Jim Powers Picks Maryland in Final Four Predictions


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The 2019-20 College Basketball season tips off this week and TGR Experts have their Final Four Predictions. Plus check out the Odds to Win the National Championship.

The 2018-19 season closed out with Virginia knocking off Texas Tech in the title game as the Cavaliers picked up their first-ever championship in men’s basketball. The 2019-20 campaign is here as the only team that made the Final Four last April that is on everyone’s radar is Michigan State, who begins this season as the top-ranked team in the country.

The Spartans are the most popular selection among our experts to return to the Final Four, while the team they bounced in the Elite Eight, Duke, is the second most popular choice to reach Atlanta. Kansas and Kentucky both fell short of the Final Four last season, but each legendary school is expected to bounce back and make a run this season.

College basketball expert Jim Powers feels like another Big 10 squad besides Michigan State will represent the conference in Atlanta. “Maryland finally looks like a team that can go a long way. I do not think the Big 10 is that strong this year with the exception of top-ranked Michigan State. Even if they lose twice to them, they should get a favorable seed and bracket. Led by senior PG Anthony Cowan and sophomore and potential lottery pick Jalen Smith, these Terps could be Coach Mark Turgeon’s best team since he took over. They have 5 solid sophmores and twin big freshman in the Mitchell brothers. This team will be dangerous and my pick to upset Kansas in the Finals, Powers says.

There’s normally a team that flies under the radar that makes a run to the Final Four. Jim Powers predicts St. Mary’s as that squad, “Four-point losers to Villanova in the NCAA Tournament last season, St. Mary’s has nearly everyone back this season from the 22-win squad that beat Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament last season. There are enough power conference tests on the schedule this season to give the Gaels an attractive at-large profile this season should they wind up unable to earn the auto-bid again, starting with a big opener at Wisconsin next week.”

Villanova is a team to watch for in the Big East, but we believe Marquette can be the club to beat in that conference, “Marquette will have plenty of motivation after losing to Murray State in the first round of last year’s tournament. They return their entire starting line up including Markus Howard the sixth leading scorer in the country. Currently the Golden Eagles are a 40/1 shot to win the title. At that price it’s creating good value to invest in.”

FINAL FOUR PREDICTIONS:

Jim Powers:  Maryland, Michigan St, Kansas, Florida

Ken Barnes: Michigan St, Duke, Florida, Kentucky

Al Merritt: Maryland, North Carolina, Michigan St, Virginia

Benny Diamond: Kansas, Louisville, Kentucky, Villanova

LATEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL TITLE ODDS:

Michigan State Spartans 6/1
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North Carolina Tar Heels 10/1
Duke Blue Devils 12/1
Florida Gators 14/1
Louisville Cardinals 16/1
Memphis Tigers 18/1
Villanova Wildcats 20/1
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Virginia Cavaliers 25/1
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Oregon Ducks 30/1
Texas Tech Red Raiders 30/1
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Maryland Terrapins 40/1
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Utah State Aggies 60/1
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West Virginia Mountaineers 60/1
Michigan Wolverines 80/1
Washington Huskies 80/1
Xavier Musketeers 80/1
Florida State Seminoles 80/1
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Mississippi State Bulldogs 100/1
Tennessee Volunteers 100/1
Houston Cougars 100/1
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