Cinderellas/Sleepers/Busts (03/11/18)

By Paul Bessire
2018 Tournament Pages:
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Bracket Analysis
Bracket Odds
Predictalated Bracket
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Prediction Machine has already played the 2018 NCAA Tournament 50,000 times to create the Bracket Odds table with the chances of any team making it to any level in the tournament, as well as the printable bracket with the machine's most likely outcomes.

Predictalated Printable Bracket

Cinderellas, Sleepers and Busts: everything you need to know before filling out your bracket.

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


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

#10 Texas (South) - 14.8%
#10 Butler (East) - 14.5%
#12 New Mexico State (Midwest) - 14.4%
#11 Loyoyla IL (South) - 14.1%
#12 Davidson (South) - 12.0%


#5 West Virginia (East) - 8.0%
#5 Kentucky (South) - 5.1%
#6 Houston (West) - 4.5%
#5 Ohio State (West) - 3.2%
#8 Missouri (West) - 2.9%


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

#4 Wichita State (East) - 15.3%
#4 Arizona (South) - 15.6%
#4 Auburn (Midwest) - 15.9%
#3 Texas Tech (East) - 16.3%
#3 Michigan (South) - 26.5%


Xavier is just 13.5% likely to make the Final Four, the lowest probability of any top seed. The Musketeers are 62.6% likely to make Sweet 16, 32.9% likely to make Elite 8 and just 1.4% likely to win the championship.


Best at-large teams not in the tournament: Notre Dame (#19 in Final Power Rankings), Saint Mary's (#33), Baylor (#34), Penn State (#35), Louisville (#39) and USC (#45).


Worst at-large teams included in tournament: St. Bonaventure (#80 in our Final Power Rankings), Kansas State (#66), Arizona State (#58), Oklahoma (#56), Providence (#52) and Syrasue (#50).


While the teams above will likely run into matchup problems along the way (they may also create matchup problems, but are too volatile to count on making a deep run), these teams rank in the Top 25 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency by our strength-of-schedule-adjusted metrics: Villanova, Duke, Gonzaga, Kentucky, UNC, Michigan and Michigan State.


The loaded East has the best chance to win it all. The region has a combined 285% chance to win the championship. It has just five teams in the top 25 our Power Rankings, yet all five are in the Top 13 overall teams. The Midwest (28%) and East (27%) are very close in overall championship chances.

Tournament History Highlight: Results have been consistently dominant in the NCAA Tournament in years past. Over 8 NCAA Tournaments at, featured, "normal" or better picks (anything with greater than 57% confidence) are 76-40 (66% ATS), while the top play each day is 57-30 (66% ATS). This includes being 39-18 (67% ATS) on normal or better picks and 14-2 on Top Plays of the Day all-time in the First Round (first Thursday and Friday each tournament)

Picks and predictions on every college basketball game throughout the entire tournament, as well as every regular season NBA, NHL and MLB game (with win total picks), including pick confidence and bet value recommendations on every play are now available at a discount. See more.