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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | March 19, 2021

Gonzaga is the team the nation picked to win the 2021 NCAA tournament

Tracing the NCAA bracket from 1851 London, through 1977 Staten Island, to today

Sometimes there's no consensus and NCAA bracket picks are spread out.

Sometimes there's 2021 Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs, who are looking to become the first undefeated national champion since 1975-76 Indiana, were easily the top pick among Bracket Challenge Game users this year: 38.81 percent. That number stands well out in front of everyone else the 2021 tournament, but it's not the highest on record in the BCG. Two years ago, Duke came in at 39.12 percent. But since 2014, the 2014-15 Kentucky team that went into the tournament undefeated (sound familiar?) leads the pack. That Wildcats team was the title pick in 46.57 percent of BCG brackets.

The Zags are 26-0 after dominating nonconference foes and the WCC. During the regular season, Gonzaga picked up wins against Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa and Virginia. The Bulldogs have even won 23 consecutive games by double figures. That last time a team stayed within single digits was West Virginia in a 87-82 game on Dec. 2.

Illinois comes in after Gonzaga on top BCG picks. The Illini are the winner in 15.74 percent of brackets. The No. 1 seeds don't stop there, either, as the four top seeds take up the four most-picked slots. After Illinois, Baylor comes in at 8.41 percent, with Michigan fourth at 7.65 percent. That's not entirely unexpected — they're No. 1 seeds for a reason.

Since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been 70 teams that have played in the title game. Of the 70, 33 of them (47.1 percent) were 1 seeds. And of the 35 national champions, 21 have been 1 seeds (60 percent).

But if your favorite team — or even your own title pick — is way down on the list below, don't worry. In 2014, only 0.23 percent of brackets had UConn winning the championship.

Every 2021 NCAA tournament team ranked by percentage of picks to win the championship

Team Percent picked for title
(1) Gonzaga 38.82
(1) Illinois 15.69
(1) Baylor 8.43
(1) Michigan 7.62
(2) Ohio State 3.27
(2) Houston 3.22
(2) Iowa 2.80
(2) Alabama 2.78
(3) Kansas 2.09
(4) Oklahoma State 1.47
(3) Texas 1.45
(3) West Virginia 1.14
(8) North Carolina 0.87
(4) Virginia 0.80
(3) Arkansas 0.80
(5) Villanova 0.74
(4) Florida State 0.63
(4) Purdue 0.62
(9) Wisconsin 0.42
(5) Tennessee 0.42
(6) Texas Tech 0.40
(7) UConn 0.36
(8) Loyola Chicago 0.33
(6) BYU 0.26
(6) San Diego State 0.26
(7) Oregon 0.25
(8) LSU 0.25
(11) UCLA 0.24
(11) Syracuse 0.23
(7) Florida 0.22
(12) Georgetown 0.21
(5) Colorado 0.21
(16) Drexel 0.19
(6) USC 0.18
(14) Colgate 0.18
(7) Clemson 0.17
(5) Creighton 0.15
(8) Oklahoma 0.13
(9) Georgia Tech 0.12
(9) Missouri 0.12
(16) Norfolk State 0.11
(16) Hartford 0.11
(10) Maryland 0.10
(10) Virginia Tech 0.09
(15) Oral Roberts 0.09
(13) Liberty 0.09
(13) Ohio 0.08
(10) Rutgers 0.08
(14) Abilene Christian 0.06
(15) Texas Southern 0.06
(12) Oregon State 0.06
(11) Drake 0.06
(9) St. Bonaventure 0.06
(15) Grand Canyon 0.06
(15) Cleveland State 0.06
(11) Utah State 0.05
(12) UCSB 0.04
(12) Winthrop 0.04
(10) VCU 0.04
(15) Iona 0.04
(14) Morehead State 0.03
(14) Eastern Washington 0.03
(14) North Texas 0.02
(14) UNC Greensboro 0.02

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