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Selection Sunday: 2024 March Madness men’s bracket and predictions

Final seeding and regional breakdown for the 2024 March Madness tournament, with betting predictions from sports analysts and wagering experts.

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6min read

With Selection Sunday now behind us, 68 NCAA teams stand the chance to shoot for the stars in the 2024 March Madness season.

As usual, 32 of the teams on the field received automatic qualification for winning their respective conference tournaments, and the remaining 36 are at-large bids, hand-picked by the NCAA Selection Committee based on the teams’ performance through the season.

NCAA Men’s bracket: seeding and stolen bids

In true March Madness spirit, mayhem ensued following the announcement of five stolen bids: Duquesne, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, and UAB. Teams that were expected to be on the field, like Indiana State riding on an exceptional season, will sit this one out amid controversy and upset.

Selection Committee Chair Charles McClelland sites the process as “very difficult…we’re all just scratching our heads” and “hotly debated”, which reflects in the seemingly unbalanced regional seeding.

The “splitting of hairs” yielded the toughest bracket corner to the East Regional, where UConn emerge as the #1 overall seed. Poised well to defend the title, the Connecticut Huskies are sitting among a handful of betting favorites for the Championship win.

Betting analysts have their eyes on Houston, Tennessee, and Purdue as other strong title contenders, but the latter two will be facing teams in a heavy bracket-busting mood.

Three basketball players dribbling and shooting

East Regional

UConn are the #1 overall seed and the tournament’s reigning champions aiming to become the first repeat victor since Florida’s 2006-2007 run, but face the toughest contenders in the entire bracket.

With champions of four major conferences as the top four seeds, buzzer-beaters Yale, and San Diego’s Cinderella Final Four in 2023, the East Regional is looking like one that paves the most challenging path.

TeamRecordOverall seed
Iowa State27–78
San Diego State24–1018
Washington State24–926
Florida Atlantic25–831
Morehead State26–857
South Dakota State22–1261

South Regional

South Regional’s #1 seed Houston are the betting favorite to land as title contenders in the Final Four. Coming in with 30 victories and the Big 12 season title, the Cougars are looking at matchups with big-name top seeds Duke, Kentucky, and Marquette.

Worth noting that Marquette’s star guard Tyler Kolek sat out six games for the Golden Eagles, including the Big East Tournament, after a grade 2 oblique strain.

Nebraska is another team to keep your eyes on. The Cornhuskers may just be the most motivated team to win the first game — they remain the only powerhouse conference school without a tournament win.

TeamRecordOverall seed
Texas Tech23–1023
Texas A&M20–1434
Boise State/Colorado (First Four)21–11 / 25–1038/39
NC State22–1345
James Madison31–348
Western Kentucky22–1160

West Regional

Rebounding from their 2023 absence, North Carolina is the West Regional top seed for 2024, edging out Arizona by a thin margin. The Tar Heels come with a solid 27-7 track record, and a point to prove, but the Wildcats and Baylor Bears all have their eyes on the Final Four.

New Mexico Lobos are a team to watch in this bracket, clinching the tournament berth by winning the Mountain West (thus earning an automatic qualifier). Dubbed as bid-stealers this year, they’re coming in hot and fresh off a momentous victory.

TeamRecordOverall seed
North Carolina27–74
Saint Mary’s26–720
Mississippi State21–1332
Michigan State19–1433
New Mexico26–942
Grand Canyon27–747
Long Beach State21–1459
Howard/Wagner (First Four)18–17 / 17–1667/68

Midwest Regional

Big 10 champions Purdue were in the running for #1 overall, but enter the tournament leading the Midwest Regional as the #3 seed.

Seeking redemption after last year’s upset to #16 Farleigh Dickinson, the Boilermakers are looking to square up against potential bracket busters and a motivated Tennessee squad, who have their best shot at the Final Four since 2010.

TeamRecordOverall seed
South Carolina26–724
Utah State27–630
Virginia/Colorado State (First Four)23–11 / 25–1141/44
Saint Peter’s19–1362
Montana State/Grambling State (First Four)23–11 / 21–1465/66

The experts’ take: 2024 March Madness betting predictions

As the March Madness action unfolds, we’re undoubtedly in for some dunking delights. If you’re a punter looking to back your favorites, NCAA betting can be daunting to get into, but lends well to data-driven predictions.

Predictions are guided by hard benchmarks, like record, strength of schedule, NET, and player performance, but analysts factor in recent form, post-season momentum, non-conference performance, and injuries as well.

To make informed decisions when wagering on the NCAA tournament, our betting experts recommend familiarizing with the available markets, in-play line movement, and state-based NCAA restrictions at trusted March Madness sportsbooks.

To help you get started, the sports betting analysts and sports commentators below take a deep dive into the metrics, bringing you their Final Four and outright predictions for this year’s tournament.

Betting analystSourceFinal Four picksChampionship
Dan WolkenUSA TodayUConn, Saint Mary’s, Houston, CreightonUConn over Houston
Dalen CuffESPNUConn, Kentucky, Tennessee, North CarolinaUConn
Dick VitaleESPNUConn, Kentucky, Tennessee, BaylorKentucky
Eddie TimanusUSA TodayUConn, North Carolina, Houston, PurdueUConn over Purdue
Gary ParrishCBS SportsUConn, Baylor, Houston, PurduePurdue over UConn
Jay BilasESPNUConn, Houston, Purdue, ArizonaUConn over Purdue
Jerry PalmCBS SportsUConn, Houston, Arizona, PurduePurdue over Arizona
Jordan CornetteNBC SportsNorth Carolina, Auburn, Houston, TennesseeNorth Carolina over Tennessee
Josh PastnerNBC SportsIowa State, North Carolina, Houston, PurdueHouston over Iowa State
Kerry MillerBleacher ReportUConn, North Carolina, Tennessee, KentuckyUConn over Tennessee
Kyle BooneCBS SportsUConn, Arizona, Duke, PurdueUConn over Purdue
Meghan McKeownNBC SportsConnecticut, Arizona, Houston, PurduePurdue over Connecticut
Michael HolleyNBC SportsConnecticut, North Carolina, Houston, TennesseeConnecticut over Houston
Pat FordeSports IllustratedUConn, Houston, Baylor, CreightonUConn over Houston

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