March Madness 2024 bracket: NCAA Tournament picks, optimal predictions from top-rated college basketball model (2024)

The 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket has officially arrived and the madness already began during the First Four. There's already been an overtime game, resulting in Grambling advancing to face No. 1 Purdue on Friday. In addition, Virginia's offense went scoreless over the final 9:30 of the first half in a 67-42 victory for Colorado State. Since the introduction of the First Four round in 2011, every NCAA Tournament outside of 2019 had at least one First Four team win a game in the Round of 64. How should that affect how you build your 2024 March Madness bracket?

Purdue is hoping history doesn't repeat itself when the Boilermakers lost to Fairleigh Dickinson after the Knights won their 1 vs. 16 game last season. Purdue finds itself in a similar situation, but only two No. 1 seeds have lost to a No. 16 seed in NCAA Tournament history, so you could feel confident that Purdue won't fall victim to another opening loss. Purdue is now a No. 4 seed or better for the seventh straight season, but has only made it past the Sweet 16 once. Should you have Purdue in the Final Four of your 2024 NCAA bracket? Before filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket 2024, be sure to see the 2024 March Madness bracket picks from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

SportsLine's projection model has simulated every game in the tournament 10,000 times. It has absolutely crushed its March Madness picks recently, beating over 92% of all CBS Sports brackets in three of the past five tournaments. In an upset-laden 2023 NCAA Tournament, the model was all over UConn's shocking Final Four run as a 4-seed. It went an amazing 23-9 in the first round, including an astounding 12-4 in the Midwest and West regions.

It knows how to spot an upset as well. The same model has produced brackets that have nailed 20 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds since its inception in 2016.

There's no reason to rely on luck when there's proven technology to help you dominate your 2024 March Madness picks. Now, with the 2024 NCAA bracket revealed, the model is simulating the matchups and its results are in. You can only see it over at SportsLine.

Top 2024 March Madness bracket picks

One of the Midwest Region picks from the model: No. 3 seed Creighton goes on a surprise run to the Final Four. Creighton has proven capable of knocking off any team in the country, as displayed with a 19-point victory over UConn, the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Creighton has three players averaging more than 17 points per game, giving the Bluejays the offensive versatility that if one player has an off-scoring night, it doesn't immediately signal the end of their run. Baylor Scheierman, a 6-foot-7 guard, leads the team in scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounds (9.0), and blocks (3.0) while shooting 37.2% on 3-pointers while making 99 triples. He's tied for the 23rd-most made 3-pointers in college basketball, doing so against some of the top competition in the country.

Creighton is third in the country in effective field goal percentage (57.5%) and fourth in shooting efficiency. The Bluejays average 80.5 points per game, the 23rd-most in the nation, with the 17th-best average scoring margin in college basketball. Creighton is one of the few teams in the country to match an efficient offense with an efficient defense, pairing the fourth-best opponent shooting efficiency with the 13th-best opponent effective field goal percentage in the nation. The Bluejays have all you'd want in a Final Four team for your 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket.

Another surprise: No. 5 Gonzaga gets past No. 4 Kansas in the second round of the Midwest. Kansas is the only school with two Wooden Award finalists, but one of those, Kevin McCullar Jr., has been ruled out for the entire 2024 NCAA Tournament due to a knee injury. Kansas played six games without McCullar this season and averaged 10 fewer points than the 26 games they played with him.

Gonzaga has few questions offensively. The Zags have the 17th-lowest turnover rate in the nation, and those extra possessions on offense allow Graham Ike to dominate in the paint. The Wyoming transfer has effectively replaced Drew Timme and is scoring 16.5 points per game on over 60% shooting. Meanwhile, Creighton transfer Ryan Nembhard had a 30-point game in last year's tournament and enters this year's with three straight double-digit assist games.You can see the model's 2024 NCAA bracket picks here.

How to make 2024 NCAA bracket predictions

Who wins every tournament-defining matchup, and which teams will make surprising runs through the 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket? With the model's track record of calling bracket-busting upsets, you'll want tosee which stunners it's calling this year before locking in any 2024 NCAA bracket picks.

So what's the optimal NCAA Tournament 2024 bracket, and which NCAA Tournament Cinderella teams will shock college basketball? Visit SportsLine now to see which region the 1- and 3-seeds go down in flames before the Elite Eight, and which region features a 4-seed in the Final Four, all from the model that has beaten 92% of bracket players three of the last five tournaments.

March Madness 2024 bracket: NCAA Tournament picks, optimal predictions from top-rated college basketball model (2024)
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