Cinderellas/Sleepers/Busts (03/13/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Cinderellas, Sleepers and Busts: everything you need to know before filling out your bracket.



PredictionMachine.com ran 50,000 simulations of the NCAA Tournament bracket Sunday night. Utilizing our Bracket Analysis, here are teams to watch and avoid in the Big Dance.

CINDERELLAS

Double-digit seeds with the best chance to reach the Sweet 16:

Gonzaga, the Midwest's No. 11 seed, has a 27% chance of reaching the Sweet 16. The Zags are back in the tourney for an 18th straight time and will be a trendy upset pick in the first round. The Bulldogs haven't been a double-digit seed since 2011 and have a chance to make some noise, ranking in the Top 30 of our Power Rankings.

Other teams with similar chances include No. 10 VCU (22%), No. 10 Pitt (17%), No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (16%)… No. 11 Wichita State/Vanderbilt are combined 19% and would have 48.1% chance of winning in Round of 64.

SLEEPERS

Teams seeded fifth or worse with the best chance to reach the Final Four:

Purdue is perhaps the most under-seeded team in the tournament. The Boilermakers are No. 9 in our Power Rankings – 12th in offensive efficiency and 19th in defensive efficiency (one of just eight teams to be Top 25 in both). Matt Painter's squad has a 9% chance of making it to Houston, the 13th best Final Four odds.

Other teams seeded fifth or worse with the best chances of making the Final Four include: No. 5 Indiana (9%), No. 5 Maryland (5%) and No. 7 Iowa (3%)

BUSTS

Teams seeded fourth or better with the worst chance of reaching the Elite Eight:

Oregon rolled Utah in the Pac-12 Championship and though it is unlikely that the Utes suffer that kind of blowout loss in March Madness we could still see the Utes exit early. Unfortunately, that would rob the nation of getting to see Jakob Poeltl, one of the most versatile seven-footers, play.

Additional teams like Utah: No. 4 Cal (9%), No. 4 Iowa State (17%), No. 4 Duke (20%) and No. 2 Xavier (28%).

FIRST 1 SEED OUT

Virginia is just 28% likely to make the Final Four, the lowest probability of any top seed. However, Oregon is just 77% likely to reach the Sweet 16 (compared to Virginia at 83%). The Ducks, a surprise one-seed, could be the first sent home.

BIGGEST BEEF

Best at-large teams not in the tournament: Louisville (No. 16 in Final Power Rankings – but ineligible), SMU (No. 18 – also ineligible), Saint Mary's (No. 29), Valparaiso (No. 37), San Diego State (No. 39) and Florida (No. 40). St. Bonaventure ranks No. 69 in our Power Rankings and Monmouth is No. 77.

LEAST DESERVING

Worst at-large teams included in tournament: Temple (No. 100 in our Final Power Rankings), Tulsa (No. 60), Michigan (No. 59) Oregon State a 7 seed (No. 57), Providence (No. 54), Notre Dame a 6 seed (No. 53), USC (No. 52), Dayton (No. 51) and Colorado (No. 50).

BEST REGION

Midwest has the best chance to win it all. The region has a combined 33.1% chance to win the championship. It also has two of top three teams in our Power Rankings and four of Top 13 overall teams.