2013 Final Four Predictions: Louisville and Syracuse the Favorites

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IApril 2, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31:  (L-R) Chane Behanan #21 and Luke Hancock #11 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrate in the final minute against the Duke Blue Devils during the Midwest Regional Final round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 31, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Florida Gators were absolutely manhandled by the Michigan Wolverines in their Elite Eight matchup on Sunday. The Wolverines opened up the game on a 13-0 run and never looked back. John Beilein became the first Michigan man to lead the maize and blue to the Final Four since the "Fab Five" rocked the saggy shorts and black socks in the early 1990s.

Syracuse's suffocating zone defense turned Marquette's offense, one that dropped 74 points on the Orange during the regular season, into a turnover-prone, five-pack of dazed and confused athletes.

True to its moniker, Wichita State shocked Ohio State to advance to Atlanta. The Shockers held the Buckeyes, who needed two last-second shots to even advance to the Elite Eight, to 31.1 percent shooting from the floor.

The Bucks tried to chip away at Wichita's 13-point halftime lead, but ran out of time in the end.

The Louisville Cardinals may have lost Kevin Ware, but they gained some inspiration as they travel to Ware's hometown of Atlanta. Against Duke in the Elite Eight, the Cardinals caught fire from the floor and finished with a field-goal percentage of 52.7 percent and a 22-point win.

Using the WhatIfSports.com college basketball simulation engine, we "played" the Cardinals and Shockers head-to-head 1,001 times—Louisville came out on top 81.5 percent of the time by an average score of 70-61. We simulated the Wolverines and Orange 1,001 times and Jim Boeheim's crew advanced 62.8 percent of the time by an average score of 68-65.

Out of the four remaining teams, it came down to the final simulations to crown a winner. Louisville has the best chance at 56.9 percent, Syracuse at 24.9 percent, Michigan at 12.4 percent and Wichita State at 5.8 percent.

View the Final Four predictions in our Bracket Preview