Let the madness begin. The 2019 NCAA Tournament features plenty of intriguing matchups that could be difficult to predict as fans of all levels of college basketball know-how frantically fill out their brackets. Each year, brackets are busted after the first weekend because an underdog pulls off a shocking upset against a heavily favored team. Last year, UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed, and it wasn’t even close. In fact, UMBC beat top-seed Virginia by 20 points. Now, with the 2019 NCAA Tournament field set, identifying which teams can pull off an upset will be the key between winning your March Madness bracket pool or going home empty-handed. Therefore, before you lock in any 2019 NCAA Tournament picks or March Madness bracket predictions, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.
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. UCF had a remarkable season and is making just its fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Knights closed the regular season on a red-hot run, winning four of their past five games. Two of those victories came against Top 25 teams, including an impressive 69-64 road victory over 11th-ranked Houston.
VCU’s defense will have a tough task stopping UCF’s Tacko Fall. The 7-foot-6 center is a major mismatch for opposing defenders and enters the tournament averaging 10.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. Plus, VCU has lost five of its past six NCAA Tournament games. Confidently back UCF to knock off the Rams on Friday.
Another huge curveball: No. 3 seed LSU falls loses in the first round to No. 14 Yale. The Tigers won the SEC regular-season championship thanks to strong play from point guard Tremont Waters. The sophomore guard enters March Madness averaging 15.1 points and 5.9 assists. However, LSU’s success on the court has been overshadowed by the recent controversy involving head coach Will Wade.
Wade is suspended entering the 2019 NCAA Tournament and the Tigers proved vulnerable without their head coach at the helm in the SEC Tournament. In fact, the regular-season SEC champs lost their quarterfinal matchup against the Florida Gators as a 3.5-point favorite. It was their first and only game in the SEC Tournament.
Meanwhile, Yale enters Thursday’s matchup full of confidence after dropping 97 points on top-seeded Harvard in the Ivy League title game. The Bulldogs have been red-hot offensively down the stretch, averaging 83.4 points in their past nine contests.
The Bulldogs also have a history of busting March Madness brackets. In 2016, Yale, then a No. 12 seed, defeated No. 5 Baylor before eventually falling to Duke in the second round. Plus, there has been at least one 14 vs. 3 upset in four of the past six NCAA Tournaments.
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.