Skip to main content

Looking at the early favorites to reach the Final Four in Minneapolis

These are the top teams in the country, and in bracketology.

The Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium is still months away, but the top dogs in college basketball have been identified, giving us an idea of who the favorites are to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. 

Of course, 16-seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County beat 1-seed Virginia and 11-seed Loyola-Chicago made it to the Final Four last year, so just because a team is highly ranked doesn't guarantee a trip to Minneapolis awaits.  

That said, No. 1 seeds have taken up half of the Final Four slots since 2015, and 11 of the 16 Final Four teams since then have been top three seeds. But from 2010 to 2014 there was never more than a single 1-seed in the Final Four and in 2011 none of the 1 or 2 seeds made it. 

Seeds in the Final Four each year since 2010: 

  • 2018: 1, 1, 3, 11
  • 2017: 1, 1, 3, 7
  • 2016: 1, 2, 2, 10
  • 2015: 1, 1, 1, 7
  • 2014: 1, 2, 7, 8
  • 2013: 1, 4, 4, 9
  • 2012: 1, 2, 2, 4
  • 2011: 3, 4, 8, 11
  • 2010: 1, 2, 5, 5

Regardless, the favorites will be top seeds in the tournament and ESPN's Joe Lunardi currently has Duke, Virginia, Michigan State and Tennessee as the four No. 1 seeds. 

Lunardi's No. 2 seeds are Kentucky, Michigan, Gonzaga and North Carolina, and the 3 seeds are Purdue, Marquette, Kansas and Houston. 

Minnesota, if you're wondering, is an 11-seed in Lunardi's latest bracketology. The Gophers are an 8-seed in Jerry Palm's latest bracketology at CBS Sports

Palm's No. 1 seeds: Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Duke

Palm's No. 2 seeds: Kansas, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Kentucky

Palm's No. 3 seeds: Houston, Virginia Tech, Marquette, LSU

So right now, Lunardi and Palm, arguably the two most respected bracketologists, have a consensus with their No. 1 seeds and very few differences in the teams they project to get the No. 2 and 3 seeds. 

If Duke advances to the Final Four it would mean a chance for Minnesota's 2019 Mr. Basketball winner, Tre Jones (Apple Valley High School), to play in front of his hometown fans. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.04.40 PM

Ramen bar announced for upcoming Eat Street Crossing food hall

The restaurant roster is filling up at Eat Street Crossing.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.


Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.


Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.


2,000 volunteers needed for NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis

None of the volunteer work will be inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

Final Four Minneapolis

Guide to events happening in Minneapolis during Final Four week

April 4-8 will be filled with exciting March Madness events.

Tre Jones

3 Minnesotans 1 win from reaching Final Four in Minneapolis

The NCAA's Elite 8 are set, with the Final Four decided this weekend.

Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 7.27.34 AM

These streets are closing ahead of Final Four in Minneapolis

Closures will be rolled out incrementally over the next two weeks.

Jarrett Culver

Final Four stars the Wolves could consider drafting

Some names for Wolves fans to keep an eye during the Final Four.