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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 16, 2017

The nation's March Madness predictions are in: Who we picked to win

  North Carolina was the nation's top pick to win the national championship.

Pencils down.

The First Four is over, the Round of 64 has tipped off and all the picks in the Capital One Bracket Challenge Game are locked in.

The top pick to win the 2017 NCAA tournament is …

North Carolina.

The Tar Heels -- the No. 3 overall seed and the top seed in the South region -- were picked to win on 12.41 percent of brackets. UNC finished the regular season at 27-7 (14-4, ACC) and won the ACC regular season title by two games, though they lost to ACC champion Duke in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

RELATED: Barack Obama picks North Carolina men, UConn women in NCAA tournament

It's a close race right behind UNC. Kansas (10.61 percent) was the No. 2 pick, followed by Villanova (10.45 percent), Duke (9.97 percent), and UCLA (9.50 percent). Gonzaga was the lowest picked 1 seed, coming in at No. 6, with 8.52 percent of brackets picking the Bulldogs to win their next six in a row.

View the interactive bracket | Print the bracket

Last year, the No. 1 pick to win the title was Kansas, selected on 21.42 percent of brackets. The eventual champion, 2-seed Villanova, was the ninth-highest, picked on just 2.04 percent of the brackets. The Wildcats actually knocked off 1-seed Kansas 64-59 in the Elite Eight en route to their first title since 1985.

If our bracket challenge users are correct, UNC will have to get through a stacked South region filled with Butler, UCLA and Kentucky.

MORE: Every region analyzed

This season, UNC took down Miami, Wisconsin, Florida State, Notre Dame and Louisville, but fell to Kentucky, split games with Virginia, and went 1-2 against Duke.

The Tar Heels' first game of the tournament is Friday at 4 ET against Texas Southern in Greenville, S.C.

In all, only 10 teams were picked to win in more than 1 percent of all brackets. After Gonzaga, there is Kentucky (6.42 percent), Arizona (5.42 percent), Louisville (1.85 percent), and Oregon (1.31 percent). 

Another fun fact from the data: More people picked 16-seed Mount Saint Mary's to win the title (0.08 percent) than 7-seed Saint Mary's (0.06 percent).

Every team, ranked by percentage of brackets on which they were picked to win:

  (Seed) Team Percent
1 (1) North Carolina 12.41%
2 (1) Kansas 10.61%
3 (1) Villanova 10.45%
4 (2) Duke 9.97%
5 (3) UCLA 9.50%
6 (1) Gonzaga 8.52%
7 (2) Kentucky 6.42%
8 (2) Arizona 5.42%
9 (2) Louisville 1.85%
10 (3) Oregon 1.31%
11 (7) Michigan 0.99%
12 (5) Notre Dame 0.67%
13 (3) Baylor 0.50%
14 (4) West Virginia 0.47%
15 (8) Wisconsin 0.44%
16 (10) Wichita St. 0.43%
17 (4) Butler 0.42%
18 (4) Purdue 0.41%
19 (5) Iowa St. 0.36%
20 (3) Florida St. 0.36%
21 (4) Florida 0.35%
22 (9) Michigan St. 0.34%
23 (5) Virginia 0.23%
24 (6) SMU 0.23%
25 (5) Minnesota 0.17%
26 (16) South Dakota St. 0.17%
27 (6) Maryland 0.16%
28 (6) Cincinnati 0.13%
29 (16) Texas Southern 0.11%
30 (8) Northwestern 0.11%
31 (8) Arkansas 0.10%
32 (10) Marquette 0.10%
33 (12) Middle Tenn. 0.10%
34 (6) Creighton 0.09%
35 (11) Xavier 0.09%
36 (8) Miami (FL) 0.09%
37 (16) Mt. St. Mary's 0.08%
38 (15) Northern Ky. 0.07%
39 (9) Virginia Tech 0.07%
40 (10) Oklahoma St. 0.07%
41 (14) FGCU 0.07%
42 (7) St. Mary's (CA) 0.06%
43 (16) UC Davis 0.06%
44 (7) Dayton 0.06%
45 (7) South Carolina 0.06%
46 (11) Rhode Island 0.05%
47 (9) Seton Hall 0.04%
48 (11) Kansas St. 0.04%
49 (10) VCU 0.04%
50 (9) Vanderbilt 0.04%
51 (13) Vermont 0.04%
52 (12) Princeton 0.04%
53 (11) Southern California 0.04%
54 (15) North Dakota 0.04%
55 (12) Nevada 0.03%
56 (12) UNCW 0.03%
57 (14) Kent St. 0.03%
58 (15) Troy 0.03%
59 (13) East Tenn. St. 0.02%
60 (13) Bucknell 0.02%
61 (15) Jacksonville St. 0.02%
62 (13) Winthrop 0.02%
63 (14) New Mexico St. 0.02%
64 (14) Iona 0.01%

NCAA Digital's Mike Szahaj contributed to the reporting of this article. 

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