Biggest Surprise: St. Peter's Advance to the Elite Eight (0.16%)

With a 7% chance of winning their first-round game, a 25% chance of winning in the second round, and a 10% chance of winning the sweet 16 matchup, St. Peter's is this year's biggest surprise.

Normally, an improbable run like this requires some assistance from other teams in the bracket to take out some of the tougher competition. However, in this case, St. Peter's largely did it on their own. The product of their win likelihoods in the three wins was 0.16%, exactly even with their overall likelihood of making it to the Elite Eight. They did receive some help from Murray State's win over San Francisco in the first round, but that was offset by having to face Purdue (the top-ranked team they could have faced) in the third round.

In the handful of tournaments for which I have made predictions, here are the annual least likely performances.


Number of Upsets

After a 2019-2020 season where we could only post a tournament what-if scenario, and a 2020-2021 season where limited non-conference schedules, game cancelations, and a mix of empty and mostly-empty arenas made accurate predictions nearly impossible, we are back to asking the annual question: Are there more upsets in the NCAA tournament than if these were just regular season games? For this analysis, "upset" is defined by a team with less than a 50% chance (as calculated below) winning its game (generally the same as the betting underdog) rather than based on committee seeding.

  1. First Four: 1.6 predicted, 0 actual
  2. First Round: 8.1 predicted, 10 actual
  3. Second Round: 4.9 predicted, 5 actual
  4. Sweet Sixteen: 2.8 predicted, 4 actual
  5. Elite Eight: 1.2 predicted, 1 actual
  6. Final Four: 0.8 predicted, 1 actual
  7. Championship: 0.3 predicted, TBD actual
  8. Grand Total: 19.3 predicted, 21 actual (through final four games)

Odds of Advancing to Round, April 2

Champion
 67.32% KANSAS
 32.68% NORTH CAROLINA


Odds of Advancing to Round, March 27

Finals Champion
 65.17% DUKE
*54.06% KANSAS
 45.94% VILLANOVA
*34.83% NORTH CAROLINA
 32.64% DUKE
 30.82% KANSAS
 24.37% VILLANOVA
 12.16% NORTH CAROLINA


Odds of Advancing to Round, March 25

Final Four Finals Champion
*82.73% NORTH CAROLINA
*76.97% KANSAS
*66.64% DUKE
 58.08% HOUSTON
*41.92% VILLANOVA
 33.36% ARKANSAS
 23.03% MIAMI
 17.27% SAINT PETERS
 46.71% DUKE
*37.42% KANSAS
 35.26% HOUSTON
*32.99% NORTH CAROLINA
 22.23% VILLANOVA
 18.24% ARKANSAS
  5.09% MIAMI
  2.06% SAINT PETERS
 23.32% DUKE
 22.56% HOUSTON
 22.28% KANSAS
 12.53% VILLANOVA
 11.38% NORTH CAROLINA
  6.12% ARKANSAS
  1.62% MIAMI
  0.19% SAINT PETERS


Odds of Advancing to Round, March 20

Elite Eight Final Four Finals Champion
 90.43% PURDUE
 78.27% GONZAGA
*75.14% KANSAS
*65.36% VILLANOVA
 57.95% UCLA
*51.89% DUKE
 51.64% IOWA STATE
*51.46% HOUSTON
 48.54% ARIZONA
*48.36% MIAMI
 48.11% TEXAS TECH
*42.05% NORTH CAROLINA
 34.64% MICHIGAN
 24.86% PROVIDENCE
*21.73% ARKANSAS
* 9.57% SAINT PETERS
*58.23% KANSAS
 53.14% PURDUE
 49.81% GONZAGA
 32.14% HOUSTON
 29.64% ARIZONA
*28.30% VILLANOVA
 28.20% UCLA
*22.73% DUKE
 20.23% TEXAS TECH
*17.32% NORTH CAROLINA
 15.10% IOWA STATE
 13.50% MIAMI
 13.18% PROVIDENCE
  9.92% MICHIGAN
  7.23% ARKANSAS
  1.35% SAINT PETERS
 34.54% GONZAGA
*29.87% KANSAS
 22.54% PURDUE
 20.65% HOUSTON
 18.66% ARIZONA
 16.28% VILLANOVA
 13.03% DUKE
 11.22% TEXAS TECH
 10.50% UCLA
* 5.22% NORTH CAROLINA
  4.25% MICHIGAN
  3.69% IOWA STATE
  3.46% PROVIDENCE
  3.13% MIAMI
  2.86% ARKANSAS
  0.10% SAINT PETERS
 22.20% GONZAGA
 14.91% KANSAS
 11.05% PURDUE
 11.00% HOUSTON
  9.67% ARIZONA
  7.50% VILLANOVA
  6.77% DUKE
  5.62% TEXAS TECH
  4.59% UCLA
  1.89% NORTH CAROLINA
  1.34% MICHIGAN
  0.99% ARKANSAS
  0.88% PROVIDENCE
  0.87% IOWA STATE
  0.70% MIAMI
  0.01% SAINT PETERS


