2014 NCAA Tournament Bracket Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

2014 NCAA Tournament Bracket Predictions

Learn more about our 2014 Bracket Preview, including upset picks and first-round simulations

March 17, 2014

When Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, ponies up $1,000,000,000 to anybody who can author a perfect bracket, you know that year's field of 64 (68) is chock full of potential Cinderella stories. You don't become rich on bad bets.

Play Bracket Challenge on FOXSports.com

In fact, college basketball experts echoed similar opinions last fall. These pundits didn't believe the country had a front-runner to win the 2013-14 National Championship. Fast forward four months and the narrative remains the same with No. 11 seeds having as likely of a shot to cut down the nets in Dallas as the four No. 1 seeds. The Gonzagas, Butlers, Wichita States, and sleepers of college basketball tournaments past will welcome a handful a new fraternity brothers this March, according to WhatIfSports.com.

Using our highly sophisticated college basketball simulation engine, which bases its predictions on the statistical DNA of each team, we "played" the entire 2014 NCAA basketball tournament 1,001 times. Our simulation predictions remove the popular "eye-tests," hones in on statistical strengths and weaknesses and adjusts for roster trends including injuries (Embiid), depth chart changes and each player's average minutes per game.

So, after 1,001 simulations of the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament, the computers selected the Louisville Cardinals (14.0 percent chance of winning championship) as the favorite to cut down the nets in Dallas. The computer simulations picked the Villanova Wildcats to have the second-best chance of winning the title at 8.2 percent. No. 11 seed Iowa, Michigan State and Syracuse round out the top five tournament favorites.

2014 NCAA Tournament Sleepers

Because the WhatIfSports.com college basketball simulation engine removes the bias from predictions, its 2014 NCAA Tournament upset picks can be viewed as data-driven selections with no sense of favoritism. The statistical makeup of the teams remains the deciding factor in these NCAA Tournament predictions.

For instance, a quick review of Iowa's resume would highlight the Hawkeyes' stumble down the stretch losing six out of their last seven games. However, the team finished 10th in the nation in scoring 82 points per game and seventh in rebounds with 40.7 per game. They also finished 11th in scoring margin at +11.9 points per game. Add all those statistical ingredients together and the recipe for an upset is probable in the Midwest Region.

In the South Region, No. 3 seed Syracuse possesses a 35 percent chance of reaching the Elite 8, while No. 4 seed UCLA has a 33.9 percent chance to meet the Orange in the regional finals.

In the East Region, it's no surprise No. 4 Michigan State manages to simulate its way into the Elite 8 as the team's late-season surge is more indicative of the way they played early on when the team was healthy. The Spartans' scoring margin was +10.6 during the regular season and +12.7 over their last three wins.

The West Region is where the simulation engine's statistical sobriety comes into question, but it likes No. 9 seed, and one of the preseason favorites, Oklahoma State led by Marcus Smart to reach the Elite 8 to face No. 6 seed Baylor.

Dayton's First-Round Simulations

Some NCAA bracket pool rules may ask you to predict Tuesday's first-round games between Mt. St. Mary's and Albany and North Carolina State and Xavier and Wednesday's Iowa vs. Tennessee and Texas South vs. Cal Poly matchups. Because our 2014 Bracket Preview is formatted to simulate a 64-team field, we simulated these first round games 1,001 times and advanced those teams to the second round.

Despite the 13-19 black eye of a record entering the field of 68, the simulation engine believes the Cal Poly Mustangs will survive Dayton and advance to St. Louis to face No. 1 seed Louisville. In the other bid to become the sweet No. 16 sacrificial lamb, Mount Saint Mary's beat the Great Danes of Albany 59 percent of the time.

2014 NCAA Tournament First Round Simulation - Dayton, Ohio
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
Cal Poly58.168.3
Texas Southern41.966.1

2014 NCAA Tournament First Round Simulation - Dayton, Ohio
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
Mount St. Mary's59.168.8

Check out our 2014 Bracket Preview

Print a Bracket

2014 NCAA Tournament First Round Simulation - Dayton, Ohio
MatchupWin %Avg. Score
North Carolina State31.867.2

2014 NCAA Tournament First Round Simulation - Dayton, Ohio
MatchupWin %Avg. Score

Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

Gridiron Dynasty

Coach, recruit, and run your own college football program.

Every DIA, DIAA, DII, & DIII College Awaits

SimLeague Baseball

Compete in a full season with your dream team from MLB past and present. Lineups, player settings, trades, prizes, and more.

Try It For Free

Hardball Dynasty

Run your own baseball franchise in this in-depth, multi-player baseball game.

Try It at a Discount

What is WhatIfSports?

WhatIfSports.com is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join WhatIfSports.com today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

New Terms of Use Customer Support New Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

© 1999-2017 WhatIfSports.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Use of this website (including any and all parts and components) constitutes your acceptance of these Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. WhatIfSports is a trademark of WhatIfSports.com, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.