YUSAG Bracketology

Updated March 11th (FINAL)

By: Luke Benz

Welcome to YUSAG Bracketology! Below is our attempt to predict the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament field of 68. Automatic bids are awarded to the highest ranked team in each conference, per our power-rankings. At-large bids are awarded to the 36 remaining teams with the best blend of several metrics. Those metrics are:

  • YUSAG Coefficient: Model coefficients for NCAA Hoops prediction model, used in our power rankings. More on model methodology can be found here
  • RPI: NCAA Rating Percentage Index. RPI is a stupid, outdated way to select tournament teams, yet the NCAA uses it anyway. Did we mention it's stupid? Note that the RPI we use is a projected end of season RPI that updates throughout the course of the season.
  • Strength of Record (SOR): We calculate strength of record by computing the difference in a team's win total and the number of wins we would expect the average Top-25 ranked team (per YUSAG Coefficient) to earn against a given team's schedule. We use projected end of season win total (which updates with each new game outcome) when computing Strength of Record to avoid one strange result skewing this metric
  • Resume Rank: Using our power rankings, we compute each team's record against the four tiers recently added to the NCAA Tournament selection committee's "Win Sheets". These records are then combined to create a quality of resume metric. The current formula for quality of resume can be seen below.
  • Wins Above Bubble (WAB): The difference in the number of wins a team has compared to the expected number of wins an average "bubble" team would earn against a given teams' schedule. We compute WAB by computing a team's win expected win difference against each of the at-large teams ranked 32-40 by YUSAG coefficient and averaging these differences

Using a weighted "blend" of the metrics, the teams are selected to the bracket.The current "blend" formula can be seen below. The final term in the formula is a mid-major penalty which prevents mid-majors who accumulate a lot of mediocre wins from being seeded to high by the formula. Currently, the penalty is 2. Automatic bids are denoted by bold, while the "First Four" (last four at-large bids, worst four automatic bids) are denoted by italics. The raw values of these metrics for all 351 Division-1 teams can be found here . After the teams for the bracket, they are seeded using a Random Forest model which uses these metrics to predict the seed of selected teams based on historical data since the 2015-2016 season.

We will be featured in the Bracket Matrix, a site that compares and evaluates over 100 bracketology rankings from all corners of the internet, if you're curious how these rankings stack up against other systems. Additionally, Ken Massey's site will be tracking how our model (and dozens of other models) fairs this season, so feel free to check out our progress there. The code used for this project can be found on Luke Benz's GitHub and the methodology for this project can be found here.

NOTE: Only D1 games are considered for the purpose of these rankings

NOTE: The following manual seed changes were made to the final version of the 2018 bracket.

  • Michigan St. from 5 to 3 (switched with Wichita St.)
  • Rhode Island from 10 to 8 (switched with St. Bonaventure)
  • Butler from 11 to 8 (switched with Texas)
  • Kansas St. from 7 to 10 (everyone shifts up accordingly)
  • Tennessee from 2 to 3 (switches with Purdue; numbers not up to date on site but this is appropriate contingency for UK winning SEC)
  • SDSU from 12 to 11 (more likely than Buffalo to get 11 seed)
  • Davidson from 13 to 12 (switch with Murray State)


To sort a table by a specific column, simply click the column name.