Odds of Advancing to Round, March 18

Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Finals Champion
*82.70% GONZAGA
*79.14% KANSAS
*76.16% ARIZONA
 75.40% MURRAY STATE
*74.80% ARKANSAS
*74.45% TEXAS TECH
 74.17% AUBURN
 69.65% BAYLOR
*67.86% DUKE
*67.32% HOUSTON
 66.51% TENNESSEE
*64.08% VILLANOVA
*61.68% PROVIDENCE
*59.15% UCLA
*58.83% PURDUE
 57.59% WISCONSIN
*42.41% IOWA STATE
 41.17% TEXAS
 40.85% SAINT MARYS
 38.32% RICHMOND
 35.92% OHIO STATE
*33.49% MICHIGAN
 32.68% ILLINOIS
 32.14% MICHIGAN STATE
*30.35% NORTH CAROLINA
*25.83% MIAMI
 25.55% NOTRE DAME
 25.20% NEW MEXICO STATE
*24.60% SAINT PETERS
 23.84% TCU
 20.86% CREIGHTON
 17.30% MEMPHIS
 67.84% GONZAGA
*63.67% KANSAS
 50.00% AUBURN
 46.09% PURDUE
 45.80% BAYLOR
 42.02% ARIZONA
 40.67% TEXAS TECH
*38.90% DUKE
*38.17% HOUSTON
 37.35% TENNESSEE
*34.88% VILLANOVA
 29.44% TEXAS
 25.92% UCLA
 24.21% WISCONSIN
 21.81% MURRAY STATE
*20.62% ARKANSAS
 17.76% PROVIDENCE
 14.85% IOWA STATE
 14.52% OHIO STATE
 14.38% SAINT MARYS
*13.90% NORTH CAROLINA
 13.25% MICHIGAN
 12.99% ILLINOIS
 12.77% MICHIGAN STATE
*10.93% MIAMI
 10.89% CREIGHTON
  8.70% MEMPHIS
  7.69% RICHMOND
  7.66% NOTRE DAME
  6.82% TCU
  2.85% NEW MEXICO STATE
* 2.65% SAINT PETERS
 46.06% GONZAGA
*42.26% KANSAS
 29.64% BAYLOR
 26.88% AUBURN
 25.41% ARIZONA
 24.36% PURDUE
 23.26% HOUSTON
 18.70% TEXAS TECH
*18.29% DUKE
 17.95% TENNESSEE
*16.38% VILLANOVA
 13.75% UCLA
 13.02% TEXAS
  9.73% WISCONSIN
  7.84% ARKANSAS
  6.75% PROVIDENCE
  6.36% SAINT MARYS
* 6.31% NORTH CAROLINA
  6.26% MURRAY STATE
  5.65% ILLINOIS
  4.99% IOWA STATE
  4.85% OHIO STATE
  4.25% MICHIGAN
  3.95% MICHIGAN STATE
  3.90% CREIGHTON
  3.37% MIAMI
  2.82% MEMPHIS
  2.26% TCU
  2.13% RICHMOND
  1.86% NOTRE DAME
  0.48% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.29% SAINT PETERS
 32.00% GONZAGA
*22.74% KANSAS
 15.72% ARIZONA
 14.90% BAYLOR
 14.50% HOUSTON
 12.44% AUBURN
 10.79% PURDUE
 10.36% TEXAS TECH
 10.33% DUKE
 10.13% TENNESSEE
  9.07% VILLANOVA
  5.30% UCLA
  4.70% TEXAS
  3.15% WISCONSIN
  3.13% ARKANSAS
  2.57% ILLINOIS
  2.03% OHIO STATE
* 1.99% NORTH CAROLINA
  1.94% SAINT MARYS
  1.76% PROVIDENCE
  1.72% MICHIGAN
  1.53% MICHIGAN STATE
  1.40% MURRAY STATE
  1.29% IOWA STATE
  0.96% MEMPHIS
  0.95% CREIGHTON
  0.80% TCU
  0.78% MIAMI
  0.57% NOTRE DAME
  0.37% RICHMOND
  0.09% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.02% SAINT PETERS
 21.13% GONZAGA
 11.55% KANSAS
  8.33% BAYLOR
  8.25% ARIZONA
  7.68% HOUSTON
  5.44% DUKE
  5.40% AUBURN
  5.37% PURDUE
  5.34% TEXAS TECH
  4.74% TENNESSEE
  4.15% VILLANOVA
  2.31% UCLA
  1.93% TEXAS
  1.13% ARKANSAS
  0.95% WISCONSIN
  0.93% ILLINOIS
  0.72% NORTH CAROLINA
  0.68% SAINT MARYS
  0.66% OHIO STATE
  0.54% MICHIGAN
  0.54% MICHIGAN STATE
  0.42% PROVIDENCE
  0.37% MURRAY STATE
  0.31% IOWA STATE
  0.29% MEMPHIS
  0.21% TCU
  0.21% CREIGHTON
  0.17% MIAMI
  0.16% NOTRE DAME
  0.06% RICHMOND
  0.01% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.00% SAINT PETERS


