More March>>>>
Mania>>>>>>
Bracket
Contests
Help W/
Brackets
2014 Tournament Schedule Odds to win the Championship Help W/
Betting

College Basketball Tournament Predictions

You are here - Home -> College Basketball Tournament 2014 -> Bracket Tournament Predictions

Latest Bracket Predictions

2014 College Basketball Tournament Predictions

Updated March 18, 2014

I see that I have gotten a lot of visitors for this page, which is different from year's past. While I'm usually too busy compiling a list of contest and updating the other pages in the March Madness section of the website, the predictions page has often been a rushed affair which only partially accounts for the complete failure to predict most things correctly. Fact is that most of the predictions out there are complete guesses. Unlike the NBA playoffs, this tournament has two things going against prognosticators: 1) it's played by 18 to 22 year olds that might not respond well to pressure. 2) The best team doesn't always win a one game series. Compare that to the NBA where the better team wins a 7 games series more often than not.

So, the first thing that you must do if you are building your bracket is correctly predict the winner of the tournament. You absolutely cannot win anything if you don't get this pick right. Too often, people build their brackets from the first round to the champion. The problem with this is that you are stuck making a lot of "what ifs" once you get to the second weekend. If you look at the odds to win the championship, you will see that your clever pick of Michigan State or Louisville isn't really all that clever since those two teams have the second and third best odds to win overall.

Overall, I can make a case for 10 teams to win the championship. Besides Florida, they are in no particular order. Of course, this doesn't mean that a team not on the following list won't be able to win.

1) Florida - Obviously, they are the team to beat. They are the most complete team and will probably be the team that is picked most often to win it all.

2) Michigan State, 3) Wisconsin, 4) Michigan - The thing that the Big Ten teams have going against them is that no team from this conference has won since MSU did it back in 2000. All three teams are great and will probably make deep runs, but they usually struggle in the Final Four and Championship Game. Michigan State is going to be the pick for a lot of brackets. This is because the Spartans were injured much of the season but got healthy for the Big Ten tournament and destroyed their competition.

5) Louisville - It is very difficult to win back-to-back championships. It has only been done twice since UCLA dominated in the early 70's. It's a joke that the Cardinals are a 4 seed, but the weight of history is hurting them more than their talent, their seed, or their bracket.

6) Arizona - This team is my pick to win the tournament. They are almost as good of a lock to make the Final Four as you can find. They are probably the second best team in the country next to Florida.

7) Duke - You can never count out the Blue Devils in March. The possible Sweet 16 match up between them and Michigan is going to affect a lot of brackets. The one thing going against Duke is that they have never won a tournament if they weren't a 1 or 2 seed.

8) Wichita State and 9) Virginia - Neither team is getting the respect that they deserve. I've seen almost no experts take either team to get to the Final Four. Both teams are as good or better than a lot of the teams above. The reason that Virginia isn't getting respect is because they have a total of 0 games of tournament experience. The reason Wichita State isn't getting respect is because there hasn't been an undefeated season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers and they are the 1 seed in the most difficult region.

10) Kansas - The Jayhawks had the most difficult schedule this season, which is why they were a 2 seed with 9 losses. In the South region, I can only see them or Florida making it to Championship weekend.

What about Syracuse, Creighton, Villanova, Iowa State, UCLA, San Diego State? These are all 2, 3 or 4 seeds. Let's go through my thoughts about these teams one at a time. Syracuse was the best team in the country before crumbling with a 2-5 record over the last 7 games. This includes a first round loss in the ACC tournament. No team has won the NCAA Championship if they lost their first conference tournament game. This is the same reason that Villanova is on this list; that and the fact that the Wildcats routinely get upset early in the tournament. I can make a case for Creighton to make it to the Elite 8, but I just can't see them beating Arizona.

Iowa State is team that doesn't have a history of going far in the tournament. The fact that the Cyclones are only an 8.5 point favorite over the 14 seed North Carolina Central shows that Vegas doesn't have any confidence in them either. UCLA should be getting more love than they are since they won the Pac 12 tournament, but the fact that they didn't have a quality non-conference win and several bad losses are hurting them; that and a Sweet 16 matchup against Florida doesn't help. Finally, San Diego State hasn't made a strong case for the Mountain West Conference over the past few years; they haven't made it past the Sweet 16 even though they have been seeded just as high in past tournaments.

Champions Index for 2014

Last year, I came out with a stat that the National Champion fell into 3 important statistical categories for 11 out of the last 13 seasons. These stats were
1) Teams that score more than 77.0 points per game
2) Teams that have at least an 82% winning percentage
3) Outscored their opponents by an average of 14 points per game or more

Louisville fulfilled 2 of those 3 categories last year. They had over an 82% winning percentage and beat teams by more than 14 ppg coming into the tournament. They were also just under the 77.0 ppg average.

This season, I'm doing this metric again since this is a good indicator of whether or not a team has a legitimate shot of going deep in the tournament.

Teams that score more than 77.0 points per game: BYU (84.2), Iowa State (82.9), Oklahoma (82.2), Louisville (82.1), Iowa (82.0), Oregon (81.8), UCLA (81.8), Louisiana La (81.4), Oklahoma State (80.3), Kansas (79.6), Creighton (79.5), Delaware (79.5), Mercer (79.3), Duke (79.1), E Kentucky (79.0), Villanova (78.5), Memphis (77.6), Manhattan (77.4), New Mexico State (77.2)

Teams that are just under 77.0 PPG: Gonzaga (76.9), Stephen F Austin (76.5), Kentucky (76.4), North Dakota St (76.4), North Carolina (76.3), Michigan State (76.2), UMass (76.1), Wichita State (75.5), VCU (75.4), Baylor (75.2), Michigan (75.0), Arizona State (75.0)

Teams that won more than 82% of their games: Wichita State (100%), Florida (94.1%), Stephen F Austin (93.9%), Arizona (88.2%), San Diego State (87.8%), Villanova (87.5%), Harvard (86.6%), Louisville (85.3%), NC Central (84.8%), Syracuse (84.3%), Virgina (82.3%), Gonzaga (82.3%)

Teams that are just under 82% winning percentage: Cincinnati (81.8%), New Mexico (81.8%), Saint Louis (81.2%), North Dakota State (80.6%), Wisconsin (78.7%), Creighton (78.7%), Iowa State (78.7%)

Teams that had a 14.0 PPG average margin of victory: Louisville (21.2), Wichita State (15.9), NC Central (15.4), Arizona (14.9), San Deigo State (14.0)

Teams that were just under 14.0 PPG average margin of victory: Stephen F Austin (13.8), Harvard (13.1), Mercer (12.9), Florida (12.8), Duke (12.2), Creighton (12.1)

Teams on all three lists: Louisville

Teams on two of the three lists: Wichita State, Arizona, San Diego State, Villanova, NC Central

Teams mentioned three times in the three lists (close to stat): Arizona, Creighton, Stephen F Austin

Teams mentioned twice in the three lists (close to stat): Iowa State, Duke, Mercer, Gonzaga, Harvard, North Dakota State

This may contradict some of what I said above, but so be it. It's not an indication of who's going deep in the tournament, just who has the championship stats this season. My bet is still on Arizona.

First Round Upset Predictions

I'm going to go in the order of the time that each game starts and give you the percentage that I think that an upset will happen. Any 7 vs 10 and 8 vs 9 matchups are not considered upsets and I will just give you the winner's percentage.

