March Madness 2019 bracket: Advanced computer simulation reveals surprising upset picks
If history is any indication, the 2019 March Madness bracket will be full of upsets. That’s one big reason why the 2019 NCAA Tournament is one of the most highly-anticipated events in recent years. Superstars like Duke’s Zion Williamson and talented stalwarts like Kentucky are incredibly entertaining to watch, but at any given moment, they’ll run into an underdog who can knock them off their perch. Murray State will likely be one of the most popular 2019 March Madness upsets chosen by the public, with future NBA star Ja Morant running the show for the Racers. However, picking the right upsets can be the difference between winning and losing your 2019 NCAA Tournament pool. Before you lock in your plays, see the surprising 2019 NCAA Tournament picks and March Madness predictions from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.
Last year, SportsLine’s computer simulation nailed some massive upsets, including huge wins by No. 13 seed Buffalo over No. 4 seed Arizona, No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago over No. 6 seed Miami, and No. 10 seed Butler over No. 7 seed Arkansas.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has nailed 12 of the 18 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds the past three years. Getting those picks right could literally make or break your March Madness bracket.
Now, SportsLine’s advanced computer model has simulated the entire NCAA Tournament 10,000 times to come up with the perfect 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket, and find out which teams will pull off the biggest upsets. You shouldn’t even think about making a pick without seeing what their model has to say.
What they found: No. 8 seed VCU falls to No. 9 seed UCF in the first round. The Knights take this matchup outright in over 60 percent of simulations, making it one of the computer’s highly confident 2019 March Madness picks.
UCF received its first ever at-large bid and earned its best seeding ever in the NCAA Tournament this season. The Knights finished 13-5 in conference play and are a veteran team led by extremely talented upperclassmen. UCF’s dynamic duo of B.J. Taylor and Aubrey Dawkins combine for over 31 points per game, and they’ll be leaned on heavily to pull off an upset against VCU.
The Knights also have a distinct advantage on the inside. Tacko Fall is a towering 7-foot-6, 310-pound senior who is a major mismatch for opposing defenders. His sheer presence in the paint forces opponents to take low-percentage shots. He’s a swat machine and enters the 2019 NCAA Tournament averaging 2.5 blocks per game. He’s also an offensive threat for the Knights, shooting over 75 percent from the field and recording three double-doubles in his last six games. Confidently back UCF to upset VCU and get your 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket off to a strong start.
Another huge curveball: No. 3 seed LSU falls loses in the first round to No. 14 Yale. The Tigers are dealing with significant distractions surrounding their program with LSU head coach Will Wade suspended. Along with a matchup against a hungry Florida program, Wade’s absence led to the SEC regular-season champions being bounced in their first game of the conference tournament.
Yale won’t be a cakewalk for LSU. The Bulldogs just put a staggering 97 points on arch-rivals Harvard in the Ivy League Tournament title game. It was revenge for two regular-season losses that led to Harvard stealing the league from Yale even though the Bulldogs had been the better team throughout the season. Yale has wins over Cal and Miami under its belt and won’t be intimidated by LSU.
Look for Miye Oni and Alex Copeland to attack LSU relentlessly as big guards who can handle the basketball, shoot effectively, and finish around the rim. Florida’s Andrew Nembhard is a similar guard and had 20 points, six assists and four rebounds against LSU in the SEC Tournament. That’s a big reason why the model is picking the Bulldogs to pull off one of the top 2019 March Madness upsets.
SportsLine’s model also has one region where you need to pick the Nos. 11, 12 and 13 seeds, and another region with a No. 3 seed in the Final Four. Nailing those picks could literally make or break your bracket.
So what’s the optimal NCAA Tournament 2019 bracket? And which underdogs shock college basketball? Visit SportsLine now to see which No. 3 seed makes the Final Four, and see which region you need to pick the 11, 12, and 13 seeds, all from the model that’s nailed 12 of the 18 double-digit seed upsets the past three years.