Odds of Advancing to Round, March 16

Second Round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Finals Champion
*96.75% GONZAGA
*96.39% KANSAS
*96.27% BAYLOR
*95.29% ARIZONA
*95.20% DUKE
*93.97% TENNESSEE
 93.32% KENTUCKY
*93.22% VILLANOVA
*92.34% AUBURN
*91.97% TEXAS TECH
*90.57% PURDUE
*86.82% UCLA
*83.47% HOUSTON
 81.13% IOWA
*78.76% WISCONSIN
*77.99% ILLINOIS
 77.04% UCONN
 67.43% LSU
*64.59% MICHIGAN
*64.07% ARKANSAS
*62.02% MICHIGAN STATE
*61.38% PROVIDENCE
*57.45% NORTH CAROLINA
*55.94% MEMPHIS
 55.87% ALABAMA
 55.63% SAN DIEGO STATE
 55.14% SETON HALL
*54.74% OHIO STATE
 53.93% SAN FRANCISCO
 53.84% USC
*53.18% TEXAS
 50.50% INDIANA
*49.50% SAINT MARYS
 46.82% VIRGINIA TECH
*46.16% MIAMI
*46.07% MURRAY STATE
 45.26% LOYOLA CHICAGO
*44.86% TCU
*44.37% CREIGHTON
*44.13% NOTRE DAME
 44.06% BOISE STATE
 42.55% MARQUETTE
 38.62% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
 37.98% DAVIDSON
 35.93% VERMONT
 35.41% COLORADO STATE
*32.57% IOWA STATE
*22.96% NEW MEXICO STATE
 22.01% CHATTANOOGA
 21.24% COLGATE
*18.87% RICHMOND
 16.53% UAB
 13.18% AKRON
  9.43% YALE
  8.03% MONTANA STATE
  7.66% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  6.78% DELAWARE
* 6.68% SAINT PETERS
  6.03% LONGWOOD
  4.80% CSU FULLERTON
  4.71% WRIGHT STATE
  3.73% NORFOLK STATE
  3.61% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  3.25% GEORGIA STATE
*82.01% GONZAGA
*73.08% ARIZONA
*72.88% KANSAS
 71.27% KENTUCKY
 69.95% BAYLOR
*67.89% DUKE
 67.16% AUBURN
 66.08% TENNESSEE
*65.38% TEXAS TECH
*62.60% VILLANOVA
 60.62% IOWA
*59.34% HOUSTON
*55.33% PURDUE
*54.03% UCLA
 43.45% UCONN
 43.14% LSU
 37.30% WISCONSIN
*35.18% ARKANSAS
 31.14% ILLINOIS
*24.09% MICHIGAN
 23.74% TEXAS
 21.93% INDIANA
 21.85% MICHIGAN STATE
*21.57% PROVIDENCE
 21.27% SAINT MARYS
 20.96% OHIO STATE
 19.67% ALABAMA
 19.51% VIRGINIA TECH
*18.49% NORTH CAROLINA
 17.62% USC
 15.90% SAN DIEGO STATE
 15.46% SAN FRANCISCO
 15.44% LOYOLA CHICAGO
 15.36% SETON HALL
*15.35% IOWA STATE
 14.83% VERMONT
*13.65% MIAMI
 13.35% NOTRE DAME
 11.82% MURRAY STATE
 11.11% MARQUETTE
 10.74% TCU
 10.74% CREIGHTON
 10.56% MEMPHIS
  9.92% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  9.59% DAVIDSON
  8.86% COLORADO STATE
  7.89% RICHMOND
  6.76% BOISE STATE
  6.54% NEW MEXICO STATE
  5.87% UAB
  4.22% COLGATE
  3.65% CHATTANOOGA
  2.76% AKRON
  1.60% MONTANA STATE
  1.57% JACKSONVILLE STATE
* 1.45% SAINT PETERS
  1.42% YALE
  1.00% DELAWARE
  0.97% LONGWOOD
  0.82% WRIGHT STATE
  0.67% GEORGIA STATE
  0.67% CSU FULLERTON
  0.49% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.45% NORFOLK STATE
 65.70% GONZAGA
*48.06% KANSAS
 45.74% BAYLOR
 42.80% ARIZONA
 42.68% KENTUCKY
 42.26% AUBURN
*41.09% DUKE
 37.32% TENNESSEE
*35.63% VILLANOVA
 35.15% TEXAS TECH
*33.92% HOUSTON
 30.75% IOWA
 29.55% PURDUE
 25.71% UCLA
 22.47% LSU
 16.41% WISCONSIN
 12.95% UCONN
 12.91% ILLINOIS
 10.50% TEXAS
*10.10% ARKANSAS
  9.81% MICHIGAN
  9.48% MICHIGAN STATE
  8.80% OHIO STATE
* 8.37% NORTH CAROLINA
  8.06% VIRGINIA TECH
  7.94% INDIANA
  7.60% SAINT MARYS
  7.30% USC
  6.93% ALABAMA
  6.78% SAN DIEGO STATE
  6.55% PROVIDENCE
  5.80% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  5.41% IOWA STATE
  5.26% SAN FRANCISCO
  5.17% SETON HALL
* 5.16% MIAMI
  4.86% MEMPHIS
  4.24% MARQUETTE
  4.03% CREIGHTON
  4.03% NOTRE DAME
  3.61% MURRAY STATE
  3.15% TCU
  3.10% DAVIDSON
  2.78% VERMONT
  2.73% BOISE STATE
  2.44% COLORADO STATE
  2.14% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  1.63% RICHMOND
  1.36% UAB
  0.77% COLGATE
  0.76% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.63% CHATTANOOGA
  0.36% AKRON
  0.23% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.18% YALE
  0.17% MONTANA STATE
* 0.16% SAINT PETERS
  0.11% GEORGIA STATE
  0.11% DELAWARE
  0.09% LONGWOOD
  0.07% WRIGHT STATE
  0.06% CSU FULLERTON
  0.05% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.04% NORFOLK STATE
 45.48% GONZAGA
