Here are Nate Silver's Final Four picks

The Kansas Jayhawks are a slight favourite to win the NCAA tournament, according to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model.

Unlike last year, when undefeated Kentucky had an overwhelming 41% chance to win the tournament, this year’s tournament has much more parity. Kansas is given a 19.1% chance to win it all, followed by North Carolina at 15.0%.

Here are the favourites to make the Final Four according to Silver’s model:

  • Kansas (No. 1 seed, South region) — 45.1% chance to make Final Four
  • North Carolina (No. 1 seed, East) — 43.6% chance
  • Michigan State (No. 2 seed, Midwest) — 33.9% chance
  • Oklahoma (No. 2 seed, West) — 32.0% chance

Silver’s model rates each team using eight different systems, six computer models and two human-generated ratings. Each team’s overall rating is then adjusted for injuries and travel distance during the tournament.

Silver’s model has two minor upsets in the Final Four with two No. 2 seeds. In the Midwest region, No. 1 seed Virginia is just a slight underdog as they are being given a 30.4% chance to reach the semifinals. In the West, top-seeded Oregon is considered more of a long shot at a 22.6% probability of reaching the Final Four.

Meanwhile, Ken Pomeroy, a highly respected statistics-centric college basketball analyst, has Kansas as the top team, followed by Virginia and Michigan State.

Here’s the bracket, via CBS:

Here are the Vegas odds to win it all. Kansas, UNC, and Michigan State are equal favourites:

  • Kansas, 5/1
  • North Carolina, 5/1
  • Michigan State, 5/1
  • Kentucky, 12/1
  • Virginia, 15/1
  • Oregon, 18/1
  • Villanova, 18/1
  • Oklahoma, 20/1
  • Xavier, 25/1
  • Duke. 25/1
  • West Virginia, 25/1
  • Indiana, 30/1
  • Maryland, 30/1
  • Miami (FL), 30/1
  • Purdue, 35/1
  • California, 35/1
  • Texas A&M, 40/1
  • Arizona, 40/1
  • Utah, 45/1
  • Baylor, 50/1

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