YUSAG Bracket
Seed Line Overall Seed Team Conference YUSAG Rank RPI Rank SOR Rank Resume Rank WAB Rank Blend Predicted Seed
1 1 Virginia ACC 2 1 1 2 1 1.55 1.12
1 2 Villanova Big East 1 2 2 3 2 2.35 1.34
1 3 Kansas Big 12 10 5 6 1 4 3.70 1.44
1 4 Xavier Big East 14 3 4 6 3 5.55 1.72
2 5 North Carolina ACC 8 4 8 4 6 5.00 1.75
2 6 Cincinnati AAC 7 6 10 7 11 7.45 2.05
2 7 Duke ACC 3 7 9 10 8 8.25 2.07
2 8 Purdue Big 10 4 9 7 15 7 10.80 2.81
3 9 Tennessee SEC 13 8 11 8 10 9.00 2.42
3 10 Michigan Big 10 15 15 5 17 9 14.30 3.52
3 11 Arizona Pac 12 29 18 21 9 19 15.45 3.78
3 12 Michigan St. Big 10 5 16 3 35 5 21.05 4.91
4 13 West Virginia Big 12 9 28 16 5 13 13.05 4.06
4 14 Texas Tech Big 12 12 26 15 11 14 15.55 4.20
4 15 Kentucky SEC 20 13 26 12 17 14.95 4.33
4 16 Clemson ACC 24 10 14 22 16 17.80 4.41
5 17 Auburn SEC 19 14 17 16 18 16.10 4.57
5 18 Wichita St. AAC 11 11 19 13 20 13.60 4.03
5 19 Gonzaga WCC 6 22 12 19 15 19.35 5.16
5 20 Houston AAC 18 19 18 21 24 20.20 5.23
6 21 Ohio St. Big 10 16 21 13 37 12 26.00 5.75
6 22 TCU Big 12 21 24 38 23 25 24.75 6.10
6 23 Miami (FL) ACC 44 27 22 29 21 28.50 6.31
6 24 Arkansas SEC 31 31 37 18 22 24.85 6.42
7 25 Texas A&M SEC 34 29 46 20 28 27.05 6.93
7 26 Nevada MWC 48 12 27 30 27 28.70 7.27
7 27 Florida SEC 32 47 47 14 34 29.35 7.93
7 28 Seton Hall Big East 27 33 32 38 26 33.85 8.14
8 29 Providence Big East 72 32 45 40 32 40.90 8.38
8 30 Butler Big East 22 46 48 42 38 41.20 9.95
8 31 Rhode Island A-10 35 17 23 49 29 37.00 9.29
8 32 Oklahoma Big 12 42 59 53 24 41 39.15 8.75
9 33 Southern California Pac 12 47 36 73 32 59 41.30 8.80
9 34 UCLA Pac 12 56 44 66 43 57 48.25 8.82
9 35 Alabama SEC 64 43 92 25 58 43.40 8.87
9 36 Missouri SEC 50 50 68 34 49 44.50 8.91
10 37 Creighton Big East 25 49 34 46 31 41.95 9.18
10 38 St. Bonaventure A-10 54 25 29 39 35 37.60 8.72
10 39 Virginia Tech ACC 33 61 33 33 33 40.00 9.29
10 40 Kansas St. Big 12 38 56 30 27 23 35.25 8.02
11 41 Florida St. ACC 37 70 41 28 40 41.90 9.35
11 42 North Carolina St. ACC 28 58 39 41 37 43.35 9.56
11 43 Texas Big 12 52 53 52 26 36 38.95 8.63
11 44 Loyola Chicago MVC 61 20 24 61 43 47.25 10.70
11 45 Saint Mary's (CA) WCC 30 40 20 55 39 45.65 11.61
11 46 San Diego St. MWC 46 62 70 65 66 64.95 12.04
12 47 Buffalo MAC 76 23 59 81 72 64.90 11.73
12 48 South Dakota St. Summit 75 35 28 68 47 56.35 11.82
12 49 New Mexico St. WAC 55 37 25 63 45 52.10 11.84
12 50 Davidson A-10 36 67 85 86 84 77.95 12.33
13 51 Murray St. OVC 84 34 36 70 60 60.00 12.27
13 52 Col. of Charleston CAA 109 51 54 67 77 68.90 12.58
13 53 Montana Big Sky 69 64 50 85 65 74.65 13.08
13 54 Marshall C-USA 103 84 82 74 91 83.90 13.36
14 55 UNCG Southern 81 55 43 95 64 77.30 13.41
14 56 Bucknell Patriot 80 73 74 109 87 93.40 13.69
14 57 SFA Southland 115 94 49 103 76 95.85 14.03
14 58 Lipscomb A-Sun 170 102 72 108 92 109.50 14.55
15 59 Penn Ivy 105 110 75 117 99 110.05 14.58
15 60 Wright St. Horizon 123 101 84 114 104 109.65 14.81
15 61 Iona MAAC 146 108 145 173 151 151.05 14.82
15 62 Georgia St. Sunbelt 124 125 111 184 124 151.95 14.89
16 63 Cal St. Fullerton Big West 153 115 109 132 118 128.15 14.90
16 64 Radford Big South 168 133 127 177 148 159.20 14.96
16 65 UMBC Am. East 182 130 104 142 115 138.50 15.04
16 66 N.C. Central MEAC 325 274 220 283 253 277.65 15.98
16 67 LIU Brooklyn NEC 249 221 246 301 268 269.00 15.99
16 68 Texas Southern SWAC 237 230 226 228 217 230.10 15.99




First 16 Teams Out
Overall Seed Team Conference YUSAG Rank RPI Rank SOR Rank Resume Rank WAB Rank Blend
69 Louisville ACC 40 41 44 53 42 46.70
70 Marquette Big East 43 57 51 48 44 49.65
71 Baylor Big 12 23 68 65 45 48 50.85
72 Middle Tenn. C-USA 66 30 40 59 53 51.95
73 Syracuse ACC 67 45 63 52 50 52.65
74 Oklahoma St. Big 12 49 93 64 31 46 53.10
75 Boise St. MWC 45 52 55 56 62 56.40
76 Arizona St. Pac 12 41 74 78 47 71 58.65
77 Notre Dame ACC 26 79 61 58 52 59.75
78 Georgia SEC 65 86 94 36 63 59.90
79 Vermont Am. East 63 39 35 73 56 60.00
80 Utah Pac 12 77 63 77 50 69 60.55
81 Mississippi St. SEC 57 76 58 57 55 61.65
82 Nebraska Big 10 60 71 31 71 30 61.80
83 Penn St. Big 10 17 88 62 69 51 66.05
84 LSU SEC 68 95 93 44 73 66.95




Conference Bids
ACC 8
SEC 8
Big 12 7
Big East 6
Big 10 4
AAC 3
Pac 12 3
A-10 3
MWC 2
WCC 2
A-Sun 1
Am. East 1
Big Sky 1
Big South 1
Big West 1
C-USA 1
CAA 1
Horizon 1
Ivy 1
MAAC 1
MAC 1
MEAC 1
MVC 1
NEC 1
OVC 1
Patriot 1
Southern 1
Southland 1
Summit 1
Sunbelt 1
SWAC 1
WAC 1