Machine Learning Fantasy Sports

2018 NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction with Machine Learning Men’s Basketball

We have developed a machine learning system to predict the NCAA men’s basketball bracket. In testing, the machine learning NCAA bracket system was very accurate. The system predicted the last four seasons as follows: 2014 – 73% (46 games), 2015 – 79% (49 games) and 2016 with 73% (46 games). The system picked the champion 2 out of 3 years.

The machine learning system was 18-1 on Thursday of the 2017 NCAA bracket predictions as it picked all four play in games and it picked all but 5 of the first round games, but ended predicting only 42 games or 66% for the weakest showing since we started testing with 2014 data. This year we hope to be back in the high 70% range – more like 2015.

Below is the 2018 NCAA bracket prediction using our machine learning system.

If you are looking for some upsets, in the UCLA (assuming they win their play in) – Florida matchup – Florida is just over 50% to win. Also, the system predicts the Auburn – Clemson matchup as a close one with Auburn just over 50%.

2018 NCAA Play in Games – Predictions.

For Tuesday and Wednesday’s play in games the system has picked:


UCLA (just barely)


Texas So.

We will update this page as the tournament progresses.

Update March 14 2018 NCAA Bracket Predictions

So the first two play in games were last night. UCLA lost to St Bonaventure – not a great start as the system picked UCLA, but we said “just barely” when we announced the pick and we do not second guess, interpret or deviate from the machine learning picks. Thankfully, the play in games do not count in the bracket challenge.

On a more positive note – Radford defeated LIU Brooklyn as predicted.

Update March 15 2018 NCAA Bracket Predictions

In the two play in games Wednesday, Texas Southern Defeated NC Central and Syracuse beat Arizona St. as predicted, but the games that count start today at 12:15.

Here is what is on tap for today’s games – system’s picks are in bold.

(10) Oklahoma vs. (7) Rhode Island 12:15 p.m.
(14) Wright State vs. (3) Tennessee 12:40 p.m.
(13) UNCG vs. (4) Gonzaga 1:30 p.m.
(16) Penn vs. (1) Kansas 2 p.m.
(15) Iona vs. (2) Duke 2:45 p.m.
(11) Loyola-Chicago vs. (6) Miami (Fla.) 3:10 p.m.
(12) South Dakota State vs. (5) Ohio State 4 p.m.
(9) NC State vs. (8) Seton Hall 4:30 p.m.
(16) Radford vs. (1) Villanova 6:45 p.m.
(12) Davidson vs. (5) Kentucky 7:10 p.m.
(11) San Diego State vs. (6) Houston 7:20 p.m.
(14) Stephen F. Austin vs. (3) Texas Tech 7:27 p.m.
(9) Alabama vs. (8) Virginia Tech 9:20 p.m.
(13) Buffalo vs. (4) Arizona 9:40 p.m.
(14) Montana vs. (3) Michigan 9:50 p.m.
(11) St. Bonaventure vs. (6) Florida 9:55 p.m.

Update March 16 2018

The system’s predicted 12 of 16 games correctly. Sadly it lost the very first game yesterday – it picked #10 Oklahoma to upset #7 URI – but URI won in overtime. The system also missed the 8-9 Match up of Va Tech vs Alabama by taking 8 seed Va Tech. The system also missed Miami vs Loyola and the huge Arizona upset by Buffalo.

So the system is 12 for 16 or 75% currently.

Here are today’s games with the system picks highlighted.

(10) Providence vs. (7) Texas A&M 12:15 p.m.
(15) CSU Fullerton vs. (2) Purdue 12:40 p.m.
(13) Marshall vs. (4) Wichita State 1:30 p.m.
(15) Georgia State vs. (2) Cincinnati  2 p.m.
(15) Lipscomb vs. (2) UNC 2:45 p.m.
(10) Butler vs. (7) Arkansas 3:10 p.m.
(12) Murray State vs. (5) West Virginia 4:00 p.m.
(10) Texas vs. (7) Nevada 4:30 p.m.
(9) Kansas State vs. (8) Creighton 6:50 p.m.
(14) Bucknell vs. (3) Michigan State 7:10 p.m.
(16) Texas Southern vs. (1) Xavier 7:20 p.m.
(13) Charleston vs. (4) Auburn 7:27 p.m.
(16) UMBC vs. (1) Virginia 9:20 p.m.
(11) Syracuse vs. (6) TCU 9:40 p.m.
(9) Florida State vs. (8) Missouri 9:50 p.m.
(12) New Mexico State vs. (5) Clemson 9:57 p.m.

Interestingly, yesterday the system only picked one lower seed to win. However, today the system picks the lower seed in 3 games: Providence, K State and Florida State.

Instead of doing a round by round analysis – here is the 2018 bracket scoring in the ESPN system.

machine learning predictions 2018 NCAA bracket

Click on the bracket to see a bigger version.

machine learning NCAA bracket prediction 2018

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