The ebTalk Benefit Pool is back and we have over 500 brackets in yet again. Whether you choose all favorites, all upsets, let your kid fill it out, clicked random teams names or whatever, you’re reading this because you’re interested in the most popular bracket picks in this year’s pool:
Favorites to win it all!
The most popular team picked to win the national title remains the No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs at 41.6%. While there has been some slight fluctuation in percentages, the 1-seeds and 2-seeds hold down eight of the top nine spots.
Other No. 1 seeds and the percentage of brackets picking them as the champion:
• Illinois Fighting Illini – 15%
• Baylor Bears – 14.5%
• Michigan Wolverines – 5.4%
2-seeds and beyond as title winners:
The second-seeded Houston Cougars (3.7%), Alabama Crimson Tide (3.2%), Kansas Jayhawks (3%), and Iowa Hawkeyes (2.5%).
The classic upset: No. 12 versus No. 5 seed
No. 12 seeds are typically popular upset picks to beat a No. 5 seed in the first round. The Winthrop Eagles are the most popular choice among 12-seeds, with 39% picking them to oust the fifth-seeded Villanova Wildcats. In other 12-versus-5 matchups, 35.4% of brackets picked the Georgetown Hoyas to beat the Colorado Buffaloes. 28.8% have UC Santa Barbara Gauchos to beat the Creighton Bluejays, and 14.5% have the Oregon State Beavers upending the Tennessee Volunteers.
Battles between No. 8 and No. 9 seeds
All four No. 8 seeds (LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, North Carolina Tar Heels, Loyola Chicago Ramblers) are consensus picks to beat their first-round 9-seed opponents (St. Bonaventure Bonnies, Missouri Tigers, Wisconsin Badgers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, respectively), However, there has been some movement in percentages.
Loyola Chicago remains tops with 71% picking the Ramblers of Georgia Tech. Oklahoma is picked to beat Missouri in 58.1% of brackets.
LSU Tigers are 59.5% favorites to eliminate the Wisconsin Badgers.
And the aforementioned North Carolina is picked in 58.8% of brackets over Wisconsin.