April 17, 2024

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2024 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions: March Madness expert picks, favorites, winners and upsets

2024 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions: March Madness expert picks, favorites, winners and upsets

Is your NCAA Tournament bracket cracked before the second weekend of March Madness arrives? Take solace, my friend, because you are not alone. In addition to Bijan Robinson trying to get a perfect set to end on Friday, even our team of experts — who have collectively watched hundreds of games this season — weren't 100% accurate.

So, whether you haven't watched a game all season or you've watched hundreds like us, keep in mind that what we love most about March is the craziness synonymous with sports. Surprises, Cinderellas and shocks are part of the game, and the only predictable element is unpredictability.

We like to think we got some things right along the way. For transparency purposes, we're posting all the good and bad together in the space below. You can see each of our braces and how they actually break down to help keep you comfortable… and perhaps use them as a guide for what to expect in the days ahead.

Okay, let's dive into the good stuff: the braces. …

2024 NCAA Tournament Bracket Predictions

Click on each bracket to enlarge.

Gary Parrish

Watching UConn become the first back-to-back national champion since Florida in 2006 and 2007 would be a blast. And let the record show that the Huskies are the favorite in the betting market. So I realize that criticism against them might be stupid. But, admitting that, I'll continue to do what I've been doing most of this season and put my faith in the Boilermakers. Wouldn't that be a great story – Purdue winning the 2024 NCAA Tournament after losing to a No. 16 seed in the opening round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament? Zach Eddy holds the championship trophy as two-time National Player of the Year? Matt Painter gives up his title as the best coach yet to reach the Final Four by becoming the first coach to lead Purdue to the final weekend of the season since 1980? All these good things. Just getting to the Final Four will be tough since Tennessee, Creighton and Kansas are also in the Midwest Region. But I'm still taking the Boilermakers to get to Arizona. Then, once they get there, I think they'll win two more games and score on the second Monday in April.

Matt Norlander

A locomotive screams on the tracks. The 31-3 national champions enter the NCAA Tournament as the strongest team with the best chance of repeating of any team since Florida in 2007. Dan Hurley's Huskies are led by All-American guard Tristen Newton (15.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 6.0 apg), who holds the record School for the duo and trio. In the middle is 7-foot-2 “Cling Kong,” Donvan Clingan, a dangerous defender and the type of player you can't emulate in training. The Huskies boast the most efficient offense in the country (126.6 adjusted points per 100 possessions, via KenPom.com) and overwhelm teams in more ways than one. Sophomore Alex Karapan (39.5%) and senior Cam Spencer (44.4%) are both outstanding 3-point shooters. The Huskies have been beaten by Kansas, Seton Hall and Creighton, but all of those were road games, and there are no more road games remaining this season. UConn will try to become the fourth No. 1 seed overall to win the national title, joining 2007 Florida, 2012 Kentucky and 2013 Louisville.

Kyle Boone

The hostile side of me initially picked Purdue over UConn in the title game. But I sat down and thought about it and couldn't make any reasonable argument for picking any team other than UConn as champion. Of course, that doesn't guarantee the Huskies will win it all and become the first repeat champions since Florida in 2007. There's a lot that could happen in the next few weeks. But they have electric offense, guard depth, downfield size, and shooting [takes breath] …The passing and excitement of the best team in the country knows it. Every top team in this field has a high level they can play at but no one has it as high as UConn.

Get every pick, every play, every upset and fill out your slide with our help! Visit SportsLine now to see which teams will make and break your bracket, and see who will cut down the netall from a model that pulled off a whopping 20 upsets in the first round with double-digit seeds.

David Cobb

Purdue is ready to make amends after an embarrassing loss in 2023 to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round. This time around, the Boilermakers are a much better 3-point shooting team and have a more favorable trajectory than No. 1 overall seed UConn. The Huskies have been the most dominant team in the lead-up to the Big Dance, with the Eastern Conference race full of stakes.

Jerry Palm

This is not the Bordeaux I have seen in the past few years. Braden Smith has made a huge leap from last season to this season. Fletcher Lower is better. Lance Jones provides Purdue's defense, shooting and another ball handler. And Zach Eddy is better too. This is a team on a mission. This is the year they get it done.

Dennis Dodd

What is available and undesirable? The Heels won the ACC regular season. They beat Tennessee and swept Duke. RJ Davis is an elite guard and the ACC Player of the Year. Hubert Davis settled down after playing in the national championship game in his first season and missing the tournament in his second season. This is his best team. There is/will always be pressure to win it all.

Armando Bacot is not as dominant as he used to be. Harrison Ingram (Stanford) and Cormac Ryan (Notre Dame) were big additions in the portal. The Western Conference is friendly, assuming Alabama and Michigan State don't get in the way before the regional game in Los Angeles. An interesting regional final against Arizona looms. In the end, sometimes you go with chalk. UNC has reached the most Final Fours (21) and No. 1 seeds (18) ever. He is tied with Kentucky for the most tournament wins ever (131). That's what heels do.

Chip Patterson

The selection committee put a lot of obstacles in front of the champions, putting what I believe to be the best No. 1 seed, the best No. 2 seed (Iowa State), the best No. 3 seed (Illinois) and the best No. 4 seed (Auburn) in the Huskies' bracket. And if achieving a historic accomplishment like its first back-to-back title since 2007 is going to require that kind of epic journey, UConn has all the skills and tools needed to get back to the top of the mountain. UConn can win in all different ways, outscoring teams with its high-scoring run offense or outscoring the opposition on low-possession grinders, and it has a few key contributors who can each step up as needed during the title run.

Cameron Salerno

Defense wins championships. That's part of the reason I picked Houston to win it all. The Cougars have the top-ranked scoring defense in the country and great guard play on offense to complement it. Jamal Shedd is undoubtedly the best point guard in the country, and Juwan Roberts is an X-factor on both ends of the court. Houston's path to the Final Four is convenient. The Cougars were unable to reach the Final Four at home last spring, but this will be the year they top the table and win their first national championship in program history.

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