The 7 Most Likely NCAA Tournament Upsets

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Source: sapphireblue via Flickr

Source: sapphireblue via Flickr

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:

  1. Arizona State (10) over Texas (7), 47.7 percent chance (Nate Silver: 50 percent)
  2. Harvard (12) over Cincinnati (5), 43.7 percent chance (Silver: 42 percent)
  3. Stanford (10) over New Mexico (7), 43.1 percent chance (Silver: 36 percent)
  4. Nebraska (11) over Baylor (6), 41.1 percent chance (Silver: 30 percent)
  5. Tennessee (11) over UMass (6), 40.9 percent chance (Silver: 36 percent)*
  6. Providence (11) over UNC (6), 40.6 percent chance (Silver: 32 percent)
  7. 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.

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