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
6 of 10

East and West Region Second Round bracket predictions

1 UConn vs. 8 FAU (East Region)

As mentioned, FAU really limped down the stretch while UConn has been a juggernaut all year long. More pressingly, though, the Owls have had troubles with teams that can attack extremely well from the perimeter, which the Huskies can do, and more. The champs will be moving to the Sweet 16 comfortably.

Pick: UConn advances

5 San Diego State vs. 4 Auburn (East Region)

Auburn will get a lot of credit for its explosive offense, but the Tigers are truly elite defensively. Going up against a San Diego State squad that has been offensively inept at times this year, Bruce Pearl’s team should feast and, even if their offense gets limited in its own right, get out with a win and a move on to the Sweet 16.

Pick: Auburn advances

6 BYU vs. 3 Illinois (East Region)

There’s a world wherein BYU and Illinois just get into a back-and-forth shootout that could see both teams threaten to score 100. But when you get down to it, the experience and defense of the Fighting Illini is notably superior to that of the Cougars, which is why Brad Underwood’s team staves off a Second Round upset here. 

Pick: Illinois advances

10 Drake vs. 2 Iowa State (East Region)

Drake could be a trickier matchup for Iowa State than some people might expect as the Cyclones aren’t the best team in the field to exploit the lack of size for the Bulldogs. However, the Iowa State defense is just that damn good and should be able to keep Tucker DeVries in check enough to push the ‘Clones through to the Sweet 16. 

Pick: Iowa State advances

1 North Carolina vs. 9 Michigan State (West Region)

A familiar March Madness meeting for North Carolina and Michigan State, it’s hard to see Sparty being up to the task in this one. UNC has multiple shooters with RJ Davis, Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram who can make MSU pay while the Tar Heels defense should put the clamps on an uneven Spartans offense.

Pick: North Carolina advances

5 Saint Mary's vs. 4 Alabama (West Region)

Styles make fights and whichever team is able to dictate the pace of this one will come out on top. Saint Mary’s is slow and methodical with an emphasis on defense while Alabama is going all-out blitzing opponents with their offense. At the end of the day, though, I trust the athleticism and DNA of the Crimson Tide just a bit more under Nate Oates to force the issue and get the Gaels too far out of their comfort zone.

Pick: Alabama advances

11 New Mexico vs. 3 Baylor (West Region)

New Mexico might be the best-suited Cinderella in the NCAA Tournament field and they’ll show it to advance to the Sweet 16 past Baylor. The Bears have an ultra-efficient offense but one that plays at a pace outside the Top 250 in the country. If the Lobos force the issue and their tempo, it could lead to an offensive flame-out for Scott Drew’s team and keep Richard Pitino dancing.

Pick: New Mexico advances

10 Nevada vs. 2 Arizona (West Region)

Some of the big keys for Nevada in the Big Dance are shooting well from deep and rebounding well. Arizona, however, can negate both of those things for the Wolf Pack in their matchup with how they come to the table with size and a Top 15 defense. Caleb Love and Oumar Ballo should be true difference-makers in a decisive win.

Pick: Arizona advances