UNC Basketball

March Madness Picks: Last Minute Bracket Upset Predictions

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 17:  Dexter Strickland #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels drives to the basket against the Miami Hurricanes during the finals of the Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 17, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2013

It’s full-scramble mode a few hours before the Madness begins, and if you are filling out your bracket, here are a few upset predictions and games where the odds have been moving around.

We don’t always trust our score-predictions computer at college basketball tournament time, but it often sheds some light on statistical mismatches.

In those tricky 8 vs, 9 matchups, here are the computer picks, including a pair of Carolina vs. Philly school meetings:

West Region: Pittsburgh over Wichita State, 78-73

Midwest Region: Colorado State over Missouri, 82-80

South Region: North Carolina over Villanova, 78-73

East Region: NC State over Temple, 80-77

Some big upsets wrecked many brackets a year ago, with a pair of No. 15 seeds winning. This year, the computer has No. 14 Davidson (riding a 17-game win streak) taking out No. 3 Marquette in the East Region.

It also picks No. 11 Bucknell to upset No. 6 Butler as a 3.5-point underdog.

In the West Region, the computer has the No. 11 (Belmont) and No. 12 seeds (Ole Miss) advancing past Arizona and Wisconsin, respectively. The Wisconsin upset fits with historical trends of No. 12 seeds upsetting No. 5 schools, but the Badgers have been an excellent bet at tournament time over the years.

The South Regional seems clear of major upsets, although few of the favorites are picked to cover the spread. Tiny Florida Gulf Coast and South Dakota State are both picked to cover the spread and go down fighting against Georgetown and Michigan.

In the Midwest, the computer sees another No. 14 seed advancing, with Valparaiso upsetting Michigan State. It’s hard to agree with the computer on this one. The Spartans have beaten some excellent teams and Coach Tom Izzo always seems to have his team ready in March.

Some of the top upset picks from the OddsShark.com handicapping staff include another No. 12 Oregon, upsetting Oklahoma State. The computer says the Cowboys will win by a point and fail to cover the three-point spread.

And Cal gets a hometown crowd in San Jose, making the Bears the third potential No. 12 upset. They face UNLV and are just a three-point underdog to the Runnin’ Rebels.

All stats, trends and odds references courtesy of OddsShark.com.

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