March Madness 2019: Predictions before the NCAA Tournament bracket announcement

 cbssports.com  3/17/2019 2:29:00 PM 

The most wonderful day of the year in college basketball has finally arrived as we enter the thick of March. It's Selection Sunday, and in a few short hours, 68 teams from around the country will realize a dream when they're announced as members of the field in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The 2019 NCAA Tournament Selection Show will air on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on CBS and can be streamed live on March Madness Live and fuboTV (try for free) as that field of 68 will all anxiously await to learn their fate for later this week. 

When it comes to the NCAA Tournament and the bracket, for many, it's all about predictions. It's never too early to start making those predictions and picks for the most exciting tournament in sports, though, and you don't have to wait until the official announcement. As we all anticipate the release of this year's field later this afternoon, we can certainly take a look ahead at what could be on the horizon in the NCAA Tournament this year as March Madness heats up. 

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Below, you can have a look at some of the predictions from our CBS Sports college basketball experts and what they anticipate being headed our way from this year's NCAA Tournament festivities. 

Gary Parrish

  • Team destined for early exit: LSU
  • Final Four team that no one picked right: Houston
  • Final Four team that everyone picked right: Duke
  • Last mid-major standing: Buffalo
  • Elite team that almost loses in Round 1: Purdue
  • Everyone's favorite first-weekend player: Ja Morant
  • Highest scoring average of the tournament: RJ Barrett
  • Player who hits the most absurd game-winner: Markus Howard
  • Coach who gets his own unforgettable highlight: Fran McCaffery

Matt Norlander

  • Team destined for early exit: Auburn
  • Final Four team that no one picked right: Houston
  • Final Four team that everyone picked right: Kentucky
  • Last mid-major standing: Nevada
  • Elite team that scares everyone in Round 1: Michigan
  • Everyone's favorite first-weekend player: Fletcher Magee
  • Highest scoring average of the tournament: Carsen Edwards
  • Player who hits the most absurd game-winner: Tyler Herro
  • Coach who gets his own unforgettable highlight: Nate Oats

Kyle Boone

  • Team destined for early exit: Kansas
  • Final Four team that no one picked right: Kansas State
  • Final Four team that everyone picked right: Duke
  • Last mid-major standing: Buffalo
  • Elite team that almost loses in Round 1: LSU
  • Everyone's favorite first-weekend player: Markus Howard
  • Highest scoring average of the tournament: Zion Williamson
  • Player who hits the most absurd game-winner: Tyler Herro
  • Coach who gets his own unforgettable highlight: Mike Young

Chip Patterson

  • Team destined for early exit: Tennessee
  • Final Four team no one picked right: Houston
  • Final Four team that everyone picked right: Duke
  • Last mid-major standing: Nevada
  • Elite team that almost loses in Round 1: Michigan State
  • Everyone's favorite first weekend player: Zion Williamson
  • Highest scoring average: RJ Barrett
  • Player who hits the most absurd game-winner: Markus Howard
  • Coach who gets his own unforgettable highlight: Buzz Williams
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