The following provides a breakdown of each region, showing the results from our simulation of 60,000 tournaments for each team in a given region. Our full bracket of predictions can be found here. The probabilities show the probability that each team has of advancing to each round of the tournament. For example, in the first row of the East Region table, we give Duke a 31% chance of reaching the Final Four.
Villanova (1), Duke (2), Baylor (3), Florida (4), and Virginia (5) are the top seeds in the East region. One immediate trend that stands out is that Duke (2) has a higher probability of going to the Final Four, even though we have Villanova (1) over them in our bracket. Ignoring the simulation for a second, our numbers indicate that Villanova and Duke are both extremely likely to make it to the Elite 8 (where they would face each other). In a head-to-head meeting, our models give a slide edge to Villanova, on average (56% win probability, 2-point favorites). A case could be made for either team making it out of the East.
Gonzaga (1), Arizona (2), Florida State (3), West Virginia (4), and Notre Dame (5) head the West region. Don’t bet on Arizona (2) getting upset early – we give them a 71% chance of making the Elite Eight. Furthermore, we give them a 46% chance of making the Final Four, by far the highest mark of any team in the West.
Kansas (1), Louisville (2), Oregon (3), Purdue (4), and Iowa State (5) lead the way in the Midwest region. The first thing that stands out in the Midwest is the potential for a Vermont (13) cinderella run (watch them get destroyed by Purdue in the first round). Our models give Oregon (3), Michigan (7), Vermont (13), and Kansas (1) the best shot to make the Elite Eight in the Midwest, with Oregon having the highest probability of making it to the Final Four at 37.23%
Headlining the South region of the bracket are North Carolina (1), Kentucky (2), UCLA (3), Butler (4), and Minnesota (5). Unfortunately for Gopher fans, our numbers give Middle Tennesse (12) an 84% chance of advancing to the second round, and would also favor them over either Butler/Winthrop in the following game. Another highly seeded team that our models see advancing is Wichita State (10), with a 13% chance of making it to the Final Four. Kentucky (2) has a tough draw, facing a potential lineup of Wichita State, UCLA, and North Carolina if they want to make it to the Final Four. North Carolina, on the other hand, has a much easier path to the Elite Eight (54%).