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Charles Barkley Has 1 Very Painful Final Four Prediction

NBA legend Charles Barkley at the Final Four watching his alma mater Auburn against Virginia.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 06: CBS commentator Charles Barkley looks on during the 2019 NCAA Final Four semifinal between the Auburn Tigers and the Virginia Cavaliers at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 6, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Big Dance is officially underway. With it, Charles Barkley has finally revealed his 2021 NCAA Tournament Final Four predictions.

Barkley is anticipating a chalk-heavy tournament this year. The former NBA great likes Gonzaga, Alabama, Houston and Baylor to emerge from their respective regions to play in the Final Four.

Such a grouping means the Big Ten would once again underwhelm, despite a strong conference showing this past season. The conference has plenty of top-seeded teams in this year's tournament, including No. 1s Michigan and Illinois and No. 2s Ohio State and Iowa.

Like many, Barkley expects Gonzaga to finally get over the hump and win the championship. The Bulldogs have come close in past years, but haven't been able to get the job done. Perhaps 2021 is the year.

Barkley, of course, went to Alabama's rival, Auburn. Clearly, he was in a lot of pain having to admit he's picking the Crimson Tide to go far.

The 2021 NCAA Tournament is officially underway. Thursday features the four play-in games before the first day of the First Round begins on Friday.

Texas Southern and Mount St. Mary's has already tipped off. The game's winner will advance to take on No. 1 seed Michigan on Saturday.

Next, Drake will take on Wichita State in the 11-seed play-in game. That game will tip-off at 6:27 p.m. ET on TBS. The winner advances to play the six-seeded USC Trojans. Appalachian State will then take on Norfolk State at 8:40 p.m. ET on TruTv as the two teams fight for the right to play Gonzaga.

The night wraps up with Michigan State and UCLA in the No. 11 play-in game for the opportunity to play No. 6 BYU. The Bruins and Spartans get going at 9:57 p.m. ET on TBS.