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College coaches make their Final Four predictions

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The Final Four is all set to tip off. Everybody has chimed in with an opinion, but how about the coaches who have played against and scouted Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Virginia?

If the assistant coaches from around the country polled by National Basketball Analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans are right, Auburn is facing an uphill battle while it might be too close to call between the rest of the field.

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AUBURN

Bryce Brown
Bryce Brown (AP Images)

“I’m going to stick with the hot team. I feel that with the way Jared Harper and Bryce Brown are playing and their ability to shoot the ball from deep. We are seeing a run like those UConn has had. Part of me wants to see Bruce Pearl stick it to everybody.” - AAC assistant coach

MICHIGAN STATE

Cassius Winston
Cassius Winston (AP Images)

“They have the best point guard, most experienced Final Four head coach and have an inside presence with Nick Ward to take pressure off perimeter shooting. They can win games playing fast or grinding out a low possession game and while dome shooting can be tough they typically dominate on the offensive glass.” - Conference USA assistant coach

“They are a veteran team with an excellent point guard. Cassius Winston is an excellent floor general who makes the game easier for his teammates. They are so well balanced offensively and really guard. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt whenever you have coach (Tom) Izzo this time of the year!” - Conference USA assistant coach

“Great blend of maturity, toughness, grit, shot making and defense. They have been through so much and overcome it, and think they will do it again. They are the prototypical Izzo team who overachieves at the ideal time” – Pac-12 assistant coach

“They have the best point guard in the country that doesn’t let them lose. I have been impressed with how they win. Texas Tech will be a tough test of their discipline with their motion but if they get past them, they will win it.” - SEC assistant coach

“Cassius Winston is the best player in the Final Four. He has Kemba Walker-like flair to him. Extremely tough physically front court in Xavier Tillman and Nick Ward plus wily vets like Kenny Goins and Matt McQuaid will prove too much mentally and physically for the rest of the field.” - Big 12 assistant coach

“Have to go with Michigan State and be a Big Ten homer. Cassius making plays in the clutch, their toughness and defense keeping games close does it.” - Big Ten assistant coach

TEXAS TECH

Matt Mooney, Jarrett Culver, Davide Moretti
Matt Mooney, Jarrett Culver, Davide Moretti (AP Images)

“I think their toughness and belief system will get them to the title game and have them prevail in the end. Most cohesive and united team unit. Roster of guys who overachieve in their role and so good defensively to make dome shooting/scoring even tougher.” - Big Sky assistant

“Texas Tech and Chris Beard. There is complete congruency between everyone’s cause and because they have shown the ability to make big shots. We all know how they guard.” - Conference USA assistant coach

“They have the No. 1-rated defense in the country. It is nearly impossible to get paint touches against them. They have a chemistry and that ‘it’ factor right now. Chris Beard is the most underrated coach in the country and gives his players so much confidence in their ability. Selfless group of players.” - MAC assistant coach

“I think they are gonna be toughest, most competitive team in Minneapolis. I think they have shot making, depth and no weaknesses. I also think they have the best NBA prospect in Jarrett Culver in a year where there are not many high draft picks in the Final Four.” - Missouri Valley assistant coach

“They defend the three-point line and they control the paint. Their motion offense is simplistic but it’s effective because it makes you have to focus for 30 seconds. They don’t beat themselves.” - Pac-12 assistant coach

“I’m going with Texas Tech. Pure strangulation defense plus the best player on the court!” - Big 12 assistant coach

"I'm going with Texas Tech because they have experience. I think they have the ability to pressure Cassius which you have to be able to do. You have to turn him over and they have the ability to do that and rebound and score and all of that and I think they can do that. Then if they were able to play Virginia, I think they are set up well to handle Virginia's style." - Big Ten assistant coach

"Texas Tech. When you got a team that's smart, older, plays defense, with great team chemistry and think they're tougher than everyone else is some scary combinations! If you can’t score you can’t win." - Big 12 assistant coach

VIRGINIA

Kyle Guy
Kyle Guy (AP Images)

“Their elite defense, Kyle Guy’s ability to make big shots, and their experience in the backcourt will be the difference.” - Big East assistant coach

“Those dudes are so tough. They shut down everything that you want to do and that DeAndre Hunter is a difference maker. They are going to take him and put him on just about anybody somebody can throw at them and he will lock them up. They make shots and they are never rattled.” - ACC assistant coach

“Patience. Defense. Discipline. Shot making. Versatility. Plus, the redemption of heartbreak. They have the formula for winning the tournament.” - ACC assistant coach

“I’m going to say UVA because of their elite defense. All of the teams left are great defensively but Virginia’s three-point shooting, length and athleticism gives them the nod for me. This will be interesting because I think it could be any of the four.” - Ohio Valley assistant coach

“I am going with Virginia. Not because I feel like they’re just so much better than the other three. However, I think Auburn will struggle if they can’t play in transition and it will be hard to turn Virginia over. Ultimately, I think Virginia wins it because whoever is standing after the war between Texas Tech and Michigan State will be so beat up that down the stretch, the fatigue factor will kick in and Virginia will have just a little more in the tank.” - SEC assistant coach

“As everyone knows, their defensive is incredible. So far in this year’s tournament, they have given up way more threes than normal. I think that comes back down to normal and they will be extra aware of the three-point line. The Virginia offense is underrated in terms of overall efficiency. Guy went through a little slump but seems to have bounced back, Hunter struggled in the Elite Eight but had a crucial bucket down the stretch. I expect the combo of Guy, Hunter and (Ty) Jerome will continue to be efficient and lead Virginia to the national title.” - A-10 assistant coach.