Day 1
#6 Ohio State vs #11 Dayton - OSU is a 6 point favorite - 35% chance of upset
#2 Wisconsin vs #15 American U - Wisconsin is a 13.5 point favorite - 5% chance of upset
#8 Colorado vs #9 Pittsburgh - Pitt is a 5.5 point favorite - 65% chance in favor of Pitt
#5 Cincinnati vs #12 Harvard - Cincy is a 2.5 point favorite - 30% chance of upset
#3 Syracuse vs #14 Western Michigan - Syracuse is a 13 point favorite - 10% chance of upset
#7 Oregon vs #10 BYU - Oregon is a 5.5 favorite - 55% chance in favor of Oregon
#1 Florida vs #16 TBD - Florida will be a 20+ point favorite - 0.01% chance of upset
#4 Michigan State vs #13 Delaware - MSU is a 14 point favorite - 5% chance of upset
#7 Connecticut vs #10 Saint Joseph's - Uconn is a 4.5 favorite - 55% chance in favor of Uconn
#2 Michigan vs #15 Wofford - Michigan is a 16 point favorite - 5% chance of upset
#5 Saint Louis vs #12 NCST/Xavier - 45% chance of upset for NCST - 40% chance of upset for Xavier
#5 Oklahoma vs #12 NDSU - Oklahoma is a 3.5 point favorite - 35% chance of upset
#2 Villanova vs #15 Milwaukee - Nova is a 16.5 point favorite - 5% chance of upset
#7 Texas vs #10 Arizona State - Texas is a 1.5 point favorite - 60% chance in favor of Texas
#4 Louisville vs #13 Manhattan - Louisville is a 16 point favorite - 5% chance of upset
#4 San Diego State vs #13 New Mexico State - SDSU is a 7 point favorite - 25% chance of upset

Day 2
#3 Duke vs #14 Mercer - Duke is a 13 point favorite - 10% chance of upset
#6 Baylor vs #11 Nebraska - Baylor is a 3.5 point favorite - 45% chance of upset
#7 New Mexico vs #10 Stanford - New Mexico is a 3.5 point favorite - 65% chance in favor of New Mexico
#1 Arizona vs #16 Weber State - Arizona is a 20 point favorite - 0.01% chance of upset
#6 Umass vs #11 Iowa/Tennessee - 50% chance of upset for Tenn - 35% chance of upset for Iowa
#3 Creighton vs #14 LA-Lafayette - Creighton is a 14 point favorite - 10% chance of upset
#2 Kansas vs #15 Eastern Kentucky - Kansas is a 15 point favorite - 5% chance of upset
#8 Gonzaga vs #9 Oklahoma State - OSU is a 2 point favorite - 60% chance in favor of OSU
#8 Memphis vs #9 George Washington - Memphis is a 3 point favorite - 55% chance in favor of GW
#1 Wichita State vs #16 TBD - Wichita will be at least an 18 point favorite - 0.01% chance of upset
#6 North Carolina vs #11 Providence - UNC is a 4 point favorite - 25% chance of upset
#5 VCU vs #12 Stephen F. Austin - VCU is a 6.5 point favorite - 30% chance of upset
#1 Virginia vs #16 Coastal Carolina - Virginia is a 21 point favorite - 0.01% chance of upset
#8 Kentucky vs #9 Kansas State - Kentucky is a 5 point favorite - 70% chance in favor of Kentucky
#3 Iowa State vs #14 North Carolina Central - ISU is a 8.5 point favorite - 15% chance of upset
#4 UCLA vs #13 Tulsa - UCLA is a 9.5 point favorite - 15% chance of upset

This is all well and good, but what are the most likely upsets to predict? Here are my predictions:

2 seeds - Villanova (only based on reputation from previous tournaments)
3 seeds - Iowa State
4 seeds - San Diego State
5 seeds - Saint Louis and Oklahoma
6 seeds - Baylor and Umass

Every year, one region will come through almost unscathed and one region will be destroyed by upsets. The best candidates for region with the most upsets is going to be the East and the Midwest. The best candidate for a region to go chalk is going to be the South.

Sweet 16 Predictions

South: Florida, VCU, Ohio State, Kansas
East: Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina, Connecticut
West: Arizona, North Dakota State, Creighton, Wisconsin
Midwest: Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, Michigan

Championship Weekend Predictions

Final Four - Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Michigan

Championship Game - Florida vs Arizona

Champion - Arizona


2013 Predictions

I leave my previous years' predictions up here so you can see that I'm not trying to say that I'm an expect at picking these games. In my opinion, not even the college basketball experts are very good at making predictions either. We all have our own rational for picking the way that we do, so you can see that any reasoning can be blown up by the end of the first weekend. If you want to read my terrible predictions from last year, you can feel free to do so. They are completely unaltered and very wrong in the end.

Day 1: I pretty much failed on all of the close games. That's the way things go sometimes. The Saint Mary's v. Memphis and Davidson v. Marquette games let me know to stop for the night and collect my thoughts. Appartently my stats based system has some flaws. Seriously, every game either was crazy or surprising for one reason or another. Did I really just see Michigan breeze to an easy win when Trey Burke went 2-12? What's with all of the top scorers getting shut down? Now, I felt that several of those picks were questionable; but I at least felt that each team had a legitimate chance to win (reflected in a confidence level of less than 70%).


The brackets have now been revealed and I will be updating this page several times before the first game tips off on Thursday. I have updated the stats below to reflect games that have been played through the conference tournmanents.

Below, I have my official predictions for the games that are currently scheduled. The winners are picked along with my confidence that the team will still be in the tournament at that point.

First Four Matchups

#16 seeds North Carolina A&T (68th rank) vs Liberty (65th rank) - A&T is a 1.5 point favorite. Liberty is better offensively but North Carolina A&T is better defensively. Winner - Liberty - Wrong (North Carolina A&T won 73-72)

#16 seeds LIU Brooklyn (54th rank) vs James Madison (66th rank) - This is a pick'em game. LIU Brooklyn has a very good offense and a terrible defense. However, James Madison is last in offensive field goal percentage. Winner - LIU Brooklyn - Wrong (James Madison won 68-55)

#13 seeds La Salle (46th rank) vs Boise State (44th rank) - Boise State is a 1.5 point favorite. Boise State advantages: Rebounding, Offensive field goal percentage, 3 Pointers. La Salle advanteges: Assists, Fouls per game. Winner - Boise State - Wrong (La Salle won 80-71)

#11 seeds Saint Mary's (11th rank) vs Middle Tennessee (26th rank) - Saint Mary's is a 2.5 point favorite. Saint Mary's advantages: Rebounding, Assists, 3 Pointers, Free Throws, Fouls per game. Middle Tennessee advantages: Defensive efficiency, Defensive field goal percentage. Winner - Saint Mary's - Correct (Won 67-54)

Let's hope my predictions for the NCAA tournament are better than the First Four picks. These are always difficult games to select.

First Round Matchups

*In order of apperance in schedule*

Thursday, March 21

#3 Michigan State (17th rank) vs #14 Valparaiso (37th rank) - Michigan State is a 10.5 point favorite. Michigan State advantages: Playing near home, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive field goal percentage, Fouls per game. Valparaiso advantages: Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Michigan State (Confidence - 95%) - Correct (Won 65-54)

#6 Butler (50th rank) vs #11 Bucknell (18th rank) - Butler is a 3 point favorite. Bucknell advantages: Last 12 games, Consistancy, Team Rating, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentages, Free throws, Fouls per game. Butler advantages: Scoring, Rebounding, 3 Pointers. Winner - Bucknell (Confidence - 65%) - Wrong (Butler wins 68-56). Never bet against Butler again in the first round. BTW how did the Over get hit (121) when the two teams combined for 35 in the first half?

#8 Pittsburgh (8th rank) vs #9 Wichita State (34th rank) - Pittsburgh is a 4.5 point favorite. Pittsburgh advantages: Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Assists, Offensive Field Goal percentages. Wichita State advantages: 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Pittsburgh (Confidence - 70%) - Wrong (Wichita State wins 73-55). Starting off on the wrong foot.

#4 Saint Louis (39th rank) vs #13 New Mexico State (58th rank) - Saint Louis is a 9 point favorite. Saint Louis advantages: Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Assists, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. New Mexico State advantages: Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Winner - Saint Louis (Confidence - 90%) - Correct (Won 64-44)

#6 Memphis (12th rank) vs #11 Saint Mary's (11th rank) - Memphis is a 1.5 point favorite. Memphis advantages: Consistancy, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Saint Mary's advantages: Rebounding, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Saint Mary's (Confidence - 55%) - Wrong (Memphis 54-52). See it pays just as well to take all of the favorites. I was expecting at least one early Thursday upset.

#3 Marquette (36th rank) vs #14 Davidson (29th rank) - Marquette is only a 3.5 point favorite in this matchup. Marquette advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Rebounding, Fouls per game. Davidson advantages: Last 12 games, Team Rating, Scoring, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Davidson (Confidence - 55%). Wrong (Marquette 59-58). So close, yet so far. I mean, really? You threw the ball away instead of taking free throws? Ugh!

