Tag 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.

BracketResearch.com 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

BracketResearch.com 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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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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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.

Over-seeded 1-Seeds Underperform

By undeserving, I’m talking about 1-seeds that my computer model says are not one of the top four teams in the tournament.

This year, my model says North Carolina should’ve been a 2-seed and Kansas should’ve been a 5-seed.

Going back to 2003, my model says 23 out of the 60 1-seeds were over-seeded.

The average number of wins for deserving 1-seeds was 3.8 (4 wins get you to the Final 4), while the average number of wins for undeserving 1-seeds was 2.3.  That’s a big difference!

5 of the 23 undeserving 1-seeds lost in the Second Round, and none of them reached the championship game.

That’s a decent number of data points to indicate my model’s on to something here.

2017 Advice

Definitely don’t pick Kansas to win it all.  Fight the urge!  Remember, the Quarterfinal Rule already declared them ineligible.

The data shows an overseeded 1-seed hasn’t won the championship since 2003, so think twice about picking UNC.

I’m predicting Iowa State to knock Kansas out in the Second Round and UNC to lose in the Elite 8 to… I’m not sure, take your pick between Kentucky, UCLA, and Wichita State.

2017 Bracket Tip Sheet

Pick the Champ First

  • 18 of last 19 champs were a 1-, 2-, or 3-seed
  • This year’s champ will probably be either Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, UCLA, or Duke.  To see why, check out my post about teams with championship DNA

Next Pick Your Final Four

  • All four 1-seeds have made the Final 4 only once
  • All four 1-seeds failed to reach the Final 4 only twice
  • On average, the Final 4 consists of at least one 1-seed and only one team seeded 4 or worse

Elite Eight

  • On average, the Elite 8 consists of three 1-seeds, two 2-seeds, one 3-seed, and one team seeded lower than 5

The Cinderellas

  • On average, 6 double digit seeds advance to the Second Round.  The average over the last 10 years is 7 teams
  • On average, 2 double digit seeds advance to the Sweet 16
  • Never pick a 16-seed to beat a 1-seed
  • Play it safe, and don’t pick a 15-seed to beat a 2-seed.  It’s too rare to be worth the risk.