NCAA Tournament 2019 bracket: Advanced computer simulation predicts surprising upsets
The difference between winning your 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket pool or going home with nothing will likely come down to your March Madness upset picks. Each year, pool winners separate themselves from the pack by picking an underdog that’s poised to pull off a shocking upset. Last season, Loyola-Chicago made a Cinderella Run all the way to the Final Four, becoming just the fourth 11-seed ever to do so. Sister Jean’s squad busted millions of brackets after defeating No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before eventually falling to No. 3 Michigan. With so many teams capable of upsets again in the NCAA Tournament 2019 field, you’re going to need help when filling out your 2019 March Madness brackets. That’s why you should see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say before locking in any 2019 NCAA Tournament picks and March Madness bracket predictions of your own.
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 won the SEC regular-season championship thanks to strong play from point guard Tremont Waters. The sophomore guard enters March Madness averaging 15.1 points and 5.9 assists. However, LSU’s success on the court has been overshadowed by the recent controversy involving head coach Will Wade.
Wade is suspended entering the 2019 NCAA Tournament and the Tigers proved vulnerable without their head coach at the helm in the SEC Tournament. In fact, the regular-season SEC champs lost their quarterfinal matchup against the Florida Gators as a 3.5-point favorite. It was their first and only game in the SEC Tournament.
Meanwhile, Yale enters Thursday’s matchup full of confidence after dropping 97 points on top-seeded Harvard in the Ivy League title game. The Bulldogs have been red-hot offensively down the stretch, averaging 83.4 points in their past nine contests.
The Bulldogs also have a history of busting March Madness brackets. In 2016, Yale, then a No. 12 seed, defeated No. 5 Baylor before eventually falling to Duke in the second round. Plus, there has been at least one 14 vs. 3 upset in four of the past six NCAA Tournaments.
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.