*30.83% KANSAS
 26.40% ARIZONA
 25.94% BAYLOR
 25.05% KENTUCKY
 21.84% AUBURN
 20.87% HOUSTON
*19.55% DUKE
 17.94% TENNESSEE
 17.82% IOWA
*17.18% VILLANOVA
 16.01% PURDUE
 15.71% TEXAS TECH
 12.17% UCLA
 10.33% LSU
  6.23% WISCONSIN
  5.86% ILLINOIS
  5.32% UCONN
  4.70% TEXAS
  4.02% ARKANSAS
  3.36% VIRGINIA TECH
  3.22% MICHIGAN
* 3.06% NORTH CAROLINA
  3.01% MICHIGAN STATE
  2.96% OHIO STATE
  2.84% INDIANA
  2.72% SAN DIEGO STATE
  2.69% SAINT MARYS
  2.40% PROVIDENCE
  2.27% USC
  1.95% ALABAMA
  1.86% SETON HALL
  1.75% SAN FRANCISCO
  1.72% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  1.61% MEMPHIS
  1.61% IOWA STATE
  1.44% MIAMI
  1.40% CREIGHTON
  1.27% MARQUETTE
  1.08% MURRAY STATE
  0.99% TCU
  0.96% NOTRE DAME
  0.77% BOISE STATE
  0.76% VERMONT
  0.70% DAVIDSON
  0.57% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  0.51% COLORADO STATE
  0.42% RICHMOND
  0.35% UAB
  0.13% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.12% CHATTANOOGA
  0.11% COLGATE
  0.04% AKRON
  0.02% YALE
  0.02% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.02% SAINT PETERS
  0.01% MONTANA STATE
  0.01% GEORGIA STATE
  0.01% DELAWARE
  0.01% WRIGHT STATE
  0.01% LONGWOOD
  0.00% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.00% CSU FULLERTON
  0.00% NORFOLK STATE
 30.86% GONZAGA
*16.37% KANSAS
 16.32% ARIZONA
 12.87% HOUSTON
 12.78% BAYLOR
 12.34% KENTUCKY
 10.69% DUKE
 10.22% AUBURN
  9.85% TENNESSEE
  9.46% VILLANOVA
  8.31% IOWA
  8.11% TEXAS TECH
  7.18% PURDUE
  4.89% UCLA
  4.24% LSU
  2.67% ILLINOIS
  2.10% UCONN
  2.07% WISCONSIN
  1.69% TEXAS
  1.54% ARKANSAS
  1.26% MICHIGAN
  1.19% OHIO STATE
  1.12% MICHIGAN STATE
  1.11% VIRGINIA TECH
* 0.93% NORTH CAROLINA
  0.84% INDIANA
  0.80% SAN DIEGO STATE
  0.78% SAINT MARYS
  0.67% SETON HALL
  0.64% ALABAMA
  0.63% PROVIDENCE
  0.61% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  0.60% USC
  0.51% MEMPHIS
  0.45% SAN FRANCISCO
  0.41% IOWA STATE
  0.35% CREIGHTON
  0.34% MIAMI
  0.31% TCU
  0.31% MARQUETTE
  0.27% NOTRE DAME
  0.24% MURRAY STATE
  0.20% BOISE STATE
  0.19% VERMONT
  0.19% DAVIDSON
  0.13% COLORADO STATE
  0.10% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  0.09% UAB
  0.07% RICHMOND
  0.02% CHATTANOOGA
  0.02% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.01% COLGATE
  0.00% AKRON
  0.00% YALE
  0.00% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.00% SAINT PETERS
  0.00% MONTANA STATE
  0.00% GEORGIA STATE
  0.00% DELAWARE
  0.00% WRIGHT STATE
  0.00% LONGWOOD
  0.00% CSU FULLERTON
  0.00% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.00% NORFOLK STATE
 20.53% GONZAGA
  8.62% ARIZONA
  8.12% KANSAS
  6.97% BAYLOR
  6.78% HOUSTON
  6.73% KENTUCKY
  5.69% DUKE
  4.51% TENNESSEE
  4.43% AUBURN
  4.35% VILLANOVA
  4.06% TEXAS TECH
  3.59% IOWA
  3.59% PURDUE
  2.21% UCLA
  1.60% LSU
  0.98% ILLINOIS
  0.80% UCONN
  0.68% TEXAS
  0.63% WISCONSIN
  0.56% ARKANSAS
  0.42% VIRGINIA TECH
  0.40% MICHIGAN STATE
  0.39% MICHIGAN
  0.38% OHIO STATE
  0.32% NORTH CAROLINA
  0.28% INDIANA
  0.26% SAINT MARYS
  0.21% SAN DIEGO STATE
  0.20% ALABAMA
  0.19% SETON HALL
  0.17% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  0.15% MEMPHIS
  0.15% PROVIDENCE
  0.14% USC
  0.13% SAN FRANCISCO
  0.09% IOWA STATE
  0.09% MARQUETTE
  0.08% CREIGHTON
  0.08% TCU
  0.07% MIAMI
  0.07% NOTRE DAME
  0.06% MURRAY STATE
  0.05% BOISE STATE
  0.05% VERMONT
  0.05% DAVIDSON
  0.03% COLORADO STATE
  0.02% UAB
  0.02% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  0.01% RICHMOND
  0.00% CHATTANOOGA
  0.00% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.00% COLGATE
  0.00% AKRON
  0.00% YALE
  0.00% SAINT PETERS
  0.00% MONTANA STATE
  0.00% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.00% GEORGIA STATE
  0.00% DELAWARE
  0.00% WRIGHT STATE
  0.00% LONGWOOD
  0.00% CSU FULLERTON
  0.00% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.00% NORFOLK STATE


