New User? Sign Up / Forgot Your Password?
All Live
    All Live Projections

    Bracket Analysis (02/17/16)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    A look at what the men's college basketball tournament could look like through 50,000 simulations of Bracketology.

    For this week's analysis, we use Joe Lunardi's ESPN Bracketology to construct the bracket, while we use simulations of the rest of the season to project the likelihood of a team making the tournament (through a combination of chances of qualifying automatically with a conference win and making it as an at-large).

    See: How it Works, a Tournament Summary and Regional Previews: South, West, East and Midwest.

    How it Works

    The Predictalator uses current rosters and strength-of-schedule and pace-adjusted team and player stats (weighted slightly more toward recent games), to play, one possession at a time, every game 50,000 times before it's actually played. For this analysis, we are tracking how likely a team is to make it to any level of the NCAA Tournament. Each tournament is played individually, with the team that wins the game in that instance advancing. See the Bracket Odds and Predictalated Bracket.

    Tournament Summary

    Selection Sunday is less than a month away, which means fringe teams are running out of time. Teams on the bubble need to start making moves if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.

    Here's a look at the teams currently on the bubble and their projected chance of dancing when March Madness rolls around based on 50,000 simulations of the rest of the 2015-16 season.

    Last Four Byes

    The good news, all four of these teams are currently in Joe Lunardi's bracket. The bad news, each team is a No. 9 seed or worse. Syracuse is the only team with better than a one-in-five chance of making it to the Sweet 16 in our simulations of this bracket. The Orange, Wisconsin and Seton Hall all currently project as having greater than a 50 percent chance of remaining in the bracket when Selection Sunday rolls around.

    Pittsburgh is the most likely team from this group to fall out of the tournament. The Panthers have a Top 20 offense, but rank just 47th overall in our Power Rankings overall. It is becoming harder to make a case for Pittsburgh to receive an at-large bid with a 7-6 record in ACC play and six losses in the team's last ten games. In our projections, Pitt's most likely final regular season record is 20-11.

    Team Projected Record Auto Bid Chances Chances of Tournament
    Syracuse 20.2 - 10.8 1.3% 67.6%
    Wisconsin 18.7 - 12.3 2.0% 53.9%
    Seton Hall 20.9 - 9.1 4.7% 58.6%
    Pittsburgh 20.4 - 10.6 0.8% 36.2%

    Last Four In

    Breathe easy, Saint Mary's and Cincinnati. Both programs are on Joe Lunardi's bubble, yet rank inside our Top 35 overall and have nearly a 90 percent chance of staying on the right side of the bubble according to our rest of season analysis. The Gaels can score on anyone, ranking 16th in offensive efficiency. The Bearcats get it done on the other end of the court. Cincinnati is in the Top 15 in defensive efficiency.

    Florida State has dropped back-to-back games and will struggle to get to 20 wins with five regular season contests remaining (including matchups against Duke and Notre Dame). Vanderbilt is a longshot to make the tournament with 11 losses already on the season. Aside from winning the conference tournament, the Commodores last chance to impress the committee is a home game against Kentucky – Vandy is a projected underdog in that game.

    Team Projected Record Auto Bid Chances Chances of Tournament
    Vanderbilt 17.8 - 13.2 6.7% 7.7%
    Cincinnati 21.8 - 9.2 27.9% 89.8%
    Saint Mary's 23.8 - 5.2 34.4% 89.5%
    Florida State 18.6 - 11.4 0.5% 40.0%

    First Four Out

    Here is where things start to get ugly. Not only are these teams not in the most recent iteration of Joe Lunardi's Bracketology, there isn't much chance that we hear their names called on Selection Sunday (especially as an at-large participant).

    Butler could be the exception. The Bulldogs ran through the non-conference schedule with wins over Cincinnati and Purdue (both in our Top 35 overall). However, the Big East has been a different animal. Seven of Butler's eight losses have come in conference play. Five of those losses were against ranked teams; there is no shame in that but they still count as missed opportunities. If the Bulldogs are going to return to the tournament as an at-large (they have went dancing in seven of the last nine years) a win at Villanova this Saturday is almost a must.

    Both Washington and Clemson appear to only have a legitimate chance at the NCAA Tournament by winning their conferences.

    Team Projected Record Auto Bid Chances Chances of Tournament
    Alabama 18.0 - 12.0 1.3% 14.0%
    Washington 17.6 - 12.4 1.4% 1.4%
    Butler 20.1 - 9.9 5.7% 46.5%
    Clemson 17.8 - 12.2 0.6% 0.6%

    Next Out

    None of these teams are in the Top 50 of our Power Rankings. Given their records and lack of marquee wins, it is hard to see how any of them get over the hump. Tulsa could do it. The Golden Hurricane have an 18 percent chance to win out and a 15% chance to win the AAC tournament. Either happening should put Frank Haith's team in (yes, Haith could benefit from SMU's violations under Larry Brown while Haith's old teams serve punishments, in part, due to his actions).