#1 Gonzaga (1st rank) vs #16 Southern U (56th rank) - Gonzaga is a 22 point favorite. Gonzaga is either equal or much better in every significant statistical category. Winner - Gonzaga (Confidence - 99.9%) Correct (Wins 64-58). Because that made me feal any better. My finals team had a whopping 3 point lead at halftime.

#5 Oklahoma State (38th rank) vs #12 Oregon (48th rank) - Oklahoma State is a 3 point favorite. Oklahoma State advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Oregon advantages: Rebounding. Winner - Oklahoma State (Confidence 75%). Wrong (Oregon 68-55). The Pac-12 showed up in a big way on Thursday.

#1 Louisville (9th rank) vs #16 North Carolina A&T (68th rank) - Louisville is favored by 25 points. Louisville is playing close to home. North Carolina A&T (being ranked 68 out of 68 teams in the stats) doesn't have any advantages. Winner - Louisville (Confidence - 100%). Correct (Wins 79-48).

#4 Michigan (7th rank) vs #13 South Dakota State (32nd rank) - Michigan is an 11 point favorite. Michigan advantages: Playing close to home, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. South Dakota State advantages: Last 12 games, Rebounding, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Michigan (Confidence - 80%). Correct (Wins 71-56).

#6 Arizona (14th rank) vs #11 Belmont (13th rank) - Arizona is a 4 point favorite. Arizona advantages: Consistancy, Rebounding, Fouls per game. Belmont advantages: Last 12 games, Scoring, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. Winner - Belmont (Confidence - 60%). Wrong (Arizona 81-64). Belmont was disappointing.

#5 UNLV (23rd rank) vs #12 California (53rd rank) - UNLV is a 2.5 point favorite. UNLV advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Assists, 3 Pointers. California advantages: Playing near home, Free Throws, already beat UNLV once this year. Winner - UNLV (Confidence - 75%). Wrong (California wins 64-61). Did I mention that the Pac-12 did well?

#8 Colorado State (31st rank) vs #9 Missouri (15th rank) - Missouri is a 3 point favorite. Missouri advantages: Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Colorado State advantages: They are the best team in the country in rebounding advantage, but unfortunately they are playing the #2 team in rebounding. Otherwise comparable in many ways. Winner - Missouri (Confidence - 65%) Wrong (Colorado State wins 84-72). The only member of the Mountain West to show up.

#5 VCU (27th rank) vs #12 Akron (30th rank) - VCU is a 7 point favorite. VCU advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Scoring, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Akron advantages: Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Winner - VCU (Confidence - 55%). Correct (Wins 88-42). Akron was dealing with sickness and suspension.

#3 New Mexico (19th rank) vs #14 Harvard (57th rank) - New Mexico is an 11 point favorite. New Mexico advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Harvard advantages: Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. Winner - New Mexico (Confidence - 95%). Wrong (Harvard 68-62). Really New Mexico? You lost to a team without a scholarship, no one taller than 6'5, and lost their best two players before the season even started.

#4 Syracuse (16th rank) vs #13 Montana (47 rank) - Syracuse is a 14 point favorite. Syracuse advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Harvard advantages: Last 12 games, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Syracuse (Confidence - 95%). Correct (Wins 81-34). So much for Montana building on last year.

Friday, March 22

#2 Duke (6th rank) vs #15 Albany (62nd rank) - Duke is a 17.5 point favorite. Duke advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Defense, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. Albany advantages: Rebounding, Fouls per game. Winner - Duke (Confidence 95%)

#5 Wisconsin (28th rank) vs #12 Ole Miss (45th rank) - Wisconsin is a 5.5 point favorite. Wisconsin advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Rebounding, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Ole Miss advantages: Team Rating, Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Winner - Wisconsin (Confidence - 65%)

#8 NC State (24th rank) vs #9 Temple (49th rank) - NC State is a 4 point favorite. NC State advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Temple advantages: Assists, Free Throws. Winner - NC State (Confidence - 75%)

#2 Miami (25th rank) vs #15 Pacific (60th rank) - Miami is an 11.5 point favorite. Miami advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Pacific advantages: Assists, Free Throws. Winner - Miami (Confidence - 95%)

#7 Creigton (4th rank) vs #10 Cincinnati (51st rank) - Creigton is a 3 point favorite. Creigton advantages: Last 12 games, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws, Fouls per game. Cincinnati advantages: Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Winner - Creigton (Confidence - 80%). This is one of those times where the stats say that a team is better and a team is worse than they really are. I tried to use the most relative stats without overlapping categories too much and that's just how they rank with the statistics that I used.

#4 Kansas State (35th rank) vs #13 TBD (Boise State) (44th rank) - Game will not be determined until Wednesday night. Kansas State advantages: Playing close to home, Last 12 games, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Assists. Boise State advantages: Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Kansas States (Confidence - 80%)

#1 Indiana (2nd rank) vs #16 TBD (LIU Brooklyn) (54th rank) - Game will not be determined until Wednesday night. Indiana is equal to or far superior in every single statistical category. Winner - Indiana (Confidence - 100%)

#7 Illinois (64th rank) vs #10 Colorado (59th rank) - Illinois is a 1.5 point favorite. Illinois advantages: 3 Pointers, Free Throws, Tougher Conference. Colorado advantages: Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Winner - Colorado (Confidence - 55%)

#2 Georgetown (22nd rank) vs #15 Florida Gulf Coast (61st rank) - Georgetown is a 13.5 point favorite. Georgetown advantages: Playing close to home, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Florida Gulf Coast advantages: Scoring, 3 Pointers. Winner - Georgetown (Confidence - 95%)

#2 Ohio State (10th rank) vs #15 Iona (41st rank) - Ohio State is a 13.5 point favorite. Ohio State advantages: Playing close to home, Last 12 games, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Defenisve Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Iona advantages: Scoring, Assists, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Ohio State (Confidence - 95%)

#8 North Caronlina (33rd rank) vs #9 Villanova (63rd rank) - North Carolina is a 4 point favorite. North Carolina advantages: Margin of Victory, Scoring, Assists, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Villanova advantages: Defenisve Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Winner - North Carolina (Confidence - 75%)

#3 Florida (3rd rank) vs #14 Northwestern State (52nd rank) - Florida is a 19.5 point favorite. Florida advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Northwestern State advantages: Scoring. Winner - Florida (Confidence - 98%)

#7 San Diego St (40th rank) vs #10 Oklahoma (55th rank) - San Diego State is a 3 point favorite. San Diego St advantages: Consistancy, Team Rating, Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Oklahoma advantages: Free Throws. Winner - San Diego State (Confidence - 75%)

#7 Notre Dame (20th rank) vs #10 Iowa State (21st rank) - Notre Dame is a 1 point favorite. Notre Dame advantages: Defense, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Iowa State advantages: Consistancy, Scoring, 3 Pointers. Winner - Iowa State (Confidence - 52%)

#1 Kansas (5th rank) vs #16 Western Kentucky (67th rank) - Kansas is a 20 point favorite. Kansas has a statistical edge in every major category. Winner - Kansas (Confidence - 100%)

#6 UCLA (42nd rank) vs #11 Minnesota (43 rank) - Minnesota is a 3 point favorite. UCLA advantages: Last 12 games, Scoring, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws, Fouls per game. Minnesota advantages: Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Winner - UCLA (Confidence - 60%)

Round of 32

So by this point, as long as Marquette doesn't go on a run we should be fine past the first round. You can see that the confidence is relatively low on some of my picks. Most of these are games between two teams that are very evenly matched statistically. Some also feature two teams that I don't think will win another game and get to the Sweet 16.

Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 (schedule TBD)

Midwest Bracket

#1 Louisville (9th rank) vs #9 Missouri (15th rank) - Louisville advantages: Playing close to home, Last 12 games, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Missouri advantages: Scoring, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws, Fouls per game. Winner - Louisville (Confidence - 90%). Even though I think Louisville will get a scare, they aren't going to be the first #1 to get knocked out.

