2018 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, March Madness picks from proven computer model

Let the madness begin. Before you lock in your 2018 March Madness bracket picks, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say. Over the past two NCAA Tournaments, SportsLine's model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has nailed a staggering 12-of-15 first-round upsets, including 9-of-12 by double-digit seeds.

And the model was nearly flawless in the opening round last year, going 27-5. Anyone who followed it has been well on their way to winning their NCAA Tournament bracket pool.

That wasn't a fluke, either. Their simulations crushed college basketball last season, producing a 755-636-20 record on A-rated picks and returning a massive profit of $6,529 for any $100 player who followed them.

If you're looking for a pick that will give you a huge edge in your 2018 March Madness bracket, their model says you should back 4-seed Auburn with confidence. Look for the Tigers to bounce back from an early exit in the SEC Tournament to make a Sweet 16 run.

The Tigers struggled mightily down the stretch, losing four of their last six games, which included an 18-point defeat to rival Alabama in the SEC quarterfinals. However, Bruce Pearl's team will be looking to make the most of their opportunity in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers haven't appeared in March Madness since 2003. They are led by junior guard Bryce Brown, who is averaging over 16 points and is a dynamic playmaker who forces the tempo of play.

Brown has been the catalyst for the Tigers' offense this season and will be looking to make a statement in the first round against a red-hot Charleston team that has won 14 of its last 15 games overall.

Don't be fooled by Auburn's recent struggles - the model is still all-in on the Tigers. You should be too.

Another curveball: Michigan State rebounds from a disappointing performance in the Big Ten Tournament and makes a run all the way to the Final Four as a No. 3 seed. Look for a 21-point win and cover from Michigan State against Bucknell in the first round. 

Michigan State has not advanced past the second round of the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons. However, Tom Izzo's squad is stacked with talented veterans.

The Spartans are led by Sophomore forward Miles Bridges. The second-team All-American leads the team with 16.9 points per game and is second with 6.9 rebounds per game. Bridges' ability to play inside or outside pairs well with sophomore guard Cassius Winston, who is averaging 12.6 points and 6.8 assists. Winston is shooting an impressive 52.6 percent from three-point range this season.

Their early exit in the Big Ten Tournament hurt Michigan State in the eyes of the selection committee, but the model is still extremely high on a team that has won 13 of its past 14 games. In fact, SportsLine's model gives the Spartans the highest percentage chance of winning the Midwest Region and the second-best chance of any team to make the Final Four at 29.9 percent.

So who else makes a deep run in the NCAA Tournament? Visit SportsLine now to see which other No. 3 seed reaches the Final Four, and see who wins every single game, all from the model that nailed 9 of the 12 double-digit upsets in the first round the last two years.

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