Bracket Tips for the 2019 NCAA Tournament

Summary of tips and advice to (hopefully) help you win your NCAA Tournament bracket pool/challenge/whatever

  • Most important is picking the winner. Here are the only contenders to consider (in order of likelihood):
    • Duke
    • Kentucky
    • Michigan State
    • Virginia
    • Tennessee
    • North Carolina
  • Dark Horse Champion picks – these teams either don’t have Champ DNA, or have small, but significant chances of winning it all
    • Kansas
    • Michigan
    • Florida State
    • LSU
    • Gonzaga
  • Final 4 picks – stick with the contenders listed above with the following additions
    • Also consider Kansas in the Midwest
    • The West Region is wide open (notice there are no contenders in this region). I won’t be surprised if any of the top 10 seeds win this region, but the most likely winners are:
      • Michigan
      • Florida State
      • Gonzaga
  • Toxic teams, aka the pretenders, aka early-exit-candidates – don’t pick these teams to advance far:
    • Purdue
    • Texas Tech
    • Houston
  • First Round upsets – there are usually 6-7 double-digit seeds that win in the first round. My analysis shows we are likely to see only 4-6 this year.
  • First Round upset specials (in order of likelihood)
    • Minnesota
    • Seton Hall
    • Oregon
    • Saint Louis
    • Old Dominion
    • St. Mary’s
  • Potential Cinderellas – we almost always have at least one 11+ seed that reaches the Sweet 16. I’ve calculated a 63% chance at least one of these teams will be this year’s Cinderella:
    • Oregon
    • St. Mary’s
    • Old Dominion
    • Arizona State
    • Saint Louis
    • Liberty
    • UC Irvine
  • Beware the potential Bracket Busters – when a 6+ seed reaches the Elite 8, most people’s brackets are at least a little busted. I’m not saying it’ll happen, but the most likely teams to do it are:
    • 7-Cincinnati
    • 6-Iowa State
    • 6-Buffalo
    • 6-Villanova
    • 7-Nevada
    • 12-Oregon

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