#4 Saint Louis (38th rank) vs #5 Oklahoma State (39th rank) - Saint Louis advantages: Last 12 games, Team Rating, Defense, Assists, 3 Pointers. Oklahoma State advantages: Consistancy, Scoring, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Winner - Oklahoma State (Confidence - 60%)

#3 Michigan State (17th rank) vs #11 Saint Mary's (11th rank) - Michigan State advantages: Playing close to home, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Saint Mary's advantages: Scoring, Assists, 3 Pointers. Winner - Michigan State (Confidence - 75%)

#2 Duke (6th rank) vs #7 Creighton (4th rank) - Duke advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Scoring. Creighton advantages: Rebounding, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Winner - Creighton (Confidence - 55%). I think Creighton has what it take to win a couple of games and Duke has been upset much worse than this in the past.

South Bracket

#1 Kansas (5th rank) vs #8 North Carolina (33rd rank) - Kansas advantages: Last 12 games, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. North Carolina advantages: Assists, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Winner - Kansas (Confidence - 85%)

#4 Michigan (7th rank) vs #5 VCU (27th rank) - Michigan advantages: Playing close to home, Rebounding, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. VCU advantages: Last 12 games. Winner - Michigan (Confidence - 70%)

#3 Florida (3rd rank) vs #6 UCLA (42nd rank) - Florida advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. UCLA advantages: Scoring, Assists, Free Throws. Winner - Florida (Confidence - 85%)

#2 Georgetown (22nd rank) vs #7 San Diego St (40th rank) - Georgetown advantages: Playing close to home, Last 12 games, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage. San Diego St advantages: Consistancy, Rebounding, Fouls per game. Winner - Georgetown (Confidence - 75%)

West Bracket

#1 Gonzaga (1st rank) vs #8 Pittsburgh (8th rank) - Gonzaga advantages: Last 12 games, Consistancy, Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws, Fouls per game. Pittsburgh advantages: Defense, Assists. Winner - Gonzaga (Confidence - 80%)

#4 Kansas State (35th rank) vs #5 Wisconsin (28th rank) - Kansas State advantages: Playing close to home, Team Rating, Scoring, Assists, Free Throws. Wisconsin advantages: Margin of Victory, Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Winner - Kansas State (Confidence - 65%)

#3 New Mexico (19th rank) vs #11 Belmont (13th rank) - New Mexico advantages: Consistancy, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Belmont advantages: Team Rating, Scoring, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. Winner - Belmont (Confidence - 65%)

#2 Ohio State (10th rank) vs #10 Iowa State (21st rank) - Ohio State advantages: Playing close to home, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Iowa State advantages: Scoring, Assists, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Ohio State (Confidence - 85%)

East Bracket

#1 Indiana (2nd rank) vs #8 NC State (24th rank) - Indiana advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. NC States advantages: Fouls per game. Winner - Indiana (Confidence - 95%)

#4 Syracuse (16th rank) vs #5 UNLV (23rd rank) - Syracuse advantages: Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense. UNLV advantages: Rebounding, Assists, Free Throws. Winner - Syracuse (Confidence - 60%)

#11 Bucknell (18th rank) vs #14 Davidson (29th rank) - Bucknell advantages: Consistancy, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Davidson advantages: Scoring, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Bucknell (Confidence - 70%)

#2 Miami (25th rank) vs #10 Colorado (59th rank) - Miami advantages: Last 12 games, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Defense, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. Colorado advantages: None. Winner - Miami (Confidence - 90%)

Sweet Sixteen

Thusday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 (schedule TBD)

Midwest Bracket

#1 Louisville (9th rank) vs #5 Oklahoma State (38th rank) - Louisville advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Defense, Rebounding, Assists. Oklahoma State advantages: Free Throws. Winner - Louisville (Confidence - 85%)

#3 Michigan State (17th rank) vs #7 Creighton (4th rank) - Michigan State advantages: Consistancy, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage. Creighton advantages: Team Rating, Scoring, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Michigan State (Confidence - 60%)

South Bracket

#1 Kansas (5th rank) vs #4 Michigan (7th rank) - Kansas advantages: Last 12 games, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Michigan Advantages: 3 Pointers, Foul per game. Winner - Kansas (Confidence: 75%)

#2 Georgetown (22nd rank) vs #3 Florida (3rd rank) - Georgetown advantages: Last 12 games. Florida advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Winner - Florida (Confidence: 75%)

West Bracket

#1 Gonzaga (1st rank) vs #4 Kansas State (35th rank) - Gonzaga advantages: Last 12 games, Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Offensive Field goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Kansas State advantages: Assists. Winner - Gonzaga (Confidence: 75%)

#2 Ohio State (10th rank) vs #11 Belmont (13th rank) - Ohio State advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Defense, Rebounding, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Belmont advantages: Scoring, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Winner - Ohio State (Confidence: 75%)

East Bracket

#1 Indiana (2nd rank) vs #4 Syracuse (16th rank) - Indiana advantages: Last 12 games, Consistancy, Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Syracuse advantages: Defense, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Winner - Indiana (Confidence: 85%)

#2 Miami (25th rank) vs #11 Bucknell (18th rank) - Miami advantages: Margin of Victory, Scoring, 3 Pointers. Bucknell advantages: Rebounding, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, Free Throws. Winner - Miami (Confidence: 75%)

Elite Eight

Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31 (schedule TBD)

Midwest Bracket

#1 Louisville (9th rank) vs #3 Michigan State (17th rank) - Louisville advantages: Last 12 games, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Assists. Michigan State advantages: Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Fouls per game. Winner - Louisville (Confidence: 65%)

South Bracket

#1 Kansas (5th rank) vs #3 Florida (3rd rank) - Kansas advantages: Scoring, Rebounding, Free Throws. Florida advantages: Margin of Victory, Defense, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Winner - Florida (Confidence: 65%)

West Bracket

#1 Gonzaga (1st rank) vs #2 Ohio State (10th rank) - Gonzaga advantages: Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, Defensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers. Ohio State advantages: They are either very close in all other statistical categories but no advantages. Winner - Gonzaga (Confidence: 65%)

East Bracket

#1 Indiana (2nd rank) vs #2 Miami (25th rank) - Indiana advantages: Consistancy, Margin of Victory, Team Rating, Scoring, Rebounding, Assists, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Miami advantages: Defense, Fouls per game. Winner - Indiana (Confidence - 80%)

Final Four

Saturday, April 6

#1 Louisville (9th rank) vs #1 Gonzaga (1st rank) - Gonzaga advantages: Scoring, Rebounding, Offensive Field Goal Percentage, 3 Pointers, Fouls per game. Louisville advantages: Defense. Winner - Gonzaga (Confidence: 55%)

#1 Indiana (2nd rank) vs #3 Florida (3rd rank) - Indiana advantages: Scoring, Rebounding, Free Throws. Florida advantages: Defense, Assists, Defensive Field Goal Percentages, Fouls per game. Winner - Indiana (Confidence: 70%)

Championship Game

Monday, April 8

#1 Indiana (2nd rank) vs #1 Gonzaga (1st rank) - Indiana advantages: Scoring, 3 Pointers, Free Throws. Gonzaga advantages: Defense, Assists, Fouls per game. National Champion - Indiana (Confidence: 55%)

Where this bracket can go wrong

1) Marquette makes the Elite 8
2) Duke makes the Elite 8
3) Kansas makes the Final 4
4) Gonzaga loses earlier
5) Indiana doesn't win the Championship




Likely teams to do well in the College Basketball Tournament

Since Kentucky won the Championship last season, we can now say the 11 of the last 13 National Champions: a) Wins at least 82% of their games; b) Averages 77 points or more per game; and c) Outscored their competition by at least 14 points per game.

Teams with at least 82% winning percentage: Duke (27-5), Kansas (29-5), Louisville (29-5), Memphis (30-4), New Mexico (29-5), Bucknell (28-5), Middle Tennessee (28-5), Gonzaga (31-2)

Teams that are just under 82% winning percentage: Miami, Saint Louis, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Akron, Montana, Creighton, Belmont, Arizona, Florida, Davidson, Saint Mary's

Teams that average 77 PPG or more: Northwestern State (Southland: 23-8; 82.4 PPG), Indiana (Big Ten: 27-6; 80.8 PPG), Iona (MAAC: 20-13; 80.7 PPG), Iowa State (Big 12: 22-11; 79.8 PPG), LIU Brooklyn (Northeast: 20-13 79.5 PPG), Ole Miss (SEC: 26-8; 79.2 PPG), Duke (ACC: 27-5; 78.4 PPG), VCU (A10: 26-8; 78.1 PPG), NC State (ACC: 24-10; 77.8 PPG), Gonzaga (WCC: 31-2; 77.6 PPG), Belmont (Ohio Valley: 26-6; 77.2 PPG).

