tournament games, but during the regular season, they were also the only team to beat Duke when the Blue Devils were at full strength.

Back on track after losing in the West Coast Conference tournament championship game, Gonzaga is poised to make its second Final Four trip in program history.

"Right now, the sole focus is how to beat Texas Tech," Bulldogs senior guard Josh Perkins said, according to the Orange County Register. "We're ready to give it our all for 40 minutes to make our dreams come true."