2019 NCAA Tournament Sleepers: Simulations Reveal 4 Dark Horse Cinderellas

Mar 21, 2019 07:00 AM EDT
Credit:

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Virginia Cavaliers guard Ty Jerome

  • We've simulated the 2019 NCAA Tournament 10,000 times to determine the top Cinderellas, sleepers, busts and value bets.
  • Before filling out your bracket for March Madness, be sure to factor in the results of our simulations.

Let’s go dancing. The 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket is set and we’ve simulated the 68-team field 10,000 times to determine the most likely champion, as well as the teams that can make or break your bracket.

Here are five Cinderellas, sleepers and busts you need to know before filling out your bracket, plus two teams offering bettors value to cut down the nets.

NCAA Tournament Cinderellas

When you think of a Cinderella run, last year’s Loyola-Chicago team comes to mind. With a little help from Sister Jean, Loyola-Chicago kept surviving and advancing.

Which team will wear the glass slipper this year? These are Cinderella teams (double-digit seeds) with the best chances to reach the Sweet 16.

  1. Ohio State, 11-seed (13.9% chance to reach Sweet 16)
  2. Oregon, 12-seed (11.9%)
  3. Florida, 10-seed (9.3%)
  4. Saint Mary’s, 11-seed (9.1%)
  5. Iowa, 10-seed (9.0%)

Each program is elite in at least one thing. Florida ranks 14th in adjusted defensive efficiency, Oregon (18th) and Ohio State (27th) are among the best defensive teams in the country as well. Iowa is 15th in adjusted offensive efficiency while Saint Mary’s ranks 21st. If these teams play to their strengths, we could see them during the second weekend of the tournament.

NCAA Tournament Sleepers

If you are going to win your bracket pool, you need to pick teams others are avoiding. Here are teams seeded fifth or worse with the best chance to reach the Final Four.

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