Teams that are just under 77 PPG: North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Creighton, UCLA, Kansas, Memphis

Teams that outscore the other team by 14 points or more: Florida (SEC: 26-7; 18.8 Margin), Indiana (Big Ten: 27-6; 18.5 Margin), Gonzaga (WCC: 31-2; 18.2 Margin), Louisville (Big East: 29-5; 15.7 Margin), Pittsburgh (Big East: 24-8; 14.2 Margin).

Teams that are just under 14 PPG scoring margin: Kansas, Duke, VCU, Middle Tennessee, Belmont, Michigan, Syracuse, Creigton

Teams on this list all three times: Gonzaga

Teams on 2 of the 3 lists: Duke, Indiana, Louisville

I would be willing to bet that one of the four teams above will win the NCAA tournament. There are also some honorable mentions for having Championship Pedigree: Kansas, Belmont, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Michigan, Creighton, Florida, VCU.

Other Important Factors to Winning Tournament Games

There are some factors that are more important than others. Several things can help a basketball team win a single game, but this may only take them one game further into the tournament. These factors include: Teams that play well on the road, Senior leadership, Teams that fall just short of an upset the year before, Star players and Point Guard play, Teams on a roll heading into the tourney, Teams that are good fre throw shooters.

The stats over a season often tells the story for the way a team plays. Stats should never be strictly used to pick every game because there are a lot of factors that can be hidden. That being said, here are the most important team stats:

Good Rebounding

A good rebounding team will often get a couple of rounds deep in the College Basketball bracket tournament. Here are some of the top rebounding teams in the country: Colorado State (+12.1 margin), Missouri (+9.5 margin), St Mary's (+8.7 margin), Wichita State (+8.4 margin), Minnesota (+8.2 margin), Indiana (+8.0 margin), Gonzaga (+7.4 margin), Butler (+7.3 margin), Pittsburgh (+7.1 margin), UNLV (+6.9 margin), Michigan State (+6.8 margin), Kansas (+6.5 margin), Cincinnati (+6.5 margin), Middle Tennessee (+6.0 margin), Oregon (+6.0 margin), Arizona (+6.0 margin).

Assist to Turnover Ration

Teams that don't turn the ball often will do better in the tournament. This includes the following teams: Michigan (1.58 to 1), Notre Dame (1.57 to 1), Pittsburgh (1.52 to 1), UCLA (1.49 to 1), Bucknell (1.42 to 1), South Dakota St. (1.40 to 1), Wisconsin (1.39 to 1), North Carolina (1.38 to 1), Duke (1.36 to 1), Gonzaga (1.36 to 1), Florida (1.36 to 1).

Teams that move the ball well will also have a better chance in the tournament. This includes the following teams: North Carolina (17.4 APG), Creighton (17.2 APG), Notre Dame (17.2 APG), Memphis (17.1 APG), UCLA (16.7 APG), UNLV (16.7 APG), Pittsburgh (16.5 APG), Kansas State (16.3 APG), Iowa State (16.2 APG), Northwestern St. (16.0 APG), Belmont (15.9 APG), Kansas (15.5 APG), Iona (15.5 APG), Gonzaga (15.2 APG), Florida (15.1 APG).

Offensive Field Goal Percentage

Obviously teams that shoot the ball well tend to do well in March. This includes: Creighton (50.8%), Gonzaga (50.4%), NC State (49.5%), Belmont (49.4%), Valpariaiso (48.9%), Indiana (48.8%), Michigan (48.6%), Florida (48.5%), Duke (47.9%), Memphis (47.8%), Kansas (47.8%), Pittsburgh (47.5%), St Mary's (47.4%).

Defensive Field Goal Percentage

Teams that play good half court defense also do well in the tournament. This includes: Kansas (35.9%), Florida (37.3%), Syracuse (37.6%), Georgetown (37.7%), Bucknell (37.8%), Gonzaga (38.2%), Cincinnati (38.5%), UNLV (38.6%), SDSU (38.7%), Indiana (38.8%), Louisville (38.8%), Oklahoma State (38.9%), Michigan State (39.2%), New Mexico (39.2%), Pittsburgh (39.3%), Akron (39.3%), Miami (39.4%), Middle Tennessee (39.4%), Wisconsin (39.4%), Ohio State (39.4%).

Power Ranking Index

Consistancy (gameplay doesn't vary much from game to game) - 1) Louisville, 2) Gonzaga, 3) Michigan State, 4) Indiana, 5) Florida, 6) Duke, 7) Memphis, 8) Ohio State, 9) Marquette, 10) New Mexico, 11) Michigan, 12) Kansas, 13) Oklahoma State, 14) Syracuse, 15) VCU, 16) San Diego State, 17) UNLV, 18) NC State, 19) Pittsburgh, 20) Missouri

Expected Point Margin (vs an average opponent in an average-pace game on a neutral court) - 1) Louisville,
2) Florida, 3) Duke, 4) Indiana, 5) Gonzaga, 6) Kansas, 7) Ohio State, 8) Michigan, 9) New Mexico, 10) Michigan State, 11) Syracuse, 12) Creigton, 13) Pittsburgh, 14) Arizona, 15) Miami, 16) Georgetown, 17) Oklahoma State, 18) Memphis, 19) VCU, 20) Saint Louis.

Adjusted Scoring Margin - 1) Florida, 2) Indiana, 3) Louisville, 4) Gonzaga, 5) Duke, 6) Kansas, 7) Pittsburgh, 8) Syracuse, 9) VCU, 10) Ohio State, 11) Michigan, 12) Wisconsin, 13) Middle Tennessee, 14) Creighton, 15) Missouri, 16) Michigan State, 17) Miami, 18) Georgetown, 19) Saint Louis, 20) Arizona.

Team Rating w/o accounting for strength of schedule - 1) Florida, 2) Gonzaga, 3) Louisville, 4) Indiana, 5) Kansas, 6) Duke, 7) Pittsburgh, 8) Creighton, 9) Middle Tennessee, 10) Saint Louis, 11) Memphis, 12) Michigan, 13) VCU, 14) Miami, 15) Ohio State, 16) Georgetown, 17) Syracuse, 18) Arizona, 19) Colorado State, 20) Ole Miss.

Offensive Efficiency - 1) Indiana, 2) Iona, 3) Iowa State, 4) Duke, 5) Ole Miss, 6) NC State, 7) VCU, 8) Missouri, 9) North Carolina, 10) Michigan, 11) Gonzaga, 12) UCLA, 13) Louisville, 14) Kansas, 15) Creighton, 16) Memphis, 17) Arizona, 18) Syracuse, 19) Colorado State, 20) Florida.

Defensive Efficiency - 1) Florida, 2) Georgetown, 3) Pittsubrgh, 4) Wisconsin, 5) Miami, 6) Saint Louis, 7) Louisville, 8) Middle Tennessee, 9) Michigan State, 10) Gonzaga, 11) Cincinnati, 12) Ohio State, 13) Syracuse, 14) Kansas State, 15) Indiana.

