2024 Dark Horse Final Four Contenders – Model Results

A dark horse Final Four candidate is a 6+ seed that could reach the Final Four. Historically, we average seeing a 6+ seed in the Final Four about every other year. In the last 10 years, though, we’ve only had one Final Four without a 6+ seed and one Final Four with two. Still, I’d only pick one of these teams if I’m in a bracket group/pool with 1,000+ people.

The Models


  • ESPN’s implied probability of us seeing a 6+ seed in the Final Four is less than half what the others are predicting (0.21 vs 0.46)
  • And ESPN, what do you have against 11-New Mexico??
  • 9-Michigan State is the most likely candidate, but not by consensus. KenPom and ESPN prefer 6-BYU.
  • Most likely region to produce a 6+ seed regional winner: West
    • West: 0.18
    • South: 0.11
    • Midwest: 0.08
    • East: 0.06
  • Popular dark horse Final Four pick, 7-Florida, is only the 6th most likely candidate
  • Getting this pick right is HARD and not for the faint of heart

2 responses to “2024 Dark Horse Final Four Contenders – Model Results”

  1. James Avatar

    Is there a correlation between free throw shooting and tournament success? I would imagine there is one because free throws seem to be very important especially in close games. Should Houston be faded for this?

    1. BracketNinja Avatar

      Great question. Thanks, James. I’ve wondered the same thing myself. I haven’t been able to find any good correlation. My theory is that the teams that aren’t good at FT shooting are good enough in other areas to compensate.