March Madness Upsets: Which Cinderella Longshots Have The Best Chance To Reach Final Four?

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
march madness upset predictions

Which March Madness upset predictions in this year’s bracket have the best chance of cashing longshot Final Four odds and putting you in strong position for your pools? Let’s look at both March Madness odds and the PoolGenius’ Bracket Predictor Tool to nail down a few teams. To get to the Final Four, chances are you’ll have to go through the No. 1 seed in your region. Based on the PoolGenius Decision Tree model, the teams we’re looking at are the teams who have the highest chance of beating the region’s No. 1 seed (should they play each other).

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March Madness Upset Predictions: Teams Most Likely TO Beat 1 Seeds

Midwest Region

According to PoolGenius’ in-house Decision Tree model, the Midwest Region might be the one to keep a close eye on for big March Madness upset predictions. It’s not top-seed Purdue or 2-seed Tennessee winning this region. But we are saving this information for our subscribers. Sign up for a discounted subscription, just $37, to find out what team might shock the Midwest Region and make a Final Four run.

Plus, you’ll get access to an incredible suite of bracket tools to help you find March Madness upsets. For more in-depth tools to help fill out your brackets, click SIGN UP NOW in the banner above for the PoolGenius suite of bracket tools.

East Region

The East Region features one of the toughest paths to the Final Four, with a team almost certainly needing to go through the overall top seed in the tournament, UConn. Just two teams stand out in this region – No. 2 seed Iowa State and No. 4 seed Auburn. PoolGenius lines the Cyclones with a 42% chance to beat the Huskies according to their Decision Tree, but just a 32% chance according to their Power Ratings and an even lower 21% chance in their Simulations. Iowa State’s odds to reach the Final Four currently stand at (a 19.1% implied probability).

Auburn is a bit more interesting. According to Haslametrics, the Tigers are severely under-seeded, ranking fourth overall in their numbers. PoolGenius agrees, lining Auburn for a region-best 44% chance to upend UConn according to the Decision Tree, a 40% chance according to their Power Ratings, and an equal 40% chance in Simulations. Currently, the Tigers are lined at to reach the Final Four, a comparative bargain at a 20% implied win rate.

Neither team offers the same market sex appeal of a double-digit seed making a Cinderella run, but both do offer enticing futures odds.

West Region

North Carolina is the lowest No. 1 seed in the bracket by overall seeds. PoolGenius agrees, lining two teams with a better than a 50% chance to beat UNC should they meet head-to-head. That means the PoolGenius Decision Tree model has a pretty large longshot predicted to reach the Elite Eight on UNC’s side of the bracket.

Click SIGN UP NOW in the banner above to uncover the March Madness upsets predictions from the model in this region.

Meanwhile, bettors have now made 2-seed Arizona the favorite at sportsbooks to reach the Final Four out of the West.

South Region

The South Region is where things get interesting. Although no teams offer a balmy 53% chance to beat the region’s No. 1 seed, Houston, two March Madness longshots do offer a true Cinderella run chance relative to the other teams in their region.

First, the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats stand the best chance of toppling Houston, according to PoolGenius. UK advanced past Houston in just 20% of simulations, but power ratings line it with a 28% chance at victory. At , the odds more or less agree. The other roadblock for Kentucky comes with its draw – it pulls arguably the toughest region of any team.

But if we’re looking for a true 2021 UCLA story – First Four to Final Four – you may want to look toward the Boise State Broncos vs. Colorado Buffaloes play-in game for the No. 10 spot. According to PoolGenius, both Boise State and Colorado stand a better chance against Houston than any team outside of the top five seeds in the region. Boise State fares slightly better in the Decision Tree (18%) and Simulations (13%), while Colorado fares better in Power Rating (21%).

Again, the draw is tough for each of these teams. But they do have the weakest No. 2 seed, Marquette, according to both Haslametrics and KenPom. The odds are also enticing, with sportsbooks lining Colorado at to make the Final Four and Boise State at .

So, if you’re looking for a way to really get different and tackle a large March Madness pool by removing Houston, these play-in teams might be your best contrarian option.

Bracket Predictor Tool

Use PoolGenius’ bracket predictor tool below to compare potential upset picks quickly. Click on the school logo to select each team and see how they stack up with a single glance.