My Overall Rankings / Predictions for 2013

The following are my predictions by rank for which teams will do well in the College Basketball bracket tournament:

Combined Ranking (factors together all of the statistics above) - 1) Gonzaga, 2) Indiana, 3) Florida, 4) Creighton, 5) Kansas, 6) Duke, 7) Michigan, 8) Pittsubrgh, 9) Louisville, 10) Ohio State, 11) Saint Mary's, 12) Memphis, 13) Belmont, 14) Arizona, 15) Missouri, 16) Syracuse, 17) Michigan State, 18) Bucknell, 19) New Mexico, 20) Notre Dame, 21) Iowa State, 22) Georgetown, 23) UNLV, 24) NC State, 25) Miami, 26) Middle Tennessee, 27) VCU, 28) Wisconsin, 29) Davidson, 30) Akron, 31) Colorado State, 32) South Dakota State, 33) North Carolina, 34) Wichita State, 35) Kansas State, 36) Marquette, 37) Valparaiso, 38) Oklahoma State, 39) Saint Louis, 40) San Diego St, 41) Iona, 42) UCLA, 43) Minnesota, 44) Boise State, 45) Ole Miss, 46) La Salle, 47) Montana, 48) Oregon, 49) Temple, 50) Butler, 51) Cincinnati, 52) Northwestern State, 53) California, 54) LIU Brooklyn, 55) Oklahoma, 56) Southern U, 57) Harvard, 58) New Mexico State, 59) Colorado, 60) Pacific, 61) Florida Gulf Coast, 62) Albany, 63) Villanova, 64) Illinois, 65) Liberty, 66) James Madison, 67) Western Kentucky, 68) North Carolina A&T

The rankings above only take into consideration the team stats accumulated throughout the year. If you would like to see the formula that I used, you can view it here. It does not take into effect the current matchups or possible matchups in the NCAA tournament. I also will say that I do not think that some of these rankings are truly accurate, as some of these teams are over or under ranked. This is just the average rankings among the 68 teams in 16 different statistical categories that I think are important.

I use this as a reinforcement to my decisions. There are certain key statistics that I will be looking at in each matchup.

I will be adding an additional section to the predictions page that will take the tournament matchups into account.

Mid Majors to Consider

Middle Tennessee, Belmont, Saint Mary's, Akron, Davidson, Bucknell, South Dakota State - (In reality, these teams went 1 for 8 in the NCAA tournament and the only win was a First Four win between two of these teams. They showed promise, but Saint Mary's and Davidson fell painfully short, Belmont didn't show up, Akron was sick and suspended, and Bucknell and South Dakota State lost their offense.

Oh by the way, Harvard! Yeah, how many of you saw that coming? Teams like Harvard are the #1 reason why a perfect bracket will never be predicted (not to mention you would have a better chance of flipping 63 Heads in a row with a coin).




Previous Years' Predictions

I can tell you, more often than not I have been wrong overall once it gets deep into the tournaments. I don't think this makes me bad at predictions; its just that these games are so unpredictable. The only tools that we have at our disposal are team stats and getting a feel for each team by watching them throughout the season. Even with all the correct matchups accounted for, you are still going to run into upsets.

The first couple of rounds are easy to account for most of the time. You should be able to get most of the games correct. As long as one of your Final Four teams doesn't get upset, you should be doing well. There might be a team like Butler or VCU that gets through, but more than likely they will have other upset picks that don't pan out. Predicting the Champion, Round of 4 and Elite 8 are the most important towards winning your pool.

The people who pick lots of upsets better hope they aren't wrong about a team they have getting upset. This is the quickest way to kill your bracket. If you have a team going out in the 2nd round and they reach the Round of 4, then your just about out of it. The trick is always going to be trying to find those teams that make it far and not to spend your energy predicting the first round upsets.

With that being said, you can feel free to take a look at the previous predictions that I have made over the past three years. I am keeping it as a historical record of my picks.

2012 College Basketball Bracket Predictions

I do have more than one bracket out there. However, you can take a look at my official bracket prediction below:
(click for full size view)

2012-bracket-tournament-predictions

Here are some quick hitters:

Most Likely to Win

10 of the last 12 National Champions had a winning percentage of at least 82% - Teams that qualify this year: Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Missouri, Murray State, Wichita State, New Mexico, Creighton, Harvard, St Mary's, VCU

10 of the last 12 National Champions have also averaged 77 points or more per game - Teams that qualify this year: Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, Duke, Wichita State, Creighton, Belmont, South Dakota St, Davidson, New Mexico State, BYU, UNC-Asheville, Long Island

10 of the last 12 National Champions have also outscored their competition by at least 14 points per game - Teams that qualify this year: Missouri, Kentucky, Syracuse, Ohio State, North Carolina, Kansas

Teams that were in all three lists: Missouri and North Carolina
Teams that were in two of the three lists: Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, Wichita State, Duke, Creighton

The exceptions are the 2011 UConn Huskies (in all 3 cases), the 2000 Michigan State Spartans (in 2 of 3) and
the 2003 Syracuse Orange (only 10 PPG winning margin)

Least Likely to Lose Early

This is a list of teams that I don't think will be upset in the first round and should at least make it to the Sweet 16:

1 Seeds - All 4 teams; most likely to lose first - Michigan State or Syracuse in the Sweet 16
2 Seeds - Missouri, Ohio State, Kansas; most likely to lose first - Duke in Sweet 16
3 Seeds - Baylor - Either one or more will lose before Sweet 16: FSU, Marquette, Georgetown
4 Seeds - None; Indiana is hurt by injured player, Louisville is far from a lock
5 Seeds - Wichita State, New Mexico; watch for Vandy or Temple to lose
6 Seeds - Murray State; SDSU is a solid play, but Cincy and UNLV probably won't make it.
7 Seeds - St Mary's; Gonzaga not out of consideration, but don't expect Florida or Notre Dame
8 Seeds - Creighton, Memphis probably have the best chance of beating a 1 seed
9 Seeds - None; Uconn seems like a sexy pick because they never go down in the tourney easy
Double Digit Seeds - Harvard, Davidson, Montana, Belmont, South Dakota St

Most Likely to Lose

The stats from previous bracket tournaments suggest that you may want to be wary of taking any of the following teams past the first round/two rounds of the tournament (based upon team statistics from this year):

bracket-buster All 15 and 16 seeds (obviously)
5 Seed - Vanderbilt
6 Seed - UNLV
7 Seeds - Florida, Notre Dame
8 Seeds - Iowa State, Kansas State
9 Seed - Connecticut (none are great choices to make Sweet 16)
10 Seed - Xavier (none are great choices to make Sweet 16)
11 Seeds - North Carolina State, Texas, Colorado
12 Seed - South Florida
13 Seeds - Ohio
14 Seeds - BYU, St Bonaventure

Not as good as seed suggests (based on stats):
3 Seed - Florida State, Marquette
4 Seed - Michigan
6 Seed - Cincinnati

First Round Upsets
Most likely 3 seed to lose - Georgetown (based on past college basketball tourneys)
All four 4 seeds have a chance of losing - Most likely Indiana because of injury, least likely Louisville)
Most likely 5 seed to lose - All 4 have a chance to lose (most likely Vanderbilt, Temple, least likely Wichita State)
6 seeds - Murray State (watch for early Thursday upset in tournament), Cincy and SDSU most likely to win
7 seeds - Gonzaga has best chance to win, Notre Dame and Florida has best chance to lose

 


 

Updated - March 11, 2012

I'm in the process of making some of my predictions. I think it's hilarious watching the emergency bracket updates on ESPN. I am going to make my decisions separate from them. I haven't been that good with the predictions after the first 2 rounds the past 2 years. Picking upsets is fun, but in reality you better get at least 6 of the elite 8 and 10 of the Sweet 16 if you want to compete. If you can get past the first two weekends, your looking better than most. Then, it's time to root hard for your teams to make the Round of 4 and picking the correct Champion is probably the most important.

If you are interested in some Conference Championship and Bubble team information, I found this post that you should take a look at. It shows the current Conference Champions, the teams that are currently locks to make the tournament and the scenarios for Bubble Teams to make the Mens College Basketball Tournament (I know it's past the bubble deadline but it still has information on most of the good teams).

Here is my projections for the College Basketball Tournament before the brackets come out. You can see how I did in parenthesis. The only team I missed was BYU and I had Arizona in their place.

