If the NCAA tournament started today we know which teams would be seeded 1 to 4. Last Saturday the selection committee revealed for the first time ever its early bracket. Villanova, Kansas, Baylor and Gonzaga are all No. 1’s. Of the top seeds, which squad is the most likely to run the table during March Madness?
Gonzaga has won 26 straight games, is the last unbeaten team in Division I and is the No. 1 team in the AP poll, yet the program has more than its fair share of doubters. Despite 18 consecutive tournament appearances the Zags have never played past the Elite Eight. For the naysayers this is proof that Mark Few’s program does not belong among the blue bloods of college basketball. This is the season the Zags prove the haters wrong.
The Bulldogs, the No. 1 team in our Power Rankings, are your most likely champions. The Zags are 51.0% likely to make their first-ever Final Four and 22.9% likely to cut down the nets.
Villanova the committee’s top overall seed has a 7.0% chance of repeating, the 5th best odds. Baylor and Kansas, the other No. 1 seeds, have a 5.3% and 3.9% chance respectively of winning.
The only other team that has double-digit odds of winning the NCAA tournament is Louisville. The Cardinals are just 29th in offensive efficiency but boast one of the best defenses in the country allowing 86.9 points per 100 possessions. Rick Pitino’s program has a 10.4% chance of winning it all.
The selection committee’s top 16 seeds combine to win the NCAA tournament 89.9% of the time. Still there will always be upsets. Here are a few teams to keep an eye on as Cinderella’s, Sleepers and Busts.
Cinderella’s – the most likely double-digit seeds in Sweet 16: No. 10 Kansas State (20.7%), No. 11 Michigan (12.1%), No. 11 Syracuse (11.7%), No. 10 Michigan State (9.9%).
Sleepers – the most likely 5+ seeds to make Final Four: No. 5 Wisconsin (10.0%), No. 5 Creighton (8.3%), No. 6 SMU (8.1%), No. 9 Wichita State (7.0%), No. 5 Cincinnati (5.2%)
Busts – the least likely 1-4 seeds to make Final Four: No. 3 Arizona (8.2%), No. 2 Oregon (8.3%), No. 4 Purdue (9.1%), No. 4 UCLA (9.2%), No. 2 Florida State (10.5%)
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Below are each team’s chance to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, Final Four and win the national championship.
|Team||Seed||Sweet 16||Final 4||Champion|
|Saint Marys CA||7||26.5||4.9||0.6|
|Middle Tenn St||11||5.3||0.2||0|
|Florida Gulf Coast||14||0.6||0||0|
|Cal State Bakersfield||15||2||0||0|
|North Dakota State||15||0.4||0||0|
|New Orleans U||16||0.1||0||0|