Thursday, April 18, 2024

March Madness 2024 bracket: NCAA Tournament picks, optimal predictions from college basketball model

Despite being the defending national champion and the No. 1 overall seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket, the UConn Huskies might have the toughest road to the Final Four of any No. 1 seed this season. The East Region also features three red-hot conference champions, with Iowa State (2), Illinois (3) and Auburn (4) all drawing into UConn’s quadrant. UConn will be a popular national championship pick in the 2024 March Madness bracket, but will you stand a better chance of winning your 2024 NCAA Tournament picks by choosing somebody else out of the East?

Cinderellas and 2024 March Madness bracket busters are always a part of the story. Who will be some of the potential 2024 NCAA Tournament upset picks to target? Before filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket 2024, be sure to see the 2024 March Madness bracket picks from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

SportsLine’s projection model has simulated every game in the tournament 10,000 times. It has absolutely crushed its March Madness picks recently, beating over 92% of all CBS Sports brackets in three of the past five tournaments. In an upset-laden 2023 NCAA Tournament, the model was all over UConn’s shocking Final Four run as a 4-seed. It went an amazing 23-9 in the first round, including an astounding 12-4 in the Midwest and West regions.

It knows how to spot an upset as well. The same model has produced brackets that have nailed 20 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds since its inception in 2016.

There’s no reason to rely on luck when there’s proven technology to help you dominate your 2024 March Madness picks. Now, with the 2024 NCAA bracket revealed, the model is simulating the matchups and its results are in. You can only see it over at SportsLine.

Top 2024 March Madness bracket picks

One of the Midwest Region picks from the model: No. 3 seed Creighton goes on a surprising run, making it to the Final Four for the first time in program history. A former mid-major darling, Creighton has played in one of America’s best conferences (the Big East) for a decade now and has been a strong threat come tournament time over the last three years. The Bluejays ended a 47-year Sweet 16 drought in 2021, won a game as a No. 9, seed, took eventual national champion Kansas to the brink in 2022, and made the Elite Eight in 2023.

Creighton welcomes back its top three stars from that run to the regional final last year: center Ryan Kalkbrenner, wing Baylor Scheierman and guard Trey Alexander. That trio combines to average 53.1 points, 22.1 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game, while Kalkbrenner is also one of the nation’s best rim protectors (3.0 blocks per game). The model is picking the Bluejays to go through Akron, South Carolina, Tennessee and Purdue on their way to the Final Four.

Another surprise: No. 5 Gonzaga gets past No. 4 Kansas in the Midwest. These are two of the most consistent programs in college basketball, with Kansas making its 34th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, while Gonzaga earned its 25th bid in a row. The model predicts that both teams will win their first-round March Madness matchups, with Kansas besting Samford and Gonzaga eliminating McNeese State.

However, the model knows that Gonzaga has been playing better basketball, winning nine of 10 with an average scoring margin of nearly 15 points. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks have lost four of five and are facing serious injury questions with their two best players. Kevin McCullar (knee) and Hunter Dickinson (shoulder) both missed the Big 12 tournament and the former won’t play in the NCAA Tournament 2024. That’s why the model has the Bulldogs advancing to their ninth consecutive Sweet 16. You can see the model’s 2024 NCAA bracket picks here.

How to make 2024 NCAA bracket predictions

Who wins every tournament-defining matchup, and which teams will make surprising runs through the 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket? With the model’s track record of calling bracket-busting upsets, you’ll want to see which stunners it’s calling this year before locking in any 2024 NCAA bracket picks.

So what’s the optimal NCAA Tournament 2024 bracket, and which NCAA Tournament Cinderella teams will shock college basketball? Visit SportsLine now to see which region the 1- and 3-seeds go down in flames before the Elite Eight, and which region features a 4-seed in the Final Four, all from the model that has beaten 92% of bracket players three of the last five tournaments.

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