Bracket Predictions


1 Seeds - Kentucky, Syracuse, Missouri, Michigan State (UNC instead of Missouri)
2 Seeds - North Carolina, Kansas, Florida State, Ohio State (Duke and Missouri instead of UNC and FSU)
3 Seeds - Louisville, Duke, Memphis, Vanderbilt (Baylor, FSU, Marquette and Georgetown)
4 Seeds - Marquette, Cincinnati, Michigan, Baylor (Louisville, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan)
5 Seeds - Wisconsin, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Murray State (New Mexico, Temple, Wichita State, Vanderbilt)
6 Seeds - Wichita State, Florida, Creighton, Temple (UNLV, Cincy, Murray State, SDSU)
7 Seeds - New Mexico, St Mary's, San Diego State, Iowa State (Florida, St Mary's, Gonzaga, Notre Dame)
8 Seeds - Indiana, UNLV, Virginia, Connecticut (Iowa St, Kansas St, Memphis, Creighton)
9 Seeds - Kansas State, California, West Virginia, Purdue (Saint Louis, Alabama, Southern Miss, Uconn)
10 Seeds - Southern Miss, Texas, Alabama, NC State (Xavier, West Virginia, Virginia, Purdue)
11 Seeds - Xavier, Ole Miss, Colorado State, South Florida, Iona, Arizona (Colo St, NC State, Colorado, Texas)
12 Seeds - Saint Louis, VCU, Colorado, Long Beach State (VCU, Harvard, Long Beach State, Cal/South Florida)
13 Seeds - Ohio, New Mexico State, Harvard, St Bonaventure (Davidson, Ohio, New Mexico St, Montana)
14 Seeds - Belmont, Lehigh, Detroit, Davidson (South Dakota St, St Bonaventure, Belmont, BYU/Iona)
15 Seeds - South Dakota St., Loyola (MD), Norfolk State, LIU Brooklyn (Norfolk St, Detroit, Loyola MD, Lehigh)
16 Seeds - Vermont, Montana, UNC-Asheville, Lamar, Western Kentucky, Mississippi Valley State
(Got all 16 seeds but LIU Brooklyn)

Last 4 At-Large Bids - Colorado State, South Florida, Iona, Arizona (replace Arizona with BYU)
They changed up format this year and made the First 4 teams play for the 12 seed in the Midwest and the
14 seed in the West. I guess they didn't want an 11 seed make the Round of 4 teams again.

First 4 Automatic Bids - Western Kentucky, Mississippi Valley State, UNC-Asheville, Lamar
I got 3 of 4. Replace UNC-Asheville with Vermont. They are all still playing for 16 seeds in the play-in games.

I will be making my preliminary predictions on either Monday or Tuesday, but I may also wait until after the First 4 is played. You never know if one of those 11 seeds decides to go on a run like VCU last year.

I know my predictions for the last couple of years have been slightly off, but I would like to know who actually thought VCU would make the Round of 4 and Butler would make it to Finals for 2 straight years? This is how you know that the "predictions" that you find anywhere will only take you so far. You will definitely need a lot of luck as well.


2011 College Basketball Tournament Predictions

So it's once again time to put on my thinking cap and try to predict the unpredictable. I'm still in the process of making my best educated guesses for first round upsets, Surprise Sweet 16 teams, the Round of 4 and Champion.

Sorry this took so long to make my predictions. In all my haste of managing all these contests I hadn't filled out my bracket until this morning. I'm going to do the same general predictions followed by my actual upset picks and surprise teams.

  1. After the crazy first round last year, things are going to be more quiet in the first round as far as major upsets. I predict that none of the 1 through 4 seeds will get knocked out of the tournament in the first round. 13 seeds Belmont and Oakland have the best shots of winning against the top 4 seeds.
  2. This year two of the 5 seeds will lose the the 12 seed - Those will be Richmond over Vanderbilt and Memphis over Arizona
  3. I think that three out of the four 6 seeds will lose to the 11 seed - Georgetown will be the lone survivor after getting clipped in the 1st round as a 3 seed last year.
  4. No number 1 seed will fall before the Sweet 16 - Kansas will be the first 1 seed to lose in the Sweet 16 (to Louisville)
  5. A 2 seed will go out in the second round of the tournament (Not UNC - my pick is Texas A&M over Notre Dame)
  6. The highest seed to make the Sweet 16 will be an 11 seed (Gonzaga)
  7. The highest seed to make the Elite 8 will be a 6 seed (Georgetown)
  8. The highest seed to make the Round of 4 will be a 2 seed (Florida and UNC)
  9. The Big Ten and their 7 conference teams will do poorly in the Bracket Tournament. I'm predicting that the conference record will be 6-7 with 4 teams losing in the first round. Ohio State making it the farthest into the tournament. I have them losing to UNC in the Elite 8.
  10. The National Championship game will be between Duke and Florida with Duke winning.

Let's see how long it takes for all of that to go wrong. No matter how good you are at seeing the matchups, a lot of these games can be wildly unpredictable. These are my best guesses after doing a lot of research. They are bound to be wrong and you might not like my picks. We shall see how I do.

 

Here are some conference stats to digest:


Conference tournament records in the bracket tournament:

America East (Boston U) - 1-14 Atlantic Sun (Belmont) - 0-9 Big Sky (No Colorado) - 3-26
Big South (UNC Asheville) - 1-18 Big West (Long Beach State) - 28-32 Colonial (George Mason, ODU, VCU) - 16-30
C-USA (Memphis, UAB) - 50-45 Horizon League (Butler) - 14-12 Ivy League (Princeton) - 5-26
MAAC (St Peter's) - 5-27 MAC (Akron) - 16-31 MEAC (Hampton) - 2-22
MVC (Indiana St) - 24-47 NEC (Long Island) - 0-25 Mountain West (San Diego St, BYU, UNLV) - 10-26
Ohio Valley (Morehead St) - 4-27 Patriot League (Bucknell) - 2-17 Southland (Texas San Antonio) - 3-25
SWAC (Alabama St) - 1-21 Summit League (Oakland) - 0-10 Sun Belt (Arkansas Little Rock) - 14-37
Southern (Wofford) - 6-25 WCC (Gonzaga) - 25-37 WAC (Utah State) - 42-58
    A-10 (Xavier, Richmond, Temple) - 68-71


College Basketball Tournament Conference Wins in the past 10 years

America East (Boston U) - 1 Atlantic Sun (Belmont) - 0 Big Sky (No Colorado) - 1
Big South (UNC Asheville) - 1 Big West (Long Beach State) - 3 Colonial (George Mason, ODU, VCU) - 7
C-USA (Memphis, UAB) - 33 Horizon League (Butler) - 14 Ivy League (Princeton) - 2
MAAC (St Peter's) - 3 MAC (Akron) - 6 MEAC (Hampton) - 1
MVC (Indiana St) - 13 NEC (Long Island) - 0 Mountain West (San Diego St, BYU, UNLV) - 9
Ohio Valley (Morehead St) - 1 Patriot League (Bucknell) - 2 Southern (Texas San Antonio) - 3
SWAC (Alabama St) - 0 Summit League (Oakland) - 0 Sun Belt (Arkansas Little Rock) - 3
Southern (Wofford) - 1 WCC (Gonzaga) - 13 WAC (Utah State) - 7
    A-10 (Xavier, Richmond, Temple) - 22


The following Mid Major conferences have advanced into the Sweet 16 in the past 10 years: A-10 (6), Colonial (1), C-USA (8), Horizon (4), Ivy (1), MAC (1), MVC (5), Mountain West (2), Southern (1), Sunbelt (1), WCC (4), WAC (1)

The following Mid Major conferences have advanced to the Elite 8 or further: A-10 (4), Colonial (1), C-USA (5), Horizon (1), MAC (1), Southern (1)


Here are the conference records for the power conferences in the last 10 years:

ACC - 89-48 Big East - 96-62 Big Ten - 77-53
Big 12 - 88-54 PAC-10 - 67-47 SEC - 63-51


Here are the conference records for the power conferences in the last 10 years broken up by round:

Conference Round 1 Round 2 Sweet 16 Elite 8 Round of 4 Finals
ACC 40-13 19-21 10-9 9-1 6-3 5-1
Big East 45-19 28-17 13-15 6-7 2-4 2-0
Big Ten 37-16 19-18 10-9 7-3 4-3 0-4
Big 12 40-15 23-17 16-7 6-10 2-4 1-1
PAC-10 33-14 20-13 10-10 4-6 2-2 0-2
SEC 32-21 16-16 8-8 3-5 2-1 2-0


Here are the records for the seeds over the past 10 years:

Seed Round 1 Round 2 Sweet 16 Elite 8 Round of 4 Finals
1 40-0 36-4 31-5 17-14 10-7 7-3
2 39-1 25-14 18-7 10-8 5-5 1-4
3 37-3 25-12 12-13 6-6 3-3 2-1
4 30-10 14-16 3-11 2-1 0-2 0-0
5 23-17 17-6 4-13 4-0 2-2 0-2
6 26-14 11-15 3-8 0-3 0-0 0-0
7 24-16 8-16 3-5 0-3 0-0 0-0
8 19-21 2-17 1-1 0-1 0-0 0-0
9 21-19 2-19 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-0
10 16-24 7-9 2-5 0-2 0-0 0-0
11 14-26 4-10 2-2 1-1 0-1 0-0
12 17-23 8-9 1-7 0-1 0-0 0-0
13 10-30 1-9 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0
14 3-37 0-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
15 1-39 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
16 0-40 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

2010 College Basketball Tournament Completed Bracket

So, you didn't have Butler in the Finals last year? I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that all of the Perfect Bracket contest people were jumping for joy as Butler made their way to within one shot of a championship. Here is a look at what the perfect bracket would have looked like last year.

