March Madness 2022: NCAA Final Four, national championship picks

Nick Gray
Nashville Tennessean

The 2022 NCAA Tournament begins with the First Four on Tuesday and the first round on Thursday. 

Gonzaga is the current betting favorite, with Kentucky and others not far behind. 

Now that we know the brackets and the regions, the USA TODAY Network South Region's expert reporters are identifying their Final Four and national championship picks.

Take a look below, and check back throughout the week as more picks are added.

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2022 Final Four, national championship picks

Mikey DiLullo, The Tuscaloosa News

Final Four: Gonzaga, UCLA, Arizona, Kansas

National championship:  Gonzaga over Kansas. Two of the best programs in college basketball meet with the Zags winning their first national championship.

Maxwell Donaldson, The Tuscaloosa News

Final Four: Duke, Baylor, Arizona, Auburn

National championship: Duke over Auburn. Coach K goes out a winner.

Bennett Durando, Montgomery Advertiser

Final Four: Gonzaga, Kentucky, Arizona, Iowa

National championship: Arizona over Gonzaga. A blueblood out west is finally getting a long-awaited title, but it won't be the Zags. Tommy Lloyd's remarkable season started with Arizona unranked. It will end with the Wildcats' first championship in 25 years.

Gentry Estes, The Tennessean

Final Four:  Gonzaga, UCLA, Arizona, Auburn

National championship: Gonzaga over Arizona. Not overthinking this and going with the best team on paper.

Chase Goodbread, The Tuscaloosa News

Final Four:  Texas Tech, Kentucky, Arizona, Iowa

National championship:  Arizona over Kentucky. Arizona's balanced scoring, and the defense it gets around the rim with center Christian Koloko, will be too much for UK.

Nick Gray, USA TODAY Network

Final Four: Texas Tech, Kentucky, Villanova, Kansas

National championship: Texas Tech over Villanova. In a season shaped by physical play, Tech's tenacious defense wins out. 

Erik Hall, USA TODAY Network

Final Four:  Texas Tech, San Francisco, Illinois, Iowa

National championship: Illinois over Texas Tech. The Big Ten ends its national title draught with the Illini cutting down the nets.

Ehsan Kassim, The Gadsden Times

Final Four: Gonzaga, UCLA, Arizona and Auburn

National championship: Gonzaga over Arizona.

Nick Kelly, The Tuscaloosa News

Final Four:  Gonzaga, Baylor, Tennessee, Iowa

National championship:  Gonzaga over Tennessee. The Bulldogs finally get their title after coming close in 2021 and 2017.

Christina Long, Southwest Times Record

Final Four: Gonzaga, Purdue, Tennessee, Kansas

National championship:  Gonzaga over Kansas. The Zags will fight through the challenging West region and claim their first ever national title.

Jason Munz, The Commercial Appeal

Final Four:  Gonzaga UCLA, Tennessee, Kansas

National championship: Gonzaga over Kansas. The Zags close the deal this time.

Mike Organ, The Tennessean

Final Four:  Gonzaga, Baylor, Tennessee, Kansas

National championship: Gonzaga gets redemption without the pressure of an undefeated record. 

Koki Riley, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Final Four: UConn, Kentucky, Tennessee and Kansas

National championship:  Kentucky over Kansas. Oscar Tshiebwe, the best player in the nation, dominates David McCormack inside to seal the Wildcats' second national title under John Calipari.

Chris Thomas, The Tennessean

Final Four: Gonzaga, Kentucky, Arizona, Wisconsin

National championship: Gonzaga over Arizona. The chalk lines up for a showdown between the nation’s top two programs. The Zags present too many matchup problems for both Wildcats teams it will face en route to the title.

Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY Network

Final Four:  Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas

National championship:  Duke over Kansas. Upsets will dominate the tournament narrative in the first round, but the blueblood programs will stand tall in the end. Wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga showed Duke’s potential. After a couple of late-season stumbles, Duke will recover to give Mike Krzyzewski the ultimate send-off.