Category Archives: Bracket Tips

Top 5 Most Likely 2018 NCAA Champions

To win your bracket pool, you’ve gotta pick the champion correctly (in standard scoring formats).  The final game is worth as much as the first 32 games combined.  Good thing you’re reading this post. has developed a computer model that amazingly predicts NCAA Tournament results.  Click here to see just how amazing.  Read on to see this year’s most likely teams to win the NCAA Tournament.

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New Computer Model Produces Amazing Results has developed a computer model that amazingly predicts NCAA Tournament results.  The model simulates the NCAA Tournament, providing results that you can use to dramatically increase your chances of winning your bracket pool.  I will share simulation results in separate posts, but continue reading to see how well the model performed when I tested it on the past five tournaments.

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2018 Teams With Champ DNA

A thorough analysis of past national championship teams has shown that they have certain traits and characteristics in common.  Visit the DNA of a National Championship Team page for a full explanation of those attributes. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post if you just want to see a list of this year’s contenders.

Caution:  Not all teams that fit this description win the championship.  Every year there are between 3 and 10 contenders with the right DNA that don’t win it all and might even make an early exit from the tournament (for example, 2016 Michigan State losing in the First Round or Kentucky’s second round exit in 2004).

Here’s a breakdown of this year’s contenders.

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The Quarterfinal Rule – teams that will not win the championship – 2018

The Quarterfinal Rule has never been broken.  It states that any team that fails to advance past their conference tournament quarterfinal WILL NOT win the national championship.  Here is a list of teams eliminated from contention by the Quarterfinal Rule last year.  I’ll keep this year’s list up to data as we progress through the week.

2018 Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention

  • Ohio State – Lost to Penn State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals
  • Auburn – Lost to Alabama (Roll Tide!) in the SEC Quarterfinals


Teams With the Most Q1 Wins Dominate the NCAA Tournament

Does it really matter how many Quadrant 1 wins a team has?  Do Quadrant 1 (Q1) wins give any indication of how a team will perform in the NCAA Tournament?  Yes, it does.  I’ve already shown how each of the last 15 champions entered the tournament with at least nine Q1 wins.  Here is a deeper look at teams with 9+ Q1 wins and how they did in the tournament.

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Tournament Winners Have LOTS of Q1 Wins

Does it really matter how many Quadrant 1 wins a team has?  Do Quadrant 1 (Q1) wins give any indication of a team’s title chances in the NCAA Tournament?

Yes!  And there are only three teams so far, this year, that have enough.

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1-Seeds Have an Easier Path to the Elite 8 than 2-Seeds

As we head down the final stretch of the season, several teams are still in contention for receiving a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday.  One could reasonably argue that the difference in quality between 1-seeds and 2-seeds (the best 8 teams) isn’t very big.  In fact, 1-seeds have faced a 2-seed in their regional final (Elite 8 game) 45 times, and the series is split 23-22 with a slight advantage to the 1-seeds.  So does it really matter whether a team gets a 1-seed?  Yes it does!

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Most Over- and Under-rated Teams 02-15-2018

Overrated teams are the best candidates for early exits from the NCAA Tournament.  Comparing the latest AP Poll rankings with the team ratings from, here are the most over- and under-rated NCAA Men’s Basketball teams.

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2017 Bracket Predictions

  • The champ will be either Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, or Oregon
  • IF Kansas gets past Miami, they will lose in the Sweet 16 to Iowa State
  • Gonzaga won’t reach the Final Four
  • Extremely over-seeded Minnesota will lose to MTSU in the First Round
  • Extremely over-seeded Maryland will lose to Xavier in the First Round
  • St. Mary’s will pull off the upset of the tournament by beating Arizona in the Second Round

2017 Most Over-seeded Teams

Undeserving 1-seeds have consistently under-performed, and this year North Carolina and Kansas fit the bill.

I am using team ratings from my computer model to determine if a team is over-seeded in the tournament.  1-seeds should be one of the top four teams, 2-seeds should be teams 5-8, and so on.  I’d like to mention that my model’s not too shabby, either.  It performed better than ESPN’s model at picking against the spread.

Historically (going back to 2013), only the top seeds (1 through 6) have demonstrated a clear trend of under-performing when my model says they were over-seeded

Overrated 2-seeds

  • My model says Duke and Arizona both should’ve been 4-seeds
  • 26 of the last 60 2-seeds were over-rated by that much or more.
    • None won the championship
    • Two (including Duke in 2012) lost in the first round
    • Ten lost in the Second Round
    • Only 5 reached the Final Four
  • Duke and Arizona do, however, have the DNA of a championship team

Overrated 3-seeds

  • 3-seeds that should be be 6-seeds or worse have consistently under-performed
  • This year, only Baylor is that overrated
  • There is one outlier – in 2011, Connecticut should’ve been a 6-seed, but they won it all
  • There have been 16 other 3-seeds that overrated
    • None reached the Final Four
    • Two lost in the First Round
    • Seven lost in the Second Round

Overrated 4-seeds

  • Purdue should’ve been a 5 and Butler a 6
  • 27 of the last 60 4-seeds were over-seeded
    • None reached the Championship game
    • Only 2 reached the Elite 8 and one reached the Final Four
    • 8 lost in the First Round
    • 9 lost in the Second Round

Overrated 5-seeds

  • Minnesota should’ve been an 8-seed
  • 24 of the last 60 5-seed have been  as grossly over-seeded as Minnesota or more
    • 13 (over half!) of them lost in the First Round
    • In 2010, Butler surprised everyone by reaching the Championship game as a 5-seed
    • Besides Butler, none of the other over-seeded 5’s in this group reached even the Elite 8

Overrated 6-seeds

  • Maryland shouldn’t have even made it into the tournament
  • 22 of the last 60 6-seeds were significantly over-seeded
    • 13 (59%) of them lost in the First Round
    • None of the reached the Final Four
    • 5 of them actually won multiple games, so all is not lost for Maryland.  Forget about a Final Four run, though.