Need some help filling out your brackets? Let the "experts" at ESPN, CBS, USA Today, and Sports Illustrated help you out. Looking at 40 different brackets and predictions, here are some of the highlights, including what the experts thought of the Virginia Cavaliers.
- Not one expert picked UVA to win the title even though the sports data site FiveThirtyEight.com gives Virginia an 8% chance to win.
- 75% of the experts chose the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats to win the entire thing.
- The only other picks were the Wisconsin Badgers in 10% of brackets, Arizona Wildcats in 7%, Duke Blue Devils in 5%, and #2 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs in 2% of brackets.
- 45% of the experts picked UVA to reach the Final Four compared to only 30% for the #1 seed Villanova Wildcats.
- Likewise, more experts picked #2 Arizona over #1 Wisconsin.
- 95% picked Kentucky to reach the Final Four, while the other 5% went with the #7 seed Wichita St. Shockers.
- Not even one expert picked the #2 seed Kansas Jayhawks who are ranked #11 in KenPom and #2 in RPI.
- The #3 Iowa St. Cyclones, #3 Oklahoma Sooners, #5 Northern Iowa Panthers, #7 Michigan St. Spartans, and #4 North Carolina Tar Heels got some picks as well.
- 66% of the experts picked Virginia to reach the Elite Eight, compared to 100% for Duke and Kentucky.
- Gonzaga and Iowa St are split, except for apparently one huge Larry Brown fan who picked the Southern Methodist Mustangs.
- Wisconsin and Arizona were both picked to reach the Elite Eight in 93% of the brackets.
- The bottom half of the Midwest region is tough since it is split between 50% Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 37% Wichita St., and only 8% for the #2 seed Kansas.
- UVA was picked to advance to the Sweet 16 in 87% of the brackets despite the possible ominous rematch with Michigan St.
- 90% of the brackets have #7 seed Wichita St. beating #2 seed Kansas, which is stunning since only 37% of #2 seeds get upset this early.
- Likewise the #12 seed Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks were picked to make the Sweet Sixteen just as much as the #5 seed Utah Utes, who are ranked 8th in KenPom, and there is almost no sign of the #4 seed Georgetown Hoyas.
- Meanwhile another #5 seed, Northern Iowa, was picked to beat #4 seed Louisville in 95% of the brackets in what is historically a 50/50 game.
- Since 54% of #2 seeds do not make the Elite 8, Kansas is the popular choice to falter.
- A #12 seed makes the Sweet 16 once a year on average, and Stephen F. Austin is the expert's trendy pick this year.
- Only 52% of #3 seeds make it out of the first two rounds, so experts picked against Oklahoma as a #3 seed to continue this trend.
- Since only one time in 35 seasons has a Final Four been all #1 seeds, experts think Villanova looks the most vulnerable this year.
Or all the experts could be wrong, and the final will be between #7 and #8 seeds, which would never happen.
Here is the list of experts and their Final Four predictions:
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