This year’s edition of the NCAA Tournament, better known as March Madness, has already started, but things are only getting warmed up.
Of course, predictions of the bracket are one of the most exciting parts of March Madness and this year is no different. So, these are our top Elite 8 predictions for March Madness 2022 and a closer look at the teams that ended up in this stage in our bracket.
Elite 8 Predictions – Which Teams Can Find Their Way Here?
Many teams are looking for their chance to get to the Elite 8 stage of the NCAA Tournament and we expect to see some familiar faces in this phase for sure.
But March Madness never fails to disappoint and brings excitement in form of upsets and surprises, so we also expect to see some non-favorites reach the March Madness Elite 8 stage. Don’t forget to check out our Sweet 16 bracket predictions.
West Region – NCAA Elite 8 Predictions
No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Zags are ranked number one overall and that’s saying a lot about their quality and ambitions for this NCAA Tournament. And while March Madness can be very unpredictable at times, we don’t doubt for a second that the Bulldogs will get at least to the Elite Eight stage.
Led by one of the best college players Chet Holmgren and a potential top pick in the NBA draft, Gonzaga gets into the tournament after dominating the competition in the WCC. In addition to Holmgren, Gonzaga also has Drew Timme, who was named WCC Player of the Year.
No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders
While Texas Tech is not such a big name in NCAA circles since the Red Raiders only reached the Final Four once in their history in 2019, they are a very good team and they are the rising power that has to be taken into account.
The basis of the success for the Red Raiders in recent years was their defense and even a coaching change didn’t change that since the former assistant and now head coach Mark Adams also puts the focus on defense and that’s why Texas Tech is the top defense in the country.
East Region – NCAA Elite 8 Predictions
No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky is always on the shortlist of teams that are candidates to win it all, led by a coach that developed many NBA players and starts, John Calipari. The Wildcats have an interesting mix of experience and youth and they had the most efficient offense in the entire SEC.
The team has a few interesting prospects like Sahvir Wheeler and Kellan Grady, but the most interesting Kentucky player is Oscar Tshiebwe. The lengthy forward is averaging 17 points per game and a whopping 15.1 rebounds per game, helping the Wildcats grab 40% of their misses when he is on the floor.
No. 4 UCLA Bruins
We have seen an amazing, surprising, and some might even say miraculous run last season by the Bruins when they reached the Final Four despite being the 11th seed and playing in the First Four tournament to get to the main bracket in the first place.
Now the Bruins are the fourth seed and they won’t surprise anyone if they reach the Final Four again since the team has the most efficient defense of the PAC-12 conference and a very effective offense as well. Led by the strong candidate for the Wooden Award Johnny Juzang, UCLA should at least reach the Elite Eight stage, especially with the top-seeded Baylor having too many injury problems.
South Region – NCAA Elite 8 Predictions
No. 1 Arizona Wildcats
The Wildcats are one of the main favorites to win it all this year and while we don’t necessarily agree with it, we don’t doubt that Arizona will get to the March Madness Elite 8 stage. This belief is even stronger now after witnessing Arizona’s win in the PAC-12 tournament beforehand.
The coach Tommy Lloyd had a tough challenge ahead after taking over from Sean Miller whose tenure was ended by an FBI investigation, but Lloyd managed to pull the team together and win the national championship in his first season as a Division I coach.
No. 2 Villanova Wildcats
One of the teams that know how to win the NCAA Tournament is Villanova after winning the title twice in the previous five years. That experience is often crucial in tight and tough March Madness duels and the Wildcats have plenty of experience to at least get them to the Elite 8 stage.
The team is led by Collin Gillespie, who returned for his fifth season with the team thanks to the NCAA’s decision to extend eligibility by one year due to pandemics. Gillespie is the true leader of the team since he already won the NCAA Tournament as a freshman and he is a two-time Player of the Year in the Big East.
Midwest Region – NCAA Elite 8 Predictions
No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks
Straight after their win in the Big 12 tournament, Kansas is rightfully seeded as the number one in the Midwest Region and they are one of the teams that are getting far this year in many prediction brackets for March Madness.
The team is led by Ochai Agbaji, a fantastic shooter who averages nearly 20 PPG and around 40% for the three-point line. But Agbaji has a lot of help from Christian Braun, Dajuan Harris Jr, Jalen Wilson, and David McCormack. If Remy Martin can find his rhythm for this tournament, the Jayhawks can be great.
No.3 Wisconsin Badgers
Led by a true college superstar and one of the main NBA prospects Johnny Davies, the Badgers are seen as one of the main candidates from the shadows, if that’s a good expression to use for a team that is seeded third in the Midwest.
While it’s tough to see Wisconsin get to the very end since they don’t have a lot of depth behind Davies, they can certainly reach the Elite 8 stage at the very least, and then everything is possible since just one step remains until the Final Four.