2010-college-basketball-perfect-bracket
***It's a little blurry shrunk down, so click to view full sized view***

I would like to know if anyone out there had both Butler and Michigan State in the Round of 4 as 5 seeds.

2010 Bracket Tournament Predictions

Here's a few more things to think about as you are about to make your bracket selections. These are a few stats that I have accumulated for the seed matchups in the first round for the past 5 years:

  1. The number 1 seed in the tournament has won by less than 15 points six times in the five years. The closest a 16 seed got to beating a 1 seed in that time was 10 points by East Tennessee State against Pittsburgh last year.
  2. No 2 seed has lost in the first round since 2001, but there have been several scares. This includes 6 games in the last 5 years that have been decided by less than 10 points. Belmont loss by 1 point to Duke in 2008 and Winthrop almost beat Tennessee, losing by 2 in 2006. (2010 Villanova won by 3 in OT against Robert Morris)
  3. There have been two 14 seeds to take out 3 seeds in the past 5 years. These were Bucknell over Kansas in 2005 and Northwestern State over Iowa in 2006. The previous two years have seen mostly blowouts for this matchup but there were many tight matchups the previous 3 years. (2010 Ohio takes out Georgetown convincingly)
  4. There have been five 13 seeds to take out 4 seeds in the past 5 years, once in 2009, twice in 2008, once in 2006 and once in 2005. Cleveland State won going away against Wake Forest last year in the largest margin of victory - 15 points. (2010 Vanderbilt loses on last second shot to Murray St)
  5. Number of times a 12 seed has beaten a 5 seed: 2009 - 3 out of 4; 2008 - 2 out of 4; 2007 - 0 out of 4;
    2006 - 2 out of 4; 2005 - 1 out of 4; 2004 - 2 out of 4
  6. Number of times a 11 seed has beaten a 6 seed: 2009 - 1 out of 4 (two losses by 1 point); 2008 - 1 out of 4;
    2007 - 2 out of 4; 2006 - 2 out of 4; 2005 - 1 out of 4; 2004 - 0 out of 4 (2010 already 2 of 2 #11 seeds over #6 seeds)
  7. Number of times a 10 seed has beaten a 7 seed: 2009 - 3 out of 4; 2008 - 1 out of 4; 2007 - 0 out of 4;
    2006 - 2 out of 4; 2005 - 1 out of 4; 2004 - 1 out of 4
  8. Number of times a 9 seed has beaten an 8 seed: 2009 - 2 out of 4; 2008 - 2 out of 4; 2007 - 3 out of 4;
    2006 - 1 out of 4; 2005 - 3 out of 4; 2004 - 1 out of 4


Here are some of my nondescript bracket predictions:

  1. There will be no upsets of any 3 seed or higher, although one team will come within 5 points of doing so. - Result: 3rd seed Georgetown lost to 14th seed Ohio 97-83. #2 seed Villanova held off #15 Robert Morris 73-70. #3 seed New Mexico held off #14 seed Montana 62-57.
  2. No 4 seed will lose to a 13 seed this year. The closest games will be Maryland vs Houston and Purdue vs Siena. - Result: #13 seed Murray State beat #4 seed Vanderbilt 66-65. 4th seeded Wisconsin held off the 14 seed Wofford 53-49.
  3. Two of the 12 seeds will beat 5 seeds again this year. - Result: One of the 12 seeds beat a 5 seed - Temple lost to Cornell 78-65. Two of the 5 seeds were one of the 4 final teams.
  4. One of the 11 seeds will beat a 6 seed this year. - Result: Two 11 seeds won and one came close. Old Dominion beat Notre Dame 51-50 and Washington defeated Marquette 80-78. Tennessee held off San Diego State 62-59.
  5. I don't do predictions on 7-10 or 8-9 matchups - mainly because I always get about half of them wrong. For the record - the 8-9 matchup was 2-2 and the 10 seeds won 3 of 4 in 2010.
  6. One of the number 1 seeds will lose before the Elite 8 to a 4th or 5th seeded team. - Result: Kansas lost to #9 seed Northern Iowa. Syracuse lost in the Sweet 16 against #5 seed Butler.
  7. Two of the number 1 seeds won't make the Round of 4. - Result: Only Duke reach the Round of 4 as a #1 seed.
  8. At least one 2 seed and one 3 seed will not make it to the Sweet 16. - Result: #3 seed Georgetown lost in the first round. #2 seed Villanova lost to 10 seed St Mary's in the second round of the tournament. #11 seed Washington beat 3 seed New Mexico in round two. 3 seed Pittsburgh lost to 6 seed Xavier in round 2.
  9. A number 1 seed will win the championship this year. - Result: Duke, a 1 seed, won last year.
  10. The highest seed to make the Sweet 16 will be a 7 seed and the highest seed to make it to the Elite 8 will be a 6 seed. - Result: 5 seeds MSU and Butler made the Round of 4. 12 seed Cornell made the Sweet 16, as did 11 seed Washington, 10 seed St Mary's and 9 seed Northern Iowa. The highest seed to make the Elite 8 was a 6 seed (Tennessee).


Now, here are my predictions that correlate with the above:

The one team that will come within 5 points of knocking off a top 3 seed is UCSB vs Ohio St
The two 12 seeds that will win this year are Cornell vs Temple and Utah St over Texas A&M. The one 11 seed that will win this year will be Minnesota over Xavier.
The one number 1 seed that will lose before the Elite 8 will be Duke who will lose to Purdue.
The other number 1 seed not to make the Round of 4 will be Syracuse who will lose to Pittsburgh.
The number 2 seed that won't make it to the Sweet 16 will be Kansas St who will lose to BYU.
The number 3 seed that won't make it will be Georgetown who will lose to Tennessee.
The champion this year will be Kansas.
The highest seed in the Sweet 16 will be 7 seed BYU.
The highest seed in the Elite 8 will be 6 seed Tennessee.

These are only my predictions and of course they will probably get ruined like half of the brackets out there will be after the first two days. I didn't go too bold this year, but in the last couple of years the elite teams (4 seeds and better) are kind of distancing themselves from the lower seeds in the past few years. That and teams no longer look by 13 and 14 seeds because of recent upsets.

The one only game that would concern me with any of the top 4 seeds is Maryland vs Houston. Houston may not know that they are supposed to lose to Maryland after winning their conference tournament and sniping an At Large bid. That could be the most probable upset. Siena has won the past 2 years in the tournament, so there is no way that Purdue will take them lightly. I don't really see any of the top 3 seeds being challenged in round one. Thought I'd pick a close game for fun.

Update - March 19

First day is done, let see how I've done so far. My personal bracket has 11 picks right in the first round. I missed Georgetown, like most of the country, Vanderbilt (Murray St is no joke), Texas (up 8 points in OT), Marquette (last second buzzer beater), and Notre Dame (first game ended). Two of my Sweet 16 picks are out (Vanderbilt and Marquette) but I still have all of my Elite 8 intact (for now)

As for my predictions above, there has already been a 14 over a 3 and a 13 over a 4 busting that prediction. There have already been two 11 seeds to beat 6 seeds, busting another prediction. Another team did come within 5 points of beating a #2 seed (Robert Morris and Villanova). Not making me feel to positive about Villanova going to the Round of 4.

We shall see how the rest of the 1st round turns out. There are three 4 seeds and three 5 seeds playing today. The real test to my brackets will be the next round though, where I have a number of upsets that need to take place.

You are here - Home -> College Basketball Tournament 2014 -> Bracket Tournament Predictions