Second Chance Expert Bracket Picks Via Most Respected College Basketball Metrics

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
Sweet 16 picks

The chaff was separated from the wheat, and it turned out that the wheat had all of the higher seeds. An extremely chalky Sweet 16 has emerged, and it’s time for TheLines.com’s yearly second-chance bracket picks. We’ll take a look at how various college basketball analytics have done at predicting the tournament so far, then examine their expert picks for the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final Four.

Remember, we’ve filled out bracket picks based purely on how KenPom, Bart Torvik, Haslametrics, and ShotQuality rate each team. You can peruse those and use the tool below from PoolGenius to help with second-chance brackets, betting picks for March Madness odds, survivor contests, and more.

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Haslametrics Sweet 16 Bracket Picks

KenPom Sweet 16 Bracket Picks

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Bart Torvik T-Rank Sweet 16 Bracket Picks

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ShotQuality Sweet 16 Bracket Picks

How They’Ve Done SO Far

Let’s take a look at the scoring thus far for these expert bracket picks, using a standard doubling format:

  • KenPom 47 points
  • Haslametrics 46 points
  • Torvik T-Rank 44 points
  • ShotQuality 40 points

ShotQuality is lagging behind due to having too much belief in Kansas, BYU, and Wisconsin. However, they have the most contrarian picks. They’re out on a limb with Iowa State defeating UConn and Creighton beating Tennessee, so those results will ultimately determine the fate of their bracket.

As for the rest of the brackets, it just comes down to how they differentiate between the three powerhouses we noted last week (UConn, Purdue, and Houston). If/when those teams meet, the results of those games will split the final hairs, with similar picks present all around.

One interesting note is that Haslametrics has inched Purdue ahead of Houston. In our initial run of the numbers, Houston made the finals. Purdue’s extremely dominant performances so far, along with Houston struggling to an OT win over Texas A&M, appear to have moved the needle slightly. Note that it’s still only a quarter of a point, though.

Sweet 16 Picks The Metrics Like Going Forward

Because of the amount of chalk advancing so far, there isn’t a whole lot to glean from the analytics’ Sweet 16 picks. Instead, we have to look at what the market prices are and compare them to some of the lower-probability teams, the ones the experts aren’t picking to advance but still like in a vacuum.

Iowa State once again stands out. Aside from ShotQuality, everyone likes UConn to come through in the East. However, all of the metrics expect the Cyclones to give the Huskies a legitimate challenge, something they haven’t gotten thus far. For example, KenPom currently projects a line of around UConn -4.5 there.

Of course, ISU must get past Illinois first in a closely-lined game. Still, at , they may be worth a look, though a moneyline rollover strategy will pay out more unless UConn slips up in its next game.

Another team of interest might be Duke (). The Blue Devils wouldn’t have to face UConn until a possible final, which helps. And Duke isn’t that far behind Houston in a couple of the ratings. Critically, if they can get past that, they’d actually be favored over the winner of Marquette/N.C. State, despite the Golden Eagles’ seed.

And Houston hasn’t exactly been playing its best ball, needing the aforementioned overtime to get past a lightly regarded Texas A&M bunch. They also entered the tournament after receiving the business end of a blowout from ISU in the Big 12 tournament.

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