The first two rounds of the 2019 NCAA Tournament may be finished, but there is still plenty of opportunity for some March Madness ahead of the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and national championship game.
AccuScore has simulated all possible matchups thousands of times and come up with probabilities for each remaining team to proceed to the next round, as well each of the successive rounds after the Sweet 16.
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2019 NCAA Tournament odds
The low amount of surprises can be examined when comparing pre-tournament probabilities to reach the Sweet 16 and the actual teams that did it. Only 5-seed Mississippi State is not in the tournament among the top 16 predicted teams to reach Sweet 16. All other 15 teams still in the business were predicted to have the 16 highest chances to reach this far.
Kentucky-Houston is predicted to be the closest game this round. Accuscore simulations predict Houston will take this matchup narrowly. This is the time when upsets should start, if there will be any in this year’s tournament.
MORE: Mike DeCourcy’s rankings of teams’ chances to win it all
March Madness 2019 predictions
Best odds to advance to Elite Eight
Virginia and Gonzaga each have over 70 percent probability to reach the next round, per simulations. In the East Region, it looks to be a tight matchup between Duke and Michigan State: both have just under 70 percent chances to reach the next round, but only one will have a place in the Final Four. Tennessee is the fifth-most likely team to reach the Elite Eight with over 60 percent win probability, but the Volunteers need to win against top South seed Virginia on the way to the Final Four. That matchup drops their probabilities significantly after the Elite Eight.
Looking at the road ahead
Oregon is the only team that wasn’t a top-five seed remaining in the Sweet 16. The Ducks chances against Virginia are not good — their chances of winning the tournament is even less: lower than 1 percent. Auburn, the only other team not seeded in the top four, has relatively good chances to make the Final Four: Teams from the Midwest Region have the smallest difference between probabilities to reach the Final Four.
Statistically speaking, it would be a big surprise if Virginia or Gonzaga don’t reach the final four. Their combined probability is close to 90 percent to make the Final Four. In the East, sportsbook favorite Duke could face Michigan State in the Elite Eight if the Blue Devils manage to win their Sweet 16 matchup against Virginia Tech. Simulations still show very narrow edge for Michigan State in this possible matchup on the way to the Final Four.
Teams with best chances to win it all
There haven’t been too many changes in the probabilities to win the tournament since the opening round. Virginia and Gonzaga lead the way with 17 and 13 percent probablities, respectively. Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina and Michigan receive around fall roughly between 8 and 9 percent chances to win it all. Auburn might be the wild horse among lower seeded teams, as the Tigers have over 3 percent probability to win it all — higher than five teams seeded higher.
Sweet 16 betting preview
Only Tennessee, Michigan and Houston provide some value for betting when comparing AccuScore simulations and betting odds. Houston at 50-1 is a longshot, but is a clear value bet after first round. Michigan’s 15-1 is more probable, but not as good a value as Houston. Oddsmakers still believe strongly in Duke, while simulations show them only fourth-most likely winner.
If you want to simulate the games yourself, please check AccuScore’s Bracketcaster.
AccuScore will update these predictions after each round.
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