Gonzaga is the top team in the AP poll. The Zags moved to No. 1 for the second time in school history and are the lone unbeaten team in Division I. We liked Mark Few’s squad last week, how does their ascension to the top impact their tournament outlook?

To find out we simulated the NCAA tournament 10,000 simulations using Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology.

A question being asked, “Can the Zags, playing in the West Coast Conference, be a top seed in the NCAA tournament?” Not only could the Bulldogs be a one-seed, they could be the top overall seed and if the tournament started today would be our pick for the most likely national champion.

Gonzaga cuts down the nets 15.9% of the time in our simulations. Louisville (13.0%), Kentucky (10.3%), Villanova (8.7%) and West Virginia (7.5%) are the next most likely champions.

With Gonzaga leading the way, what other mid-majors could make some noise in the tourney? Saint Mary’s, No. 18 in the polls and a current six-seed, has a 48.6% chance of reaching the Sweet 16. Dayton (18.6%), Illinois State (18.4%), VCU (9.7%), Vermont (9.6%), Belmont (7%) and Middle Tennessee (5.3%) all have better than a 1-in-20 chance of making it past the first weekend of the tournament.

Though there are some mid-majors that could surprise, the tournament remains chalky. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, combine to win March Madness 64.1% of the time. However, we are always on the lookout for the madness in March. Here are a few teams that fit the bill as Cinderella’s, Sleepers and Busts.

Cinderella’s – the most likely double-digit seeds in Sweet 16: No. 11 Illinois State (18.4%), No. 10 Miami (17.0%), No. 10 VCU (9.7%), No. 12 Vermont (9.6%) and No. 10 Clemson (8.6%).

Sleepers – the most likely 5+ seeds to make Final Four: No. 5 Duke (13.3%), No. 6 Saint Mary’s (11.5%), No. 6 Creighton (7.7%), No. 5 Florida (7.0%), No. 6 South Carolina (6.0%).

Busts – the least likely 1-4 seeds to make Final Four: No. 3 Butler (5.4%), No. 4 UCLA (5.5%), No. 3 Florida State (6.9%), No. 2 Arizona (7.5%), No. 3 Oregon (7.5%)


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Below are each team’s chance to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, Final Four and win the national championship.

TeamSeedSweet 16Final FourChampion
Gonzaga182.334.215.9
Louisville279.238.913
Kentucky27736.710.3
Villanova174.2338.7
West Virginia36621.37.5
Virginia46219.77.1
Baylor159.5225.6
Kansas18022.85.4
Wisconsin465.117.74.7
North Carolina268.120.63.5
Duke555.413.32.4
Cincinnati45812.72
Florida535.471.8
Arizona252.27.51.7
Saint Marys CA648.611.51.6
Oregon3469.91.3
Purdue627.851.1
South Carolina633.761.1
Butler345.35.40.8
Creighton653.37.70.8
Florida State344.96.90.6
SMU729.83.10.5
UCLA436.95.50.5
Kansas State920.94.10.4
Iowa State712.52.30.3
Northwestern714.12.60.3
Notre Dame529.33.40.3
Xavier7223.70.3
Oklahoma State165.80.60.1
Miami Florida10170.80.1
Marquette814.310.1
Illinois State1118.41.40.1
Clemson108.61.40.1
Dayton918.620.1
Maryland525.42.40.1
Richmond142.700
Akron132.100
NC Wilmington12200
Florida Gulf Coast141.700
Weber State111.600
North Dakota State151.100
Princeton140.900
Furman150.800
Monmouth130.600
Winthrop150.400
Georgia Southern150.300
Texas Southern110.200
Sam Houston State160.200
Mount St Marys160.100
UC Davis160.100
Bucknell143.80.10
USC83.70.10
New Mexico State133.50.10
Valparaiso123.40.10
Wake Forest161.60.10
Belmont1370.20
Nevada124.30.20
Indiana96.60.30
Arkansas95.70.30
Vermont129.60.40
Michigan165.80.40
Middle Tenn St115.30.40
TCU165.80.50
Virginia Tech84.70.50
Michigan State810.40.70
Minnesota107.50.80
VCU109.70.90