NCAA Tournament 2019 bracket: Proven computer model predicts surprising upsets
Selection Sunday has come and gone. The 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket has been released, consisting of 32 schools that received automatic bids and 36 that accepted at-large invites. Eight teams come from the Big Ten, seven from the SEC, seven from the ACC (including three of the four No. 1 seeds), and six teams represent the Big 12. Millions of people are frantically filling out their 2019 March Madness brackets in hopes of dominating their family, friends and co-workers. Winning your NCAA Tournament 2019 pool is all about identifying the top upsets and Cinderella teams, like last year when 11-seed Loyola-Chicago made the Final Four, winning a region that included heavy-hitters like Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. As you look for this year’s hidden gems while advancing teams in your 2019 NCAA bracket, consult the March Madness predictions from the model at SportsLine.
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 is coming off an impressive 23-8 season where it went 13-5 in the AAC. The Knights made their biggest statement in early March with wins over 3-seed Houston on the road and 7-seed Cincinnati at home in back-to-back games. They’ve faced NCAA Tournament-level talent all season long.
Central Florida has sensational size on the inside with massive 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall and 6-foot-11 Collin Smith at forward. With those two pounding the offensive glass, B.J. Taylor and Aubrey Dawkins can let if fly from the outside, where Taylor shoots 36.8 percent from three-point range, while Dawkins is at 39.2.
Look for UCF’s size to have a major impact defensively too. VCU shoots just 30.7 percent from the three-point line and relies on its ability to get to the rim and score. With Fall averaging 2.5 blocks per game and avoiding foul trouble for most of the season, it could be tough for the Rams to score in the paint, which is why the model gives UCF the victory in 62 percent of simulations.
Another huge curveball: No. 3 seed LSU falls loses in the first round to No. 14 Yale. Both teams can score at will, with LSU ranking No. 23 in the nation at 81.4 points per game and Yale right behind the Tigers at 81.1. Both teams also have scoring depth, with seven players in each rotation averaging at least seven points per game. However, the Bulldogs are the more effective three-point shooting team, so they can more effectively space the floor. They’ve also been more successful defensively.
In fact, the Bulldogs held their opponents to 41.1 percent shooting from the floor this season. And while those numbers are ultimately impacted by the quality of Yale’s schedule, the Bulldogs were defensively stout in non-conference wins over California and Miami. The Bears shot just 35.3 percent against Yale, while the Hurricanes only made 41.3 percent of their field goal attempts.
Add in the controversy surrounding LSU head coach Will Wade’s suspension amid a federal investigation and Yale appears to be on a more level playing field than your typical 14-seed. That’s why the SportsLine Projection Model considers Yale over LSU as one of its top 2019 NCAA Tournament upsets in the West Region.
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.