NCAA Tournament 2021 bracket: Computer simulation makes surprising March Madness upsets


March Madness is one of the marquee events in sports and after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s event, the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be one of the most highly-anticipated ever. However, the 2021 NCAA bracket will have a different feel with powerhouses like Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, and Louisville missing out, while Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Illinois claimed the No. 1 seeds. With limited non-conference schedules and several teams interrupted by COVID-19, filling out your 2021 March Madness brackets could be a challenge.

Double-digit seeds have a long history of making surprising runs, but with several small conferences and mid-majors primarily playing conference games, will schools like Santa Barbara or Winthrop be ready to take on top programs? Having the answers to those questions and understanding the March Madness matchups can give you a huge leg up in your 2021 NCAA Tournament pools. Before making any 2021 March Madness predictions, be sure to check out the 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket picks from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

Last tournament, SportsLine’s computer simulation nailed massive upsets, including huge wins by No. 13 seed UC-Irvine over No. 4 seed Kansas State, No. 10 seed Florida over No. 7 seed Nevada, and No. 12 seed Oregon over No. 5 seed Wisconsin.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has nailed 15 of the 26 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds the past four tournaments and nailed 14 teams in the Sweet 16 last time.

There’s simply no reason to rely on luck when there’s proven technology to help you dominate your 2021 March Madness pools. Now, the model has simulated every possible matchup in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and revealed its bracket. You can only see it over at SportsLine.

Top 2021 March Madness bracket upset picks

One team set to pull off a shocking upset in 2021 March Madness brackets: No. 9 St. Bonaventure beats No. 8 LSU. The Bonnies have several marks of a team that could go deep in the 2021 March Madness bracket. They’re a top-100 squad nationally in three-point shooting, knocking down 35.4 percent from deep. They can also defend. In fact, no team has scored more than 65 points against them since Feb. 12.

The Tigers are unquestionably talented, but they were streaky this season as well. They lost back-to-back games three different times and had losses against three non-tournament teams: Georgia, Saint Louis and Be Miss. The Bonnies took down UCLA in 2018, and SportsLine’s model likes their chances of picking up their eighth NCAA Tournament win in program history in this pivotal 8-9 matchup in the East Region.

Another huge curveball in the East Region: No. 12 seed Georgetown pulls off the upset against No. 5 seed Colorado. The Hoyas are one of the most well-known college basketball programs, with five Final Fours and four national title games. After starting the season 5-10, Georgetown won eight of its final 10 games, including a blitz through the Big East Tournament with four wins in four days to earn an automatic bid.

Patrick Ewing’s squad limited opponents to just 36.8 percent shooting from the floor during the Big East Tournament and 28-of-106 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Colorado is coming off a disheartening loss to Oregon State in the Pac-12 Tournament. That’s a big reason why the model has Georgetown over Colorado as a potential 12-5 upset to consider for your 2021 NCAA Tournament picks.

How to make 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions

SportsLine’s model also has one region where you need to pick the No. 2 seed, while the Nos. 10, 11 and 13 seeds all deliver huge first-round upsets. Nailing those picks could literally make or break your bracket.

So what’s the optimal NCAA Tournament 2021 bracket? And which underdogs shock college basketball? Visit SportsLine now to see which No. 2 seed you need to target, and see which region you need to pick the 10, 11, and 13 seeds, all from the model that’s called 15 of the 26 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds in the last four tournaments.


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