Anyone who fills out a 2021 NCAA bracket knows to include upsets as part of their March Madness picks, as every tournament s scattered with unexpected outcomes. Sometimes it’s a mismatch of styles that does a stronger seed in; other times, it’s the higher seed turning in a performance for the ages that puts them over the top. Only once in history has a No. 1 seed fallen in the first round, when Virginia lost to 16th-seeded UMBC to open the 2018 tournament, but it can always happen again in the NCAA Tournament 2021.
Because there will be opening-round upsets in the NCAA Tournament 2021, you need to figure out which Cinderellas have the best chance to survive and advance. Which underdogs will send shockwaves through the 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket? 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: The No. 6 seed BYU Cougars knock off the No. 3 seed Texas Longhorns to advance to the Sweet 16. When the two programs go head-to-head, it’s BYU’s size that helps them edge into the regional semifinals.
The Cougars rank 25th in the nation in total rebounding (39.4 per game) and have centers Matt Haarms (7-foot-3) and Richard Hayward (6-foot-11) combining for 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Haarms is also one of the best rim-protectors in the nation, averaging 2.0 blocks. That’s why SportsLine’s model has BYU advancing to the Sweet 16 in 49.4 percent of its 2021 NCAA Tournament simulations.
Another huge curveball in the East Region: No. 12 seed Georgetown pulls off the upset against No. 5 seed Colorado. The Hoyas went just 13-12 this season and could have been destined for the NIT bracket or no postseason at all, but they caught fire in the Big East Tournament under fourth-year coach Patrick Ewing, upsetting Villanova in the quarterfinals, nipping Seton Hall in the semis, and thrashing Creighton in the title game to earn the automatic bid.
Ewing, a Basketball Hall of Famer for his exploits at Georgetown and with the NBA‘s New York Knicks, has the Hoyas back in the tournament for the 30th time in program history, but the first since 2015. Georgetown ranks 20th in college basketball in rebounding, pulling down 40.2 boards per game.
Colorado went 22-8, but required an at-large berth after falling to Oregon State in the Pac-12 Tournament title game. The Buffaloes rank 143rd in college basketball in scoring at 73.0 points per game and allow 63.3 points per outing. Colorado is far less effective on the glass, recording 35.0 rebounds per game, which ranks 211th in the nation.
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.