Tag Archives: bracket predicitons

Mad Max in the Final Four

It is often easier to eliminate Final Four candidates than to identify them. 

For instance, if you look back through the history of all Final Four participants for the last 35 years or so, there doesn’t seem to be a common thread in the data that can be pointed to as a sure fire indicator that a particular team is going to win it all come March. (At least not yet, finding that is our goal…)

What we can identify are teams that lack characteristics germane to all Final Four teams. One of the best indicators is how well a team does on the road. 

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Computer Model Composite – NCAA Bracket Prediction Probabilities for Every Team

I’ve gathered bracket probabilities from other websites to compare with my model’s results. Here are the numbers from those models as well as a composite (average of all the models) probability for every team reaching each round. Apologies to the other play-in teams, but I assumed Michigan State, Wichita State, Mt St Mary’s, and Appalachian State win their First Four games.

I’ll show the numbers in a few different looks – Champs, First Round Upsets, Bracket Busters, Cinderellas, Busts, Dark Horse Final Four, and a composite for All Teams/All Rounds – get your scrolling fingers ready!

IMPORTANT NOTE: the probabilities for 14-Colgate are significantly inflated by the shocking numbers the model from The Power Rank gives them.

I was able to find predictions at the following websites:

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Most Likely Busts – Top-Seeded Early Exits – 2021

An early exit for a top seed is losing in the first weekend of the tournament, or in other words failing to reach the Sweet 16. 

Only 67% of 1-3 seeds reach the Sweet 16, so this happens often enough that you should at least consider it while making your picks.  This year, we have 2 top-seeded teams that are likely not going to survive the first weekend (greater than 50% chance). Here are the most likely top-seeded teams to make an early exit. 

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Dark Horse Final Four Teams – 2021

A dark horse Final Four team is a 5+ seed that reaches the Final Four

Even though 83% of all Final Four teams have been seeded 1-4, 9 of the last 10 tournaments have had at least 1 5+ seed in the Final Four. The following teams have the best chances among this year’s “longshots.”

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Most Likely Bracket Busters – 2021

Bracket Buster definition:  a 6+ seeded team that reaches the Elite 8

Most bracket fillers conservatively stick to the highest seeds when picking their Elite 8 teams, and rightly so – about 81% of all Elite 8 teams were 1-5 seeds.  So when a 6+ seed reaches the Elite 8, most people’s brackets are busted. 

Last tournament was the only one in the last 10 that did not have a bracket buster. Here are this year’s most likely Bracket Busters (teams with at least 10% chance):

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Most Likely Cinderellas – 2021

Let’s call a Cinderella team a double-digit seed that reaches the Sweet 16. This means they would pull of at least one but probably two upsets in the first weekend and have glory and praise heaped upon them for the next week before they play in the Sweet 16.  Almost every year, we see at least one Cinderella. Only the 1995 and 2007 tournaments didn’t have one. Last year there was one – the one that I predicted had the best chance – 12-seed Oregon.

Correctly identify a Cinderella team in your bracket, and you’ll not only look like a genius, but also increase your chances of winning your bracket pool.  Here are this year’s most likely Cinderellas (i.e. teams with at least 10% chance or reaching the Sweet 16):

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Most Likely First Round Upsets 2021

It sure is fun to correctly pick the inevitable First Round upsets. This year, both 11-Syracuse and 10-Rutgers are favorites to win their First Round games.

Unfortunately, the prospect of a 12-5 upset isn’t as high as it usually is. We can normally count on at least one. In 2019, we had three and the fourth 12-seed only lost by one! This year, it’s basically a 50/50 chance that we’ll have any.

Here are the double-digit teams with at least a 20% chance to win their First Round game:

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How Top-Heavy is each Region?

Your chances of winning your bracket pool improve dramatically with the more correct Final Four picks you have. Historically, 61% of all Final Four teams have been a 1- or 2-seed. Here’s a look at the combined probability of each region having a 1- or 2-seed champ.

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Top Final Four Contenders in the West Region

Win your bracket pool by using simulation results from BracketResearch.com’s computer model that amazingly predicts NCAA Tournament outcomes. 

No surprise – Gonzaga’s the favorite. Perhaps the biggest surprise is USC’s not insignificant 8% chance of winning the region. There is a 90% chance the winner will be one of five teams…

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Top Final Four Contenders in the East Region

Win your bracket pool by using simulation results from BracketResearch.com’s computer model that amazingly predicts NCAA Tournament outcomes. 

Michigan is the only team with a greater than 50% chance of winning their region. Problem is, Michigan won’t be full strength – at least for the first two rounds – due to Isaiah Livers’ injury. Soooo… huge caveat in this region. I suggest discounting Michigan’s chances and boosting everyone else’s. By how much? I wish I could tell you. According to Jeff Borzello, Michigan, in the past 2 seasons, is 33-9 with a healthy Livers and 6-6 otherwise. All 12 games without him came last season.

There is an 85% chance the winner will be one of five teams…

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