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Adam Hermann | | March 29, 2018

Final Four picks from Siri, Google, Alexa, Cortana, and a Magic 8 ball

Loyola Chicago vs. Michigan Final Four Preview

With many NCAA brackets busted, we thought it a good time to hand over the forecasting job to technology - both new and old - and see who our device friends think is going to win the national title. We asked them all, from Siri to the Magic 8-Ball, and here's what they said:

Siri, who's going to win the NCAA tournament?

Siri thinks we’ll see Loyola vs. Villanova in the title game.

Her rationale? Those teams have better records than their opponents, which isn’t a perfect science... but also isn’t a terrible way to pick?

Unfortunately, Siri was reluctant to divulge with a true winner between those two teams.

So our quest continues.

Alexa, who's going to win the NCAA tournament?

Alexa, the voice of Amazon's Echo lineup, made it very clear who she thinks is destined to win the title: Villanova.

There was no wavering at all!

MORE MARCH: 54 NCAA brackets correctly predicted the Final Four

Alexa explained that her decision was based on the Wildcats' offense (far and away KenPom's top-rated offense in the country this season) because, as she put it, "offense wins games in basketball."

You can't argue with the fact that teams need to score to win. We'll see if she was right.

Google, who's going to win the NCAA tournament?

Google's Assistant decided, at the beginning of the tournament, to choose a Final Four based on schools with good computer science programs. How very Silicon Valley. This meant putting Virginia, Duke, Purdue, and Michigan in the Final Four. Welp.

MORE: Here's how each Final Four team got past a low point and reached San Antonio

If you ask Google who it thinks will win March Madness now, it gives you a three-part answer about the Wolverines, which basically boils down to: Google is sticking with Michigan.  You can see more of Google's predictions, including a game-by-game matchup tool here.

Cortana, who's going to win the NCAA tournament?

For Cortana's turn at picking the winner, we went a step further and asked Bing's prediction engine (which "applies machine-learning web data to make informed predictions about various events") who the winner was going to be. The pick?

A second Villanova championship in three years.

Magic 8 ball, who's going to win the NCAA tournament?

For the finale, we decided to go a little old-school (even older than Ask Jeeves) and work with some spherical technology. You're not going to get a very good answer out of a Magic 8 ball if you ask an open-ended question, so we narrowed the interrogation:

  • Is Loyola going to win the title? "Outlook good."
  • Is Michigan going to win the title? "It is decidedly so."
  • Is Villanova going to win the title? "Outlook not so good."
  • Is Kansas going to win the title? "My sources say no."

You may have noticed a bit of a problem: Loyola and Michigan face each other.

The Magic 8 ball made it seem like Loyola had a shot before slamming that door shut with its answer to Michigan. "Decidedly" seems firm. And neither outlook was rosy on the right side of the bracket, which means if the Magic 8 ball is correct, Michigan will take the crown.

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