March Madness bracket predictions 2024: Picks for every game, Final Four and more

Fill out your 2024 March Madness bracket with picks from the First Four to the Final Four!

San Diego State v Connecticut
San Diego State v Connecticut / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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West Region: First Round bracket predictions

1 North Carolina vs. 16 Howard

UNC earning the final No. 1 seed was big for the Tar Heels in a wide-open West Region. Howard has some experience and good depth, but the Bison should be little match for the deep and balanced lineup that Hubert Davis should throw at them. 

Pick: North Carolina advances

8 Mississippi State vs. 9 Michigan State

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Tom Izzo in March! Michigan State and Mississippi State alike have struggled throughout the year. The Spartans defense on the perimeter is an issue, but the Bulldogs’ offensive output is still a problem too. At the end of the day, though, I trust Izzo in this spot to get the better outing from his guys.

Pick: Michigan State advances

5 Saint Mary's vs. 12 Grand Canyon

Saint Mary’s squaring off with Grand Canyon could be one of the best games of the First Round. Aidan Mahaney and the Gaels are elite defensively and controlling pace while the Antelopes, led by Tyon Grant-Foster for Bryce Drew’s team, is more balanced. At the end of the day, though, I trust Randy Bennett’s team just a bit more to dictate the action.

Pick: Saint Mary's advances

4 Alabama vs. 13 Charleston

There is definitely a world wherein Alabama, a team predicated on pace and offense with an often disregard for defense, goes home early. Charleston just might not be the right team to pull off that upset. The Cougars could score well enough with their deep-shooting proclivities, but I don’t see it being enough to keep pace with the Crimson Tide.

Pick: Alabama

6 Clemson vs. 11 New Mexico

Back to another seeding disaster, in no world should New Mexico have been a bid thief. And the Lobos should be able to prove it with an upset of Clemson in the First Round. The Lobos play at a Top 10 pace and are one of college basketball’s best offenses while the Tigers have been known to go ice-cold. I don’t see that working out well for Brad Brownell’s group.

Pick: New Mexico advances

3 Baylor vs. 14 Colgate

We’ll get to more on Baylor’s 10 Quad 1 wins this season in a bit, but it is indicative of the Bears’ ceiling under Scott Drew. Colgate has become a bit of a mid-major staple and has pushed for upsets previously with their 3-point shooting and turnover creation. Baylor’s experience, however, should keep them safe from that being a death knell.

Pick: Baylor advances

7 Dayton vs. 10 Nevada

More on poor seeding, it’s hard to decipher how Dayton ended up as a No. 7. DaRon Holmes is a stud and the Flyers offense cand fill it up. But they come into March Madness on a cold streak, losing four of their last nine coming into the Big Dance. Nevada is far more balanced and that should push the Wolf Pack to keep the Flyers skidding.

Pick: Nevada advances

2 Arizona vs. 15 Long Beach State

Someone forgot to tell Dan Monson he was fired as he led LBSU to a Big West Tournament title and this automatic bid. But the 49ers aren’t just a one-hit wonder, to be sure, as their fast offense and deliberate defense could cause problems. Arizona is just a tough ask as a balanced elite team efficiency-wise, which should make this a comfortable win. 

Pick: Arizona advances