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Daniel Wilco | | March 17, 2018

Here's who the world picked to win the NCAA tournament

UMBC upsets Virginia, 74-54

Brackets have locked. The picks are in. And the team chosen most often to win the title in our Bracket Challenge Game is… Villanova.

Somewhat a surprise here, as the Wildcats were the second overall seed, behind Virginia. But the Cavaliers' recent injury news — losing De'Andre Hunter for the tournament to a broken wrist — may have swayed couch bracketologists. 

The upshot was 14.6 percent of the millions of BCG brackets we looked at riding the Wildcats to what would be their second title in three years.

Team Picked to win title
Villanova 14.60%
Virginia 13.73%
Duke 9.14%
Kansas 7.89%
North Carolina 6.98%

This year's top overall seed, Virginia, is the second most popular championship pick, with 13.73 percent of BCG users taking the Cavaliers to win their first-ever championship.

The Cavaliers finished as the AP No. 1, and were the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament.

But only one team that finished AP No. 1 in the past 18 years has won the title — Kentucky in 2012. Last year, AP No. 1 (and also the top seed overall), Villanova, was picked to win the title in 12.25 percent of brackets, but lost in the second round.

Last year’s champion, North Carolina, came in fifth place, with 6.98 percent of the picks.

Here is every team in the tournament, ranked 1-68 in terms of how many BCG users picked them to win the championship:

Rank Team Picked to win title
1 Villanova 14.60%
2 Virginia 13.73%
3 Duke 9.14%
4 Kansas 7.98%
5 North Carolina 6.98%
6 Mich. St. 6.45%
7 Arizona 4.10%
8 Xavier 3.48%
9 Michigan 2.92%
10 Purdue 2.16%
11 Kentucky 2.10%
12 Gonzaga 1.87%
13 Cincinnati 1.33%
14 Tennessee 0.63%
15 West Virginia 0.54%
16 Ohio St. 0.47%
17 Wichita State 0.38%
18 Texas Tech 0.34%
19 Oklahoma 0.32%
20 Alabama 0.29%
21 Auburn 0.27%
22 Florida 0.26%
23 Penn 0.22%
24 Clemson 0.19%
25 Missouri 0.17%
26 Syracuse 0.16%
27 Miami (Fla.) 0.15%
28 Butler 0.13%
T29 UMBC 0.12%
T29 Texas 0.12%
T29 Arkansas 0.12%
T29 NC State 0.12%
33 Houston 0.10%
34 Virginia Tech 0.09%
T35 Rhode Island 0.08%
T35 Radford 0.08%
T37 Loyola Chicago 0.07%
T37 TCU 0.07%
T37 Texas A&M 0.07%
T37 Kansas St. 0.07%
T37 Providence 0.07%
T37 Texas Southern 0.07%
T43 Florida State 0.06%
T43 Seton Hall 0.06%
T43 Creighton 0.06%
T43 St. Bonaventure 0.06%
T47 San Diego State 0.05%
T47 Davidson 0.05%
T49 Nevada 0.04%
T49 South Dakota St. 0.04%
T49 Marshall 0.04%
T49 Iona 0.04%
T53 Buffalo 0.03%
T53 Georgia State 0.03%
T53 New Mexico St. 0.03%
T53 Lipscomb 0.03%
T53 Montana 0.03%
T58 Bucknell 0.02%
T58 CSU Fullerton 0.02%
T58 Charleston 0.02%
T58 Murray State 0.02%
T58 SFA 0.02%
T58 Wright State 0.02%
64 UNCG 0.01%
T65 Arizona St. 0.00%
T65 LIU Brooklyn 0.00%
T65 N.C. Central 0.00%

*These numbers don't add up to 100 percent. We rounded percentages and did not count brackets that did not pick a winning team.

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

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