NCAA Tournament 2019 bracket predictions, projections: Advanced computer loving Gonzaga

Now that the 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket has been revealed, everyone from college basketball junkies to casual fans will fill out their brackets before the Round of 64 tips off Thursday. Figuring out which top seeds to back and which to punch out early can be the difference between winning your bracket challenge or finishing at the bottom of the pack. Making the right call on a top seed going down early is an easy path to victory, but make the wrong call and your bracket will be quickly busted. Before making any 2019 March Madness bracket picks, you need to see the optimal bracket from SportsLine's advanced computer model. 

This proven model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, absolutely crushed its March Madness picks last year, beating 95 percent of CBS Sports brackets and calling Villanova to win it all.

It knows how to spot an upset as well. The same model has produced brackets that have nailed 12 of the 18 first-round upsets by double-digit seeds the past three years. It also nailed some massive upsets last year, including huge wins by No. 13 seed Buffalo over No. 4 seed Arizona, No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago over No. 6 seed Miami and No. 10 seed Butler over No. 7 seed Arkansas

Now, the model has simulated every possible play in the 2019 NCAA Tournament and revealed its optimal bracket. You can only see it over at SportsLine.

If you're looking for a team you can count on in your 2019 March Madness bracket, SportsLine's model is confidently backing No. 1 seed Gonzaga to survive a highly challenging West Region.

The Bulldogs are a popular pick to go down early after they fell 60-47 in the WCC Tournament finals to Saint Mary's. Many are questioning Gonzaga's overall schedule, arguing that much of its 30-3 record is a result of playing in the WCC.

But Gonzaga was no stranger to tough competition during its non-conference slate. The Bulldogs knocked off Duke with Zion Williamson. They also played North Carolina and Tennessee, taking the Vols to overtime in a neutral-site game. The model is predicting that the loss to Saint Mary's will be a wake-up call for Gonzaga because the Bulldogs reach the Final Four in almost 60 percent of simulations. 

Another team the model is high on: Marquette. The Golden Eagles come into the NCAA Tournament 2019 as a No. 5 seed in the West despite dropping five of their past six, including an 81-79 loss to Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament. 

But the computer's optimal bracket is calling for Marquette to avoid a possible trap game against Ja Morant and Murray State in the first round and then score a huge victory against Florida State to advance to the Sweet 16. Don't take the bait of calling for a quick exit for Marquette because the model loves its chances to advance two rounds. 

So what is the optimal 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket? Visit SportsLine now to see which No. 3 seed reaches the Final Four, and find out who wins every single game, all from the model that has nailed 12 of the 18 double-digit upsets in the first round the last three years.

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