Odds of Advancing to Round, March 13

First Round Second Round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Finals Champion
*69.68% INDIANA
*59.47% WRIGHT STATE
*58.48% TEXAS SOUTHERN
*56.95% NOTRE DAME
 43.05% RUTGERS
 41.52% TEXAS A&M-CC
 40.53% BRYANT
 30.32% WYOMING
*97.07% KANSAS
*96.71% GONZAGA
*96.21% BAYLOR
*96.19% ARIZONA
*95.17% DUKE
*94.00% TENNESSEE
 93.32% KENTUCKY
*93.23% VILLANOVA
*92.37% AUBURN
*91.93% TEXAS TECH
*90.53% PURDUE
*86.64% UCLA
*83.42% HOUSTON
 81.17% IOWA
*78.73% WISCONSIN
*77.97% ILLINOIS
 77.08% UCONN
 67.53% LSU
*64.40% MICHIGAN
*64.03% ARKANSAS
*62.09% MICHIGAN STATE
*61.45% PROVIDENCE
 58.79% ALABAMA
*57.39% NORTH CAROLINA
*55.85% MEMPHIS
*55.72% SAINT MARYS
 55.70% SAN DIEGO STATE
 55.30% SETON HALL
*54.93% OHIO STATE
 53.83% SAN FRANCISCO
 53.79% USC
*53.15% TEXAS
 46.85% VIRGINIA TECH
*46.21% MIAMI
*46.17% MURRAY STATE
 45.07% LOYOLA CHICAGO
*44.70% TCU
*44.30% CREIGHTON
 44.15% BOISE STATE
 42.61% MARQUETTE
 38.55% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
 37.91% DAVIDSON
 35.97% VERMONT
 35.60% COLORADO STATE
 35.02% INDIANA
*32.47% IOWA STATE
*25.14% NOTRE DAME
*22.92% NEW MEXICO STATE
 22.03% CHATTANOOGA
 21.27% COLGATE
*18.83% RICHMOND
 16.58% UAB
 16.08% RUTGERS
 13.36% AKRON
  9.47% YALE
  9.26% WYOMING
  8.07% MONTANA STATE
  7.63% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  6.77% DELAWARE
* 6.68% SAINT PETERS
  6.00% LONGWOOD
  4.83% CSU FULLERTON
  3.79% NORFOLK STATE
  3.29% GEORGIA STATE
  2.72% WRIGHT STATE
  2.05% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  1.10% BRYANT
  0.89% TEXAS A&M-CC
*81.91% GONZAGA
*73.72% ARIZONA
*73.21% KANSAS
 71.24% KENTUCKY
 69.75% BAYLOR
*67.85% DUKE
 67.30% AUBURN
 66.08% TENNESSEE
*65.91% TEXAS TECH
*62.72% VILLANOVA
 60.60% IOWA
*59.30% HOUSTON
*55.36% UCLA
*55.33% PURDUE
 43.54% UCONN
 43.23% LSU
 37.27% WISCONSIN
*35.10% ARKANSAS
 31.14% ILLINOIS
 24.01% SAINT MARYS
*24.01% MICHIGAN
 23.71% TEXAS
 21.91% MICHIGAN STATE
*21.64% PROVIDENCE
 21.00% OHIO STATE
 20.77% ALABAMA
 19.53% VIRGINIA TECH
*18.58% NORTH CAROLINA
 17.52% USC
 15.82% SAN DIEGO STATE
 15.43% SAN FRANCISCO
*15.27% IOWA STATE
 15.27% LOYOLA CHICAGO
 15.20% SETON HALL
 15.17% INDIANA
 14.83% VERMONT
*13.61% MIAMI
 11.88% MURRAY STATE
 11.21% MARQUETTE
 10.62% CREIGHTON
 10.58% MEMPHIS
 10.49% TCU
  9.91% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  9.57% DAVIDSON
  8.95% COLORADO STATE
  7.85% RICHMOND
  7.64% NOTRE DAME
  6.83% BOISE STATE
  6.54% NEW MEXICO STATE
  5.90% UAB
  4.23% COLGATE
  4.02% RUTGERS
  3.66% CHATTANOOGA
  3.06% AKRON
  2.40% WYOMING
  1.67% MONTANA STATE
  1.57% JACKSONVILLE STATE
* 1.45% SAINT PETERS
  1.44% YALE
  1.01% DELAWARE
  0.96% LONGWOOD
  0.68% GEORGIA STATE
  0.68% CSU FULLERTON
  0.46% WRIGHT STATE
