March Madness is coming. You might have missed it because of Super Bowl weekend but on Saturday six top ten teams lost on the same day, just the fifth time that has happened in the history of the AP poll. We know the best teams in the country can lose but what will happen when the tournament starts?
The Zags, the No. 1 team in the country for a second straight week, are your most likely champion. Mark Few’s team is deep, talented and has a real chance to enter the tournament undefeated. Gonzaga has a 20.0% chance of cutting down the nets – I bet you wish you took them at 9-1 like we suggested a few weeks ago.
Louisville just lost on the road at Virginia. As they say in investing, sell on good news and buy on bad. The Cardinals were missing a few players including their second and third leading scorers thanks to injuries/suspensions. With a full squad, Rick Pitino’s bunch can make some noise in March.
Louisville has an 11.6% chance to win it all. Behind the Cardinals are Virginia (7.0%), Villanova (6.9%), Kentucky (6.6%), Baylor (6.4%) and Florida (6.1%).
Your most likely Final Four is No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Louisville and No. 3 Kentucky. Outside of the top four seeds, only No. 5 Purdue has better than a 10% chance of reaching the Final Four.
Despite the projected top seeds all losing lately, the tournament is shaping up to be chalky. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds combine to win the NCAA tournament 54.9% 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 Wichita State (34.6%), No. 10 Minnesota (17.5%), No. 10 TCU (15.7%), No. 10 Kansas State (11.0%), and No. 11 Miami (10.5%).
Sleepers – the most likely 5+ seeds to make Final Four: No. 5 Purdue (14.1%), No. 6 Saint Mary’s (9.0%), No. 5 Duke (7.2%), No. 7 Iowa State (5.1%)
Busts – the least likely 1-4 seeds to make Final Four: No. 2 Oregon (6.3%), No. 4 Cincinnati (10.0%), No. 4 UCLA (10.6%), No. 2 Arizona (10.9%)
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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||6||37.2||9||1.4|
|Middle Tenn St||11||8.5||0.7||0|
|New Mexico State||12||6.9||0.1||0|
|Florida Gulf Coast||14||1.7||0||0|
|North Dakota State||15||1.1||0||0|