2024 NCAA Tournament Final Four Contenders

Turns out it’s easier to eliminate teams from Final Four eligibility than it is to identify the teams that will reach the Final Four. So let’s start eliminating.

The Seed

First, a 12+ seed has never reached the Final Four, so let’s assume that trend continues. We, therefore, start off with 46 (including all 6 10-seeds) potential Final Four teams, and start eliminating ones that don’t measure up.

Road/Neutral Site Record

Final Four teams are proven road warriors – they’ve almost all had at least a 0.500 road/neutral record entering the NCAA Tournament. There have been only two outliers in last 80 Final Four teams, and they were simply lucky.

Teams missing the (0.500 road/neutral) mark:

  • 4-Alabama
  • 4-Kansas
  • 5-Wisconsin
  • 6-BYU
  • 7-Texas
  • 8-Nebraska
  • 9-Northwestern
  • 9-Michigan St
  • 10-Colorado

Power Ratings

I’ve calculated power ratings for various team stats. Among the past 80 Final Four teams, there are a few ratings that have a significant floor we can use to eliminate more teams.

Teams not meeting additional thresholds:

Scoring

  • 6-South Carolina
  • 7-Florida
  • 8-Utah St
  • 9-Northwestern
  • 9-Texas A&M
  • 10-Virginia
  • 11-Oregon
  • 11-NC State
  • 11-Duquesne

FG%

  • 9-Texas A&M

def FG%

  • 3-Baylor
  • 5-Wisconsin
  • 9-TCU
  • 9-Northwestern
  • 9-Texas A&M
  • 10-Boise St
  • 11-Oregon
  • 11-NC State

Rebounds

  • 2-Marquette
  • 8-Nebraska
  • 9-Northwestern
  • 10-Nevada
  • 10-Colorado St
  • 10-Virginia
  • 11-NC State
  • 11-Duquesne

Q1&2 Record

  • 7-Texas
  • 8-Miss State
  • 9-TCU
  • 9-Michigan State
  • 11-NC State

Def Efficiency

  • 6-Texas Tech
  • 7-Texas
  • 9-TCU

Some teams have multiple whammies, but overall, we just eliminated 25 teams! Of course, one of these teams could reach the Final Four. We could dream up any number of scenarios, but they would be setting a new low bar in one of the above metrics.

Your Official List of 2024 Final Four Candidates

  • 1-Houston, Purdue, UConn, UNC
  • 2-Tenn, Arizona, Iowa State
  • 3-Creighton, Illinois, Kentucky
  • 4-Auburn, Duke
  • 5-San Diego St, St Mary’s, Gonzaga
  • 6-Clemson
  • 7-Washington State, Dayton
  • 8-FAU 10-Drake
  • 11-New Mexico

4 responses to “2024 NCAA Tournament Final Four Contenders”

  1. Go Vols Avatar
    Go Vols

    This is great stuff! Keep it coming. This is a much different take on the analytics than every other site/blog that I’ve seen. Instead of trying to pick winners of each game, you actually eliminate teams and narrow it down based on data by tourney phase. Looking forward to how you can boil it down further!

    1. BracketNinja Avatar
      BracketNinja

      Thank you for those kind words! The Tournament is so random and crazy, it’s kinda silly that I even try to do this. But I’ve found some very interesting trends, nuggets, and opportunities. I obviously love it!

  2. Nate Avatar
    Nate

    I love the content every year. I like drake this year a lot but WSU is one of the tallest teams in the country. Is there any significance to having height in the NCAA tourney?

    1. BracketNinja Avatar
      BracketNinja

      Thanks, Nate! That is a fantastic question. I’ve wondered the same thing, but I don’t have any roster data. Maybe this offseason will be the one where I can track down historical roster data and do some hardcore analysis. Another thing I’ve been wondering for a long time – what about how scoring is distributed across a roster? Are teams with more balanced scoring more resilient? Or does relying on a main scorer or two help teams go further?

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