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What Are The Best Upset Picks In The First Round?

You may have noticed that the "expert brackets" we put together are mostly chalk, because they're picking the single most likely outcome of each individual game.


At some point when you're choosing your bracket, you'll have to take a shot at an undervalued team or an upset to make your picks stand out (and have a chance of winning). With that in mind, here are the most likely first-round upsets for each seed, using the four models that provided relative probabilities for each team advancing:

SeedKen Pomeroy
Power Rank
Prediction Machine
9Pittsburgh (71.5)Pittsburgh (66.7)Pittsburgh (72.4)Pittsburgh (69.1)
10Arizona State (47.7)Arizona State (47.1)Arizona State (49.9)Arizona State (49.6)
11Nebraska (41.1)Nebraska (42.9)Tennessee (36.0)Providence (43.0)
12Harvard (43.7)Harvard (43.9)Harvard (42.0)Harvard (45.8)
13New Mexico St. (27.4)New Mexico St. (34.9)New Mexico St. (25.5)New Mexico St. (32.0)
14N.C. Central (26.8)N.C. Central (28.6)N.C. Central (18.8)N.C. Central (29.5)
15American (17.8)American (18.9)Eastern Kentucky (7.6)Eastern Kentucky (25.0)
16Weber St. (4.2)Coastal Car. (9.9)Coastal Car. (3.6)Weber St. (13.7)

The 11-seed spot will very likely change after tonight's game, as Tennessee's and Iowa's individual odds of advancing to the second-round are being depressed by the fact that they have to play each other. Once one of them is locked in, that team will probably be favored over UMass.

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