  0.46% NORFOLK STATE
  0.27% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.13% BRYANT
  0.08% TEXAS A&M-CC
 65.59% GONZAGA
*48.21% KANSAS
 45.72% BAYLOR
 43.18% ARIZONA
 42.70% KENTUCKY
 42.37% AUBURN
*41.13% DUKE
 37.27% TENNESSEE
*35.76% VILLANOVA
 35.37% TEXAS TECH
*33.76% HOUSTON
 30.69% IOWA
 29.53% PURDUE
 26.40% UCLA
 22.51% LSU
 16.38% WISCONSIN
 13.02% UCONN
 12.83% ILLINOIS
 10.47% TEXAS
*10.09% ARKANSAS
  9.75% MICHIGAN
  9.54% MICHIGAN STATE
  8.83% OHIO STATE
  8.62% SAINT MARYS
* 8.50% NORTH CAROLINA
  8.05% VIRGINIA TECH
  7.33% ALABAMA
  7.24% USC
  6.77% SAN DIEGO STATE
  6.57% PROVIDENCE
  5.72% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  5.48% INDIANA
  5.37% IOWA STATE
  5.26% SAN FRANCISCO
* 5.14% MIAMI
  5.13% SETON HALL
  4.87% MEMPHIS
  4.34% MARQUETTE
  3.99% CREIGHTON
  3.65% MURRAY STATE
  3.10% DAVIDSON
  3.07% TCU
  2.79% VERMONT
  2.76% BOISE STATE
  2.47% COLORADO STATE
  2.31% NOTRE DAME
  2.13% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  1.61% RICHMOND
  1.35% UAB
  0.99% RUTGERS
  0.77% COLGATE
  0.76% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.63% CHATTANOOGA
  0.48% WYOMING
  0.40% AKRON
  0.23% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.18% YALE
  0.18% MONTANA STATE
* 0.16% SAINT PETERS
  0.12% GEORGIA STATE
  0.11% DELAWARE
  0.09% LONGWOOD
  0.06% CSU FULLERTON
  0.04% NORFOLK STATE
  0.04% WRIGHT STATE
  0.03% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.01% BRYANT
  0.01% TEXAS A&M-CC
 45.39% GONZAGA
*30.85% KANSAS
 26.61% ARIZONA
 25.87% BAYLOR
 25.11% KENTUCKY
 21.92% AUBURN
 20.76% HOUSTON
*19.58% DUKE
 17.89% TENNESSEE
 17.77% IOWA
*17.26% VILLANOVA
 16.02% PURDUE
 15.79% TEXAS TECH
 12.49% UCLA
 10.35% LSU
  6.22% WISCONSIN
  5.82% ILLINOIS
  5.37% UCONN
  4.69% TEXAS
  4.02% ARKANSAS
  3.37% VIRGINIA TECH
  3.20% MICHIGAN
* 3.11% NORTH CAROLINA
  3.05% SAINT MARYS
  3.04% MICHIGAN STATE
  2.97% OHIO STATE
  2.72% SAN DIEGO STATE
  2.40% PROVIDENCE
  2.24% USC
  2.06% ALABAMA
  1.95% INDIANA
  1.85% SETON HALL
  1.75% SAN FRANCISCO
  1.68% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  1.62% MEMPHIS
  1.59% IOWA STATE
  1.43% MIAMI
  1.39% CREIGHTON
  1.30% MARQUETTE
  1.10% MURRAY STATE
  0.96% TCU
  0.78% BOISE STATE
  0.76% VERMONT
  0.70% DAVIDSON
  0.57% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  0.55% NOTRE DAME
  0.52% COLORADO STATE
  0.41% RICHMOND
  0.35% UAB
  0.19% RUTGERS
  0.13% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.12% CHATTANOOGA
  0.11% COLGATE
  0.09% WYOMING
  0.05% AKRON
  0.02% YALE
  0.02% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.02% SAINT PETERS
  0.01% MONTANA STATE
  0.01% GEORGIA STATE
  0.01% DELAWARE
  0.01% LONGWOOD
  0.00% CSU FULLERTON
  0.00% WRIGHT STATE
