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2014 Final Four predictions: Our experts pick Saturday's games

By Eye on College Basketball staff | CBSSports.com

More: Expert Brackets | Tournament bracket

CBSSports.com's team of college basketball experts descended on the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area for the Final Four this week, and have dug deep into each of Saturday's matchups to make their Final Four predictions.

UConn and Wisconsin fans may not agree with the picks and you can get mad at them if you want (and undoubtedly will in the comments section), but at least they're willing to explain themselves

Here's who they picked to make it to Monday -- and why:

UConn (30-8) vs. Florida (36-2), 6:09 p.m. TBS

Gary Parrish

College Basketball Insider

I really like this UConn team -- how Kevin Ollie has molded it, how Shabazz Napier has carried it, how defense has become its staple. But Florida hasn't lost in more than four months, and I just don't think they're going to lose here. I watched the Gators from courtside last week in the South Regional, and there was never a moment when it looked or felt like they might lose. Even when the game was close, it didn't feel like they would lose. And the fact that they beat Dayton comfortably in the Elite Eight despite scoring just five field goals in the second half should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of Florida's defense, which is actually superior to the quality of UConn's defense. So, yes, I know, that UConn beat Florida back on Dec. 2. But that Florida team was missing Kasey Hill and Chris Walker, and Scottie Wilbekin was injured with 3:01 left. And it still took homecourt advantage, a weird offensive rebound in the final seconds and a buzzer-beating jumper from Napier to secure that UConn win. Could all of that stuff possibly break UConn's way again on a neutral court in a national semifinal? Perhaps. But I wouldn't bet on it, I don't think. Prediction: Florida

Gregg Doyel

National Columnist

UConn beat the Gators earlier this season, but do you have any idea how many stars had to align for that game to end that way? I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm just saying, I don't see it happening again. I'm also saying, my bracket this year is an absolute joke, the kind of bracket you think the second-grader down the street would draw up when that second-grader isn't actually drawing up the bracket that kicks your... . Well, anyway. My bracket's a travesty, which means my pick here should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, UConn can't beat Florida twice. I'm still blown away at what it took for the Huskies to beat Florida the first time. Prediction: Florida

Jeff Borzello

College Basketball Writer

Can Shabazz Napier continue his heroic run through the NCAA Tournament, putting UConn on his back like Kemba Walker did three years ago? Kemba's championship ended in Texas; and that's where Napier has carried the Huskies this season. He could find it difficult against Florida, though. The Gators have a perimeter defender in Scottie Wilbekin who can make it tough on Napier, plus the big guys for Florida will be physical with Napier when he gets into the lane and tries to finish over the size and length. Napier is the biggest key for UConn; he has to go off for another 30 points or so for the Huskies to win. Florida, to me, is just too good. There haven't been too many times in the NCAA Tournament (or the last three months, basically) when the Gators truly looked like they were going to lose. They're so good on the defensive end of the floor, that they can go through droughts and struggles offensively and it doesn't end up making a huge difference. Napier will keep it close, but Florida is too complete a team. Prediction: Florida

Matt Norlander

College Basketball Writer

Love the concept of a Final Four rematch. But let's not look back at Dec. 2, when UConn won at home on a fluky second-chance shot by Shabazz Napier, as reason to think we can get another close game. So many factors for this game weren't factors in that game, like Florida having a fully healthy Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill, and Chris Walker being eligible to play. These are different teams now. I want a close game here, but the Final Four can often be like the NFL's conference championship weekend, where one game's solid and the other one's something of a dud. I'll take Florida to get to 31 straight wins by the tune of a double-digit victory. Prediction: Florida

Jon Rothstein

CBS Sports Network Insider

The best team in college basketball will do battle against the team that will have the best collegiate player in the Final Four -- Shabazz Napier. The Gators' last loss was against UConn in December when Napier hit a buzzer-beater at Gampel Pavilion. Billy Donovan's squad has still yet to lose a game this season when it's been fully healthy, but Florida will have its hands full with the Huskies. Napier has been the best guard in college basketball all season long but his supporting cast has come along recently and UConn as a whole has made tremendous strides defensively. Nevertheless, the Gators are a businesslike team with a businesslike coach. Expect a businesslike win from Florida and one last breathtaking performance from Napier. Prediction: Florida

Jerry Palm

Bracketology Expert

This game features the two best clutch players in college basketball in the Huskies' Shabazz Napier and Scottie Wilbekin of Florida. As juicy as that matchup is, that's probably not where the game will be won. Florida has a big advantage inside with Patric Young and Will Yeguete and UConn will have a hard time matching up with those two. Florida is so hard to defend because everybody it puts on the floor, including guys off the bench like Dorian Finney-Smith, can score. The Huskies don't have enough weapons to keep up. Prediction: Florida

