Bing Predicts: NCAA Sweet 16 Update

The Round of 16 is upon us, and all four No. 1 seeds are still alive. Lost among the chatter of Michigan State’s upset is that the No. 1 seeded team in the Midwest is actually alive and well. Our finals prediction of Kansas over North Carolina remains intact and our 3rd NCAA® Final Four® entrant, Duke, is also still alive.

We’ll preview the 2nd weekend of basketball, but first a quick summary of how we did in the initial weekend.

The Bing Predicts game-by-game accuracy was 33-15 after the first weekend. Predicts was 4-2 in the six potential upsets forecasted last week, with Arkansas Little Rock, Gonzaga, VCU, and Butler delivering on those projections, yet Bing Predicts was incorrect with Chattanooga and Pittsburgh.

The general baseline for ‘upset picks’ is to beat 50 percent, since on average these games would not be predicted by the consensus. Below 50 percent and you’re better off picking only the stronger seeds, so this group of upsets passed that threshold.

On the women’s side, the pre-bracket prediction from Bing for the four No. 1 seeds was 100 percent accurate with Connecticut getting the No. 1 overall seed. All four of our Final Four predictions for the women remain in the tournament.

Men’s bracket

Elite Eight®:

From the original Bing bracket, six of the eight predicted quarterfinalists remain alive. The two predicted finalists, Kansas and North Carolina, had impressive first weekends and should continue to roll with wins over Big Ten teams Maryland and Indiana, respectively. In an upset, our Predicts models favor Miami over Villanova. In the initial bracket, the Bing models saw this upset. After the ACC had a great first weekend where six of the seven entrants moved on, the model more confidently estimates this will hold true.

Similarly, the biggest upset from Bing Predicts is Thursday night with No. 4 Duke beating No. 1 Oregon in the West region. Before the tournament, our models saw that Duke had a solid resume, while Oregon’s strength was mostly in having multiple wins over two teams, Utah and Arizona. After a weekend in which only one ACC team lost, whereas Oregon was the only Pac-12 team of seven to win, our models strongly indicate Duke pulling off this upset.

In two match-ups between closely seeded teams, Wisconsin will edge Notre Dame as the No. 7 seeded Badgers look to make another tournament run. Similarly, Gonzaga will make it to the Elite Eight for the second straight year with a win over Syracuse. Virginia, a No. 1 seed flying deep under the shadow of No. 2 Michigan State, will beat Iowa State to move to the Midwest final. Finally, Oklahoma, led by player of the year candidate Buddy Hield, will beat a Texas A&M team in a battle between former conference foes.

Final Four:

Three of our Final Four picks, Kansas, North Carolina, and Duke, are still projected to reach the final weekend. With Michigan State out, Bing Predicts likes Virginia, now that their perennial nemesis is out of the tournament.

Women’s bracket

Elite Eight:

Joining the four No. 1 seeds, Bing predicts a No. 2 seed, two No. 3 seeds, and a No. 6 seed making the quarterfinals. In Connecticut’s region, expect No. 2 seed Texas to emerge as their quarterfinal opponent. In South Carolina’s region, No. 3 seed Ohio State will get past Tennessee and South Carolina will defeat Syracuse to set up that match-up. In the Lexington regional, Bing has Notre Dame meeting No. 3 seed Kentucky. Finally, in the Dallas region, Bing predicts No. 6 DePaul to be the surprise quarterfinalist to play Baylor.

Final Four:

The Bing models still like Connecticut. Predicts has them beating Notre Dame in another title-game rematch. And the machine expects the Notre Dame vs. South Carolina game to be closely contested with Notre Dame emerging between the two teams who each only lost this season to Connecticut.

Follow Bing’s predictions for upcoming games:

Keep tabs on the NCAA® March Madness® schedule:

- Walter Sun, Bing Predicts Team Lead