March Madness 2024: FOX Sports experts make their NCAA Tournament predictions

With the NCAA Tournament set to tip off on Tuesday, it's time for college basketball fans to fill out their brackets. Anyone who has filled out a bracket in the past knows it's a daunting task and there is no shortage of ways things can go wrong. This year's tournament also seems wider open than usual, with several teams suffering key injuries and several others experiencing late-season surges.

Despite these challenges, the 2024 NCAA Tournament is sure to provide excitement, drama, and madness. To help bracketologists, FOX Sports college basketball experts John Fanta and Michael Cohen answer key questions ahead of the Big Dance.

  1. Which team, seeded 1-4, is in the most danger of being upset in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament?

As Kansas will be without the services of Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson, Fanta and Cohen both believe the Jayhawks are in danger of becoming upset victims. While Samford is a talented team with a 29-5 record, the Bulldogs' strength lies in its depth. This will be key against a Kansas team that lacks depth and has lost four of its last five games.

  1. Which double-digit seed has the best path to making a Sweet 16 run, or beyond?

Michael Cohen believes McNeese is a team to watch as the Cowboys feature a efficient offense and don't turn the ball over much. He also noted that coach Will Wade has experience in the tournament, which could help. Meanwhile, Fanta highlighted New Mexico, a team that is favored in its matchup and features veteran guards in Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr.

  1. Who is one player in this year's NCAA Tournament that the average college basketball fan doesn't know about, but could make some noise in the Big Dance?

Fanta highlights Tucker DeVries of Drake, while Cohen mentions DaRon Holmes II of Dayton. DeVries is a junior who is an "absolute bucket" and can score in a variety of ways. He shredded Indiana State with 27 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the Missouri Valley title game. Meanwhile, Holmes II is a force on both ends of the floor, averaging 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.

  1. UConn is the favorite to win this year's NCAA Tournament, listed at +400. If there is one team that has the goods to beat the Huskies and stop their quest to win back-to-back titles, who is it, and why?

Fanta believes Auburn is the team that can knock off the Huskies. While many believe Iowa State would be the biggest challenge in the East region, Fanta and Cohen both believe the Cyclones won't make it out of the Sweet 16. Auburn features five players who average between 7.1 and 12.4 points per game and has the defense to slow down the Huskies.

  1. What piece of advice would you give to someone who doesn't follow college basketball closely, but is filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket?

Michael Cohen advises bracketologists to trust balanced teams, as there has only been one national champion who didn't rank among the top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency since 1999. This year, that list includes UConn, Houston, Purdue, Auburn, Arizona, North Carolina, Creighton, and Marquette. Fanta urges people to not translate dominance in conference tournaments to the NCAA Tournament, don't be afraid to pick a 13-seed, and take risks. Bold picks are often what leads to success in filling out a bracket.

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