  0.00% NORFOLK STATE
  0.00% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.00% BRYANT
  0.00% TEXAS A&M-CC
 30.81% GONZAGA
 16.44% ARIZONA
*16.34% KANSAS
 12.80% HOUSTON
 12.70% BAYLOR
 12.38% KENTUCKY
 10.72% DUKE
 10.26% AUBURN
  9.82% TENNESSEE
  9.52% VILLANOVA
  8.28% IOWA
  8.14% TEXAS TECH
  7.18% PURDUE
  5.02% UCLA
  4.25% LSU
  2.65% ILLINOIS
  2.13% UCONN
  2.06% WISCONSIN
  1.68% TEXAS
  1.54% ARKANSAS
  1.25% MICHIGAN
  1.19% OHIO STATE
  1.13% MICHIGAN STATE
  1.11% VIRGINIA TECH
* 0.94% NORTH CAROLINA
  0.89% SAINT MARYS
  0.80% SAN DIEGO STATE
  0.68% ALABAMA
  0.67% SETON HALL
  0.64% PROVIDENCE
  0.60% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  0.59% USC
  0.57% INDIANA
  0.51% MEMPHIS
  0.45% SAN FRANCISCO
  0.40% IOWA STATE
  0.35% CREIGHTON
  0.34% MIAMI
  0.32% MARQUETTE
  0.30% TCU
  0.25% MURRAY STATE
  0.21% BOISE STATE
  0.20% VERMONT
  0.19% DAVIDSON
  0.15% NOTRE DAME
  0.14% COLORADO STATE
  0.10% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  0.09% UAB
  0.07% RICHMOND
  0.04% RUTGERS
  0.02% CHATTANOOGA
  0.02% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.01% WYOMING
  0.01% COLGATE
  0.00% AKRON
  0.00% YALE
  0.00% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.00% SAINT PETERS
  0.00% MONTANA STATE
  0.00% GEORGIA STATE
  0.00% DELAWARE
  0.00% LONGWOOD
  0.00% WRIGHT STATE
  0.00% CSU FULLERTON
  0.00% NORFOLK STATE
  0.00% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.00% BRYANT
  0.00% TEXAS A&M-CC
 20.49% GONZAGA
  8.69% ARIZONA
  8.09% KANSAS
  6.91% BAYLOR
  6.75% KENTUCKY
  6.75% HOUSTON
  5.70% DUKE
  4.51% TENNESSEE
  4.46% AUBURN
  4.39% VILLANOVA
  4.07% TEXAS TECH
  3.58% PURDUE
  3.58% IOWA
  2.26% UCLA
  1.61% LSU
  0.98% ILLINOIS
  0.81% UCONN
  0.68% TEXAS
  0.62% WISCONSIN
  0.56% ARKANSAS
  0.42% VIRGINIA TECH
  0.41% MICHIGAN STATE
  0.39% MICHIGAN
  0.38% OHIO STATE
  0.32% NORTH CAROLINA
  0.30% SAINT MARYS
  0.22% SAN DIEGO STATE
  0.22% ALABAMA
  0.19% INDIANA
  0.19% SETON HALL
  0.16% LOYOLA CHICAGO
  0.16% MEMPHIS
  0.15% PROVIDENCE
  0.14% USC
  0.13% SAN FRANCISCO
  0.09% IOWA STATE
  0.09% MARQUETTE
  0.08% CREIGHTON
  0.07% TCU
  0.07% MIAMI
  0.07% MURRAY STATE
  0.05% BOISE STATE
  0.05% VERMONT
  0.05% DAVIDSON
  0.04% NOTRE DAME
  0.03% COLORADO STATE
  0.02% UAB
  0.02% SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
  0.01% RICHMOND
  0.01% RUTGERS
  0.00% CHATTANOOGA
  0.00% NEW MEXICO STATE
  0.00% WYOMING
  0.00% COLGATE
  0.00% AKRON
  0.00% YALE
  0.00% SAINT PETERS
  0.00% MONTANA STATE
  0.00% JACKSONVILLE STATE
  0.00% GEORGIA STATE
  0.00% DELAWARE
  0.00% LONGWOOD
  0.00% WRIGHT STATE
  0.00% CSU FULLERTON
  0.00% NORFOLK STATE
  0.00% TEXAS SOUTHERN
  0.00% BRYANT
  0.00% TEXAS A&M-CC


