The 7 Most Likely NCAA Tournament Upsets
History tells us that multiple double-digit seeds will win a game in the NCAA Tournament.
In the average year, 6.03 teams seeded 10th or higher win their opening round games. If you’re going to pick a perfect bracket and win Warren Buffett’s $1 billion, you need to pick some upsets.
Ken Pomeroy runs college basketball’s most respected advanced stats site. He published the data from his bracket prediction algorithm, and it should give you a starting points for picking upsets.
The seven most likely first-round upsets, according to KenPom’s ratings:
- Arizona State (10) over Texas (7), 47.7 percent chance (Nate Silver: 50 percent)
- Harvard (12) over Cincinnati (5), 43.7 percent chance (Silver: 42 percent)
- Stanford (10) over New Mexico (7), 43.1 percent chance (Silver: 36 percent)
- Nebraska (11) over Baylor (6), 41.1 percent chance (Silver: 30 percent)
- Tennessee (11) over UMass (6), 40.9 percent chance (Silver: 36 percent)*
- Providence (11) over UNC (6), 40.6 percent chance (Silver: 32 percent)
- BYU (10) over Oregon (7), 40.0 percent chance (Silver: 35 percent)
*The number for Tennessee is superficially low because they have to play a play-in game on Wednesday night, and that 40.9 percent figure factors in their chances of losing before they advance to face UMass.