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No. 1 overall seed Villanova and No. 2 seeds Duke and Louisville are out of the NCAA Tournament — bounced in the first weekend and likely busting your bracket in the process. The field is practically wide open as we move into the Sweet 16, with three No. 1s still left in play.

According to the SportsLine Projection Model, the tournament may not be as open as you might think. SportsLine simulated the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and title game 10,000-plus times, and No. 1 seed Gonzaga — a team that has never even made a Final Four — wins the title more often than all but one team. 

However, the Bulldogs aren’t a lock to make it past West Virginia in the third round. 

Another interesting result according to projections: No. 3 seed UCLA is the projected favorite to win the championship. In 68 percent of simulations, the Bruins eliminate Kentucky and win the title 17.7 percent of the time. That’s more than Gonzaga and Kansas.

With Nova and Duke bounced, the field has drastically tightened. It seems the road to the Final Four is tougher to predict than ever — so it’s best to take the computer’s help.

See the rest of the SportsLine Projection Model’s predictions for the Sweet 16


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