With the NCAA Tournament complete, it is time to focus on the action in the transfer portal. Top players like Tucker DeVries (Drake to West Virginia) and Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State to Kansas) have already committed, while Wisconsin's AJ Storr and Utah State's Great Osobor are still in the portal.

As we start to solidify rosters for next year, we begin to get a sense of which teams are true contenders. Here are our way-too-early 2025 Final Four Predictions.


After moving from the AAC to the Big 12, Kelvin Sampson proved that Houston's previous success was not a product of an easy schedule. The Cougars earned a #1 seed for the second consecutive year in 2024, but again key injuries prevented Sampson's team from advancing past the Sweet Sixteen.

Houston loses First Team All-American Jamal Shead but returns four of its five starters next year and four of its key bench players — all of whom played at least 15 minutes per game. Plus, the Cougs have room to add a talented transfer — likely a point guard to replace Shead. The juggernaut keeps rolling in Houston and the deep and talented Cougars are due for a Final Four berth.


Much of Kansas' success depends if freshman Johnny Furphy returns for his sophomore season or enters the 2024 NBA Draft. If the sharp-shooter stays, then the only player the Jayhawks have to replace is Kevin McCullar. While McCullar will be difficult to replace defensively, the team did add Summit League Player of the Year Zeke Mayo. Mayo averaged 18.8 PPG and shoots at nearly a 40% clip from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks will hope he can follow in the path of recent Summit League POTYs Max Abmas and Baylor Scheierman.

Bill Self also added much-needed depth with Florida guard Riley Kugel and five-star forward Flory Bidunga. With better shooting and more depth, the Jayhawks are in prime position to reach the Final Four in 2025.


Few, if any, teams in college basketball next year can boast the balance between returning starters and incoming talent that Duke has. The Blue Devils bring in a pair of top-three recruits in Cooper Flagg and Khaman Maluach — offsetting the loss of Kyle Filipkowski. They also return starters Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell from the Elite Eight team.

These players ensure that Duke has a high floor. Jeremy Roach and Jared McCain will determine Duke's ceiling. Roach must decide whether to come back for his fifth year while McCain must weigh returning to Duke against a guaranteed spot in the first round of the NBA Draft. If one or both of those players return, Duke will be the National Championship favorites.


It has been a decade since Florida made the Final Four under Billy Donovan and the Gators have just one second weekend appearance in the NCAA Tournament since then. Todd Golden led this program to a 24-win campaign in his second season and is poised to have an even better squad in 2024-25. While the team loses All-SEC guard Zyon Pullin, it does return a potential All-American candidate in Walter Clayton Jr. and big man Alex Condon — who made All-SEC Freshman Team. This is a great base to build on.

Coach Golden had success in the transfer portal last year, bringing in Pullin from UC-Riverside, Tyrese Samuel from Sacred Heart, and seven-footer Micah Handlogten from Marshall, all of whom had great first seasons in Gainesville. If Golden can bring similar talented portal players this offseason, the Gators will be a dark horse Final Four team.