Note: asterisk denotes team advanced

Selection Notes

As noted in previous seasons, the selections this year largely followed my standard and blended pseudopoll rankings, with both correctly selecting 33 of 36 at-large teams. Both would have seen Texas A&M, SMU, and Oklahoma going in (and all are among the four "replacement teams"). Indiana and Rutgers would have been out in both cases, while the standard ranking would have left out Michigan and the pseudopoll Notre Dame (accounting for four of the six #11/12 seeds and three of the four play-in teams).

The most interesting, and possibly most controversial, decision was the selection of Rutgers over Texas A&M, as A&M was ahead in the NCAA NET rankings (#42 vs. #77) as well as both of my key rankings (#38 STD, #36 PRE vs. #63 and #63) for a minimum of 25 slots above Rutgers. Normally there is more of a tradeoff (e.g., a team with too-close-for-comfort wins but strong record vs. one that passes the eye test but less impressive record), but in this case Texas A&M appeared to be the better team over the entirerty of the season, regardless of the metric used.

When it came to seedings, the pseudopoll did the the best overall, with 34 of 68 teams predicted at the correct seed and 60 within one. What is interesting is that, when looking at just the #12-16 seeeded automatic qualifiers, my predictive ranking and the NCAA NET ranking (which is also intended to be predictive and seems to result in similar rankings) did the best.

While the seedings largely fell with the rankings as noted above, there were a few cases in which teams were seeded two off of what was probably needed. Most significantly, 29-5 Houston should have been a 3-seed instead of a 5-seed, given their rankings of #12 in our main rankings, #2 in our predictive, and #3 in NCAA NET. A strong case could also be made that Alabama, Ohio State, and Marquette were seeded too high.


Prediction Notes

Heading into the tournament, an interesting metric is the relative parity at the top. Top does not mean the #1 seeds, but rather the teams with the best chances of winning. Here is a comparison of the number of teams as a function of likelihood of winning, vs. season.

Season5-10%10-15%15-20%20-25%≥25%Winner
2014-2015230017.9%
2015-2016411005.0%
2016-20172210013.2%
2017-20184120015.7%
2018-20192220019.9%
2020-2021+3201012.0%
2021-202260010TBD

In comparison with previous seasons, this season has the most teams with a 5-10% chance of winning it all, but only one team with a 10% or higher chance (Gonzaga, at 20.5%). While that makes them the clear favorite relative to any other team, it is worth noting that the field has nearly a four-in-five chance.

+ 2020-2021 tournament predictions less precise due to COVID impacts


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Note: if you use any of the facts, equations, or mathematical principles introduced here, you must give me credit.

copyright ©2022 Andrew Dolphin