    Projected Record
    Auto Bid Chances Chances of Tournament
    Texas Tech 17.6 - 12.4 0.7% 0.8%
    Tulsa 19.7 - 10.3 15.2% 42.0%
    St. Bonaventure 21.4 -8.6 11.7% 33.3%
    Oregon State 18.1 - 11.9 0.7% 12.6%

    Tournament Sleepers

    Of those not in Joe Lunardi's bracket or mentioned above, these are the next four most likely teams to make the NCAA Tournament based on our rest of season analysis. None of them are more than 50% likely to make and much of their likelihood to make the tournament stems from a relatively high chance to win a conference tournament.

    Projected Record
    Auto Bid Chances Chances of Tournament
    Bakersfield 20.9 - 8.1 49.9% 49.9%
    Princeton 21.9 - 6.1 43.1% 43.1%
    BYU 22.2 - 8.8 17.4% 42.0%
    James Madison 22.1 - 8.9 25.6% 38.3%

    Also, here are all of the teams that are currently in Joe Lunardi's Bracketology bracket who do not project as more than 50% likely to make the tournament (in descending order by Lunardi's projected seed): Bucknell (22%), Montana (25%), Norfolk State (26.5%), North Florida (29%), Wagner (37%), Texas Southern (38%), Belmont (35%), UNC Asheville (39%), UAB (39%), South Dakota State (45%), Florida State (40%), Vanderbilt (8%), Temple (25%), Pitt (36%) and Colorado (43%). Every team seeded 1-7 is at least 53% likely to make it in.
    South Region

    Most Likely Final Four team: Virginia (36.6%)

    Final Four Sleeper: Notre Dame (17.8%)

    Cinderella (double-digit seeds going deep): VCU (11.3% to make Sweet 16)

    Chance NCAA Champion is from Region: 26.6%

    First Round Upset: #10 VCU over #7 South Carolina (57.6%)

    Closest First Round Game: In addition to the game above, #9 Gonzaga over #8 California (51.8%)

    West Region

    Most Likely Final Four team: Michigan State (30.3%)

    Final Four Sleeper: Iowa State (14.2%)

    Cinderella (double-digit seeds going deep): Syracuse (24.3% to make to Sweet 16)

    Chance NCAA Champion is from Region: 24.6%

    First Round Upset: #10 Syracuse over #7 LSU (58.3%)

    Closest First Round Game: In addition to the game above, #5 Purdue over #12 Play-in (65.8%)

    East Region

    Most Likely Final Four team: Kansas (30.5%)

    Final Four Sleeper: Duke (19.3%)

    Cinderella (double-digit seeds going deep): Seton Hall (15.0% to make Sweet 16)

    Chance NCAA Champion is from Region: 25.4%

    First Round Upset: #9 Wisconsin over #8 Colorado (63.8%)

    Closest First Round Game: In addition to the game above, #6 Baylor over #11 Seton Hall (57.4%)

    Midwest Region

    Most Likely Final Four team: Villanova (37.9%)

    Final Four Sleeper: Kentucky (16.9%)

    Cinderella (double-digit seeds going deep): St. Joe's (21.9% likely to make Sweet 16)

    Chance NCAA Champion is from Region: 23.8%

    First Round Upset: #10 St. Joe's over #7 Providence (59.6%)

    Closest First Round Game: #6 Utah over #11 Pittsburgh (55.5%)

    Print This Article
    Bracket Analysis (02/24/16)
    Bracket Analysis (02/10/16)
    Want More Tips and Information? Click To Register!





    The Predictalator

    03/13/2017 Highlight: Using our ResultsFinder tool, it's evident that the Predictalator is entering March Madness in incredible form. The Predictalator posted 59 "normal" or better plays in March (plays with greater than 57% confidence) and went a stellar 36-23 (61.0%) on those plays. An average $50 bettor would have profited $678 using our recommended wager sizes. After posting an outstanding 8-1 (88.9%) ATS record on "normal" or better sides in last year's NCAA Tournament, the Predictalator looks poised to produce more NCAA Tournament winners.

    NBA predictions continue to follow the same heat wave of college hoops, as all playable sides are 30-25 (54.5%) ATS in the month of March. More importantly, top plays continue to produce at a staggering clip, with all "normal" or better sides off to a solid 9-3 (75.0%) ATS mark in March, producing $284 in profits for an average $50 bettor.

    The Predictalator's NHL picks continue to cash in consistenly as "normal" or better ML and PL plays are an outstanding 32-18 (64.0%) on the season, amassing $507 in total profits. While the betting market has really tightened up with NHL in recent months, the Predictalator continues to find success and is now 449-367 (55.0%) on all playable ML and PL plays this season.

    Check out the Shop now to learn more.

    Recommended Features



    College Basketball Picks - Sunday Games
    The Predictalator has played all of Sunday's NCAA Tournament games 50,000 times to analyze chances of each team winning relative to the spread and over/under.

    A.L. MVP & Cy Young Odds
    Frank Brank explores the odds for A.L. MVP and A.L. Cy Young Awards posted at and gives a breakdown of the top contenders.



    All registered accounts are subject to our General Terms Of Service. Content is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a gambling website.

    FSTA Member 2015
    Home | The Predictalator | Blog | Privacy |  Media Contact |  B2B Solutions |  Sitemap |  Customer Support | 
    © 2010-2015, LLC. All rights reserved. | Site Designed by