March Madness bracket predictions: Expert picks, upsets, winners, odds & more for 2021 NCAA Tournament

The 2021 NCAA Tournament is lastly upon us. The first spherical of March Madness matchups will start Thursday, which suggests you may have simply hours to submit a bracket to that individual within the workplace who organizes the pool yearly and sends a dozen e-mails about it within the course of. 

We at Sporting News have put collectively loads of content material to assist put together you to make comparatively educated selections when filling out your bracket — and to benefit from the match basically.

Here’s a roundup of our March Madness bracket predictions, regional previews, upset picks, match odds and more to assist information you thru the NCAA Tournament. 

MARCH MADNESS: Get your printable NCAA Tournament bracket

Printable 2021 March Madness bracket

You can get a printable NCAA Tournament bracket right here to fill out earlier than and through match play. Sporting News will proceed to replace the bracket as video games are performed.


Download Sporting News’ printable NCAA Tournament bracket (PDF) by clicking the picture above.

Who will win the NCAA Tournament in 2021?

Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Illinois have the perfect odds to win March Madness in 2021, according to the FanDuel sportsbook. That is sensible — they’re the 4 No. 1 seeds — and the undefeated Bulldogs can be a well-liked decide in lots of brackets to win their first nationwide championship.

The second tier of Iowa, Houston, Alabama and Ohio State are barely sneakier bets to win all of it however nonetheless have the high-end expertise to upend the chalk.

A staff seeded 3 or decrease has gained the NCAA Tournament solely 5 occasions since 1990, however it’s at all times attainable — particularly in a season crammed with as a lot uncertainty as this one. The lowest seed to win the NCAA Tournament was No. 8 Villanova in 1985.

March Madness odds 2021

Team Odds
Gonzaga +200
Baylor +600
Michigan +600
Illinois +700
Iowa +1600
Houston +1800
Alabama +2100
Ohio State +2400
Florida State +3000
West Virginia +3000

You can try the opening odds for all the area of 68 here.

15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

March Madness bracket predictions 2021

It would not be sufficient to only have one professional let you know who they assume will win all of it, so we bought a number of writers to submit their NCAA Tournament predictions that can assist you deflect blame when your bracket busts within the first spherical. Here are out consultants’ picks to succeed in the 2021 Final Four with hyperlinks to their full evaluation.

Mike DeCourcy: Gonzaga, Alabama, Purdue, Illinois

Bill Bender: Gonzaga, Florida State, Ohio State, Illinois

Ryan Fagan: Gonzaga, Texas, Ohio State, Oklahoma State

Matt Lutovsky: Gonzaga, Texas, Baylor, Illinois

Vinnie Iyer: Gonzaga, Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois

March Madness upset predictions

Upsets within the NCAA Tournament are by no means straightforward to foretell. Otherwise, it would not be known as March Madness. However, there are at all times not less than a couple of underseeded groups yearly that pull off an upset or two within the first weekend and go on a Cinderella run. It’s only a matter of uncovering them.

Sporting News’ Bill Bender broke down his 9 sleeper groups most certainly to tug off an upset in 2021.

Liberty (Round 1 opponent: Oklahoma State -9.5): The Flames have gained 12 straight video games heading into the Big Dance, and this program is 82-16 during the last three seasons. Liberty pulled a 5-12 upset in 2019, they usually have the guard play essential to make a run with Darius McGhee and Chris Parker. Liberty is one in all six staff in Division I that averaged fewer than 10 turnovers per sport. That environment friendly play might simply result in an upset. That type might make it attention-grabbing towards Oklahoma State and the winner of Tennessee-Oregon State. This is one 5-12 upset we like. 

UC-Santa Barbara (Round 1 opponent: Creighton -6.5): The Gauchos have misplaced only one sport since Jan. 1. This is their first match look since 2011, however UC-Santa Barbara brings an skilled staff that has gained 20-plus video games every of the final 4 seasons beneath Joe Pasternack. Jaquori McLaughlin averages 16.2 factors and 5.2 assists per sport. This is a staff able to beating Creighton and difficult the winner of Virginia-Ohio. This is the opposite 5-12 upset we like.  

Winthop (Round 1 opponent: Villanova -6): The Eagles are again within the match for the primary time since 2017, and that is the second look beneath ninth-year coach Pat Kelsey. Winthrop has 4 gamers who averaged double figures. Senior Chandler Vaudrin and freshman D.J. Burns are productive within the put up, and the Eagles rank within the top-10 within the nation in rebounding consequently. That is an efficient components to take into the match for a attainable upset bid. Villanova is a troublesome matchup, however the put up presence might make it attention-grabbing. 

Read the rest of Sporting News’ sleeper picks here.

NCAA bracket area breakdowns

If easy picks aren’t your cup of tea, Mike DeCourcy has gone forward and damaged down all 4 of the bracket’s areas for some in-depth evaluation of the perfect storylines, most certainly upsets and more. We’ve additionally bought stats and sleepers that would determine every area.

West Region: Coming quickly.

East Region: Coming quickly.

South Region: Upset predictions, Final Four pick

Midwest Region: Upset predictions, Final Four pick

NCAA Tournament odds (and ends)

Play the odds: Know every seed’s historical past when choosing your Final Four and championship groups. 

An idiot’s guide to filling out your NCAA bracket: Self-explanatory.

TeamRankings’ Tournament Prediction Tool: Use it to determine the highest-probability match winners and the most certainly NCAA upset picks.

Best, funniest names for your bracket: Trouble developing with a intelligent identify for your bracket? We’ve bought you coated.

More March Madness information from Sporting News

Sporting News’ 2020-21 college basketball All-Americans: SN’s Mike DeCourcy names the 15 greatest gamers from the 2020-21 school basketball season.

Sporting News Player of the Year: Iowa’s Luka Garza turned the primary repeat winner of the award since … Michael Jordan.

Sporting News Coach of the Year: Michigan’s Juwan Howard needed to observe a legend, take over this system late, work throughout a pandemic, change seniors at PG and C and do all of that with no background teaching school.

35 best teams that didn’t win the NCAA Tournament: Sporting News picks groups from the previous three a long time that did not ship a title. Which was the perfect? 

March Madness Cinderella players we’ll never forget: Stephen Curry is among the many best Cinderella gamers in March Madness historical past, however he is not No. 1 on our record.

Most hated college basketball players of all time: Sporting News appears to be like on the most-hated school hoops gamers of all time. Don’t fear, there’s a variety of Duke on this record.

10 best schools without Final Four appearance: Who are the perfect faculties that have not made a Final Four because the 64-team period started in 1984-85?

Best college players who never made the NCAA Tournament: Say hi there to Ben Simmons, Noah Vonleh, Nerlens Noel, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and others who watched March Madness on TV. It’s fairly a listing.

An Oral History of Steph Curry’s 2008 Breakout: In 2008, a little-known, baby-faced guard from Davidson utterly took over the NCAA Tournament.

Upset City: Reliving the wildest opening venue in NCAA Tournament historical past.

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