The "first" "round" of the NCAA tournament is underway, and the deadline for bracket submissions is fast approaching. To help you out with your last-minute picks, we took a look a seven March Madness/college hoops models, and used them to build out seven different "expert brackets."
Some of these—Jeff Sagarin's, Georgia Tech's, and ESPN's BPI—only spit out relative team rankings. For these, we worked bottom to top, and picked the higher-ranked team for each matchup until we had a champion. The others provided the percentage odds that each team had of advancing to each round. For these, we worked top to bottom, slotting in the most likely champion first, then the other team most likely to make the final, etc.* We also compiled a "consensus" bracket, showing only the picks on which all models agreed, which you can find at the bottom of the post.
*This led to a couple weird cases. For example, Prediction Machine's model thought that Virginia was more likely to advance to the Elite Eight than Michigan State (38.2 vs. 37.1 percent), but that MSU was more likely to make it to the Final Four (25.3 vs. 24.5 percent). We slotted Michigan State into the Final Four, on the logic that it's more important to pick the games later in the bracket.
Click "expand" to see any of them in better detail. You'll notice a lot of chalk, so here's your annual warning that picking chalk is a bad strategy for winning your March Madness pool (it makes it very difficult to differentiate yourself from the pack, especially in large pools). Check out this post for the best first-round-upset picks by seed, and tread carefully.
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