This year’s NCAA Tournament tips off tonight, and per usual, fans are filling out their brackets in an effort to get in on the action. But it looks like one team is being picked a little too much.
FiveThirtyEight has released its March Madness Predictions model, which includes probabilities that each team will advance in each round. Unsurprisingly, the model suggests that Duke has the best chance of cutting down the nets in early April.
FiveThirtyEight’s model is complex, but it’s basically made up of 75% computer rankings and 25% human rankings. It includes BPI, KenPom, Sagarin, Elo, etc.
Duke has the best odds at 19% – followed by Virginia at 17%, Gonzaga at 15% and North Carolina at 9%. You can view the odds for every team here.
ESPN’s Tournament Challenge has a “Who Picked Whom” feature that shows you what the masses are picking for this year’s tournament.
Duke is being picked by 39.6% of people to win the tournament. Obviously, there is a disparity there.
You can certainly make the case that with the return of Zion Williamson, Duke looks like the best team in the field. But the fact that almost 40% of people filling out brackets are picking the Blue Devils to beat out the other 67 teams is still absurd.
North Carolina is second on the list at 14.9%. Gonzaga is at 8.3%, while Virginia is at 7.4%.
So if you’re a betting man (or woman), you might want to take a look at Virginia and Gonzaga from a value standpoint.
Perhaps Duke will win it all, and 40% of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge users will be right. We’ll find out in a few weeks.