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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 26, 2018

The 10 brackets with the best chance to win the Bracket Challenge Game

Loyola Chicago vs. Michigan Final Four Preview

In the past seven years, no bracket in the Capital One Bracket Challenge Game has ever won without predicting the Final Four perfectly.

That could change this year.

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Three brackets are tied for first place heading into the Final Four. Two of those picked a perfect Final Four, and have Kansas winning the title. The third went 3-for-4 in the semifinals, but has Villanova as its champion.

Here’s how past BCG winners have fared in each round:

FIRST ROUND SECOND ROUND SWEET
16
ELITE
EIGHT
FINAL
FOUR
CHAMP. TOTAL
2017 28 26 24 32 32 32 174
2016 25 22 28 32 32 32 171
2015 25 30 28 32 32 32 179
2014 25 22 24 32 32 32 167
2013 22 24 28 24 32 32 162
2012 23 24 28 24 32 32 175
2011 25 20 20 16 32 32 145

Notice that those three brackets only cover two of the Final Four teams. What about Loyola Chicago and Michigan?

RELATED: 54 brackets correctly predicted the Final Four

There are two brackets in the top 10 who could win if Loyola takes the title. But history is not on their side. Only three 11 seeds had made the Final Four before the Ramblers, and none advanced to the championship game.

Only one of the top 25 brackets has Michigan winning the title.

Here's which bracket will win in each of the eight remaining scenarios:

Championship game Winning bracket Current place Current points Max points
Loyola Chicago beats Villanova Bueller T4 98 162
Loyola Chicago beats Kansas O.T.F / Giani Garcia T6 96 160
Michigan beats Villanova Team Bellissimo T6 96 160
Michigan beats Kansas Ethanhdkshsish / Wayne's Winner T26 92 156
Villanova beats Loyola Chicago Ayden Thuemler T73 90 154
Villanova beats Michigan Che 3 T1 99 163
Kansas beats Loyola Chicao RHoshina T1 99 163
Kansas beats Michigan stirskull T1 99 163

In half of these scenarios, this year’s champion will have the fewest total points since 2011’s winner.

That 2011 tournament was one of the craziest in recent memory, with a Final Four consisting of a 3 seed, 4 seed, 8 seed, and 11 seed. That is the highest total seed value for a Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

For as hectic as this year’s tournament has been (UMBC’s historic upset seems like eons ago), the total Final Four seed value is just 16, which would put it at sixth all time.

Rank Year Total seed value Teams Champion
1 2011 26 (11) VCU, (8) Butler, (4) Kentucky, (3) UConn UConn
2 2000 22 (8) Wisconsin, (8) UNC, (5) Florida, (1) Michigan St Michigan St
3 2006 20 (11) George Mason, (4) LSU, (3) Florida, (2) UCLA Florida
T4 2013 18 (9) Wichita St, (4) Michigan, (4) Syracuse, (1) Louisville Louisville*
T4 2014 18 (8) Kentucky, (7) UConn, (2) Wisconsin, (1) Florida UConn
6 2018 16 (11) Loyola Chicago, (3) Michigan, (1) Villanova, (1) Kansas TBD
T7 1986 15 (11) LSU, (2) Louisville, (1) Duke, (1) Kansas Louisville
T7 2016 15 (10) Syracuse, (2) Villanova, (2) Oklahoma, (1) UNC UNC
T9 1992 13 (6) Michigan, (4) Cincinnati, (2) Indiana, (1) Duke Duke
T9 2010 13 (5) Butler, (5) Michigan St, (2) West Virginia, (1) Duke Duke

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