Kentucky (28-10) vs. Wisconsin (30-7), 8:49 p.m. TBS

Gary Parrish

College Basketball Insider

There is no better story at this Final Four, I don't think, than Bo Ryan making his first Division I Final Four at the age of 66 -- and after a solid decade of being told his "system" isn't built for something like this. (So stick it, skeptics!) But it's still difficult to pick against Kentucky right now given the way the Wildcats are playing in general and, more specifically, shooting. Even without an injured Willie Cauley-Stein, UK still has seven projected future first-round NBA Draft picks on its roster. And though that doesn't always mean everything -- that's why UK is a No. 8 seed in this NCAA Tournament -- it can be the difference when those talented pieces play hard and well together, and, lately, these talented pieces have been playing hard and well together, evidence being impressive wins over Wichita State, Louisville and Michigan. Prediction: Kentucky

Gregg Doyel

National Columnist

Problem is, I was with Kentucky at the Midwest Regional. Had I been with Wisconsin out west and seen Frank the Tank and Jim Jackson's kid and Brust and Uthoff Dekker, I'd probably be picking the Badgers here. Because you fall in love with what you see. And what I saw was Kentucky rising up and emerging as the monster we all thought this roster could become, and devouring Louisville and then Michigan. And so I see this roster with more NBA prospects than anyone in the Final Four -- maybe more first-round picks than the rest of the Final Four combined -- winning this game. Wisconsin has five or six really good players. Kentucky has five or six really better ones. Prediction: Kentucky

Jeff Borzello

College Basketball Writer

When the matchup was first set in stone on Sunday night, I immediately leaned toward Kentucky. But as I thought more about it, I kept thinking how difficult it's going to be for Kentucky to stop Wisconsin. And when I thought about it more, I realized Wisconsin will have trouble stopping Kentucky as well. So basically, we're going to have two teams that won't be able to consistently stop one another. Kentucky will have trouble dealing with Frank Kaminsky and the ability of Wisconsin's shooters to spread the floor and make shots. Meanwhile, Wisconsin could have a tough time handling Kentucky's strength and size on the inside with Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson. At the end of the day, I think Kentucky will be able to make key shots from the perimeter late in the game, and Randle will be the difference in the post. Prediction: Kentucky

Matt Norlander

College Basketball Writer

On a conference call earlier this week, Bo Ryan somewhat rejected the notion that Kentucky and Wisconsin run different "systems." He was making a grander point about the things that UK and UW do well and have gotten them here. But truth is, the styles are so different in this game -- and that's what makes it compelling. Really compelling. Ryan's swing-style offense is a joy to watch, and Kentucky's got a defense that's obviously improved in the past two weeks. That's been as big a reason for the team's run as anything we've seen from Aaron Harrison, Julius Randle and/or Marcus Lee. I love Frank Kaminsky's play, but Wisconsin's much better when Sam Dekker is able to show aggressiveness. I think we'll get that from Dekker Saturday night. I see this as a toss-up, but I'm going with Bucky. Prediction: Wisconsin

Jon Rothstein

CBS Sports Network Insider

Talk about a contrast in styles. Bo Ryan has built the Badgers' program through consistency and a system while John Calipari has made the Wildcats into an empire thanks to talented players who are likely to pass through Lexington on their way to the NBA. Wisconsin has shown a penchant to run more this year than past seasons but that may be a bad idea against Kentucky. The Wildcats boast loads of NBA talent and are off the charts in transition. For the Badgers to get to the national title game, they're going to need another big effort from Frank Kaminsky and that may be more difficult to achieve against Kentucky than it was against Arizona. Even without Willie Cauley-Stein, the Wildcats still have multiple bigs that will be able to chase Kaminsky out on the perimeter. Wisconsin has had an unbelievable season, but it's starting to feel like this tournament belongs to the Wildcats. After Saturday night, that sentiment will grow even stronger. Prediction: Kentucky

Jerry Palm

Bracketology Expert

The Wildcats have finally started to play to the level of their considerable talent in this tournament. The preseason No. 1 has more NBA-level talent than the other three teams here combined. The Harrison twins have stepped up their game in this tournament, and that is a big reason why Kentucky is here. The Badgers have one guy who is a matchup nightmare though in Frank Kaminsky. The 7-footer can post you up, shoot the three, or take you off the dribble. This is not your typical grinder Wisconsin team, and that's too bad. I'd like its chances better if it was. Prediction: Kentucky

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