NCAA Tournament 2024: Top bracket busters, March Madness Cinderella picks by college basketball model

After making the 2011 Final Four while at VCU, Shaka Smart has not come close to reaching that stage. He didn’t win a March Madness game while at Texas and enters the 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket at 1-5 in his last six NCAA Tournament games since leaving VCU. His 2-seeded Marquette team was bounced in the second round a year ago, and the Golden Eagles earned the same seed for the NCAA Tournament 2024. To reach another Final Four, Smart and Marquette will likely have to battle teams like Duke, Kentucky and 1-seed Houston.

While Marquette has wins over Creighton and Kansas, the elite of the sport have given it trouble. It went 0-4 against UConn and Purdue, with a 13.5-point average margin of defeat. How far should you advance Marquette in your 2024 March Madness bracket as the first game approaches at 12:15 p.m. ET on Thursday? Before making any 2024 NCAA Tournament predictions, see the March Madness bracket picks from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has nailed 20 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds since its inception in 2016 and nailed UConn’s dramatic Final Four run as a 4-seed last year. It went an amazing 22-10 in the first round, including an astounding 12-4 in the Midwest and West regions.

Last year, SportsLine’s computer simulation nailed massive upsets, including huge wins by No. 13 Furman over No. 4 Virginia and No. 10 Penn State over No. 7 Texas A&M. The model has beaten over 92% of all CBS Sports bracket players in three of the past five tournaments.

Now, SportsLine’s advanced computer model has simulated the entire 2024 NCAA Tournament 10,000 times to come up with the perfect 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket and find out which teams will pull off the biggest upsets. You shouldn’t even think about making a pick without seeing what their model has to say.

Top 2024 March Madness bracket upset picks

One Midwest Region surprise the model has identified: No. 11 Oregon knocks off No. 6 South Carolina. You can throw the season statistics out of the window for Oregon since it played almost half of the year without its best player, N’Faly Dante. The Ducks are a different squad with him anchoring both ends of the court, as he leads the team in points (16.2), rebounds (8.8), steals (1.7) and blocks (1.9). He led Oregon to the Pac-12 tournament championship, while South Carolina is coming off a 31-point drubbing at the hands of Auburn in the SEC Tournament.

That was the latest example of South Carolina simply not showing up, and that’s happened far too often for Lamont Paris’ liking. South Carolina has losses of 27 points, 31 points and 40 points since the start of the new year. That’s a poor omen against an improved Oregon defense that has kept four straight opponents under 69 points, each failing to shoot 45% from the field.

Another surprise from the Midwest Region: No. 3 Creighton defeats 2-seed Tennessee and 1-seed Purdue on its way to the Final Four. Creighton is one of three teams to make the 2024 NCAA Tournament from the Big East despite the conference having five teams ranked in the top 40 of KenPom ratings. The Bluejays were tested with a challenging schedule throughout the conference season and went 3-2 against ranked opponents this year, including winning their final two matchups against ranked teams. Creighton defeated No. 1 UConn, 85-66, in a dominant performance on Feb. 20 then knocked off Marquette, 89-75, on March 2 during a 7-1 stretch to close the regular season.

Tennessee enters the 2024 NCAA Tournament off back-to-back losses, including falling to Mississippi State despite being a 9.5-point favorite in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. Tennessee had made its sixth straight NCAA Tournament, but has only advanced past the opening weekend twice during that span. See which other 2024 March Madness upsets to target here.

How to make 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions

SportsLine’s model is also predicting a stunning No. 12 seed that will reach the Sweet Sixteen and has one region where three double-digit underdogs pull off first-round shockers, busting brackets everywhere. With the model’s track record of calling bracket-busting upsets, you’ll want to see which stunners it’s calling this year before locking in any 2024 NCAA bracket picks.

So how should you fill out your NCAA Tournament 2024 bracket, and which NCAA Tournament Cinderella teams will shock college basketball? Visit SportsLine to see which 12-seed reaches the Sweet 16, and which region features a 10-seed, 11-seed, and 13-seed delivering first-round shockers and has a 9-seed in the Elite Eight, all from the model that has beaten 92% of bracket players three of the last five tournaments.

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