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A detailed view of the March Madness logo is seen prior to the first round game between the Utah State Aggies and the Missouri Tigers in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 16, 2023 in Sacramento, California.
A detailed view of the March Madness logo is seen prior to the first round game between the Utah State Aggies and the Missouri Tigers in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 16, 2023 in Sacramento, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images via AFP.

We asked ChatGPT to fill out a March Madness bracket with predictions and AI Final Four picks as the 2024 NCAA Tournament nears its end.

In some ways, we're already witnessing the dawn of a new era of artificial intelligence, and AI could potentially surpass or match human capabilities in various tasks. But does it know how to fill out a March Madness bracket?

We've asked ChatGPT, the popular chatbot by OpenAI, to make March Madness predictions for every game of the NCAA Tournament after the First Four. We've then stood those picks to the rest of our March Madness bracket predictions to see whether the AI model could compete with our expert picks.

The results were interesting, to say the least. Here's a look at how ChatGPT filled out its March Madness bracket ahead of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, including exact score predictions for all 67 matchups from the first round to the title game.

Use these predictions to help you with our collection of the best free bracket challenges.

AI Final Four picks

For those who followed along with the bracket throughout the NCAA Tournament, you already know that ChatGPT nailed two of its four picks for the Final Four. The other two predictions? Not so much.

Naturally, our beloved AI prognosticator correctly predicted that the top-seeded UConn Huskies and Purdue Boilermakers - the two most popular picks to win it all among humans, too - would reach the semifinals of March Madness. Those teams have looked every bit like championship contenders thus far en route to four tournament wins.

Unfortunately for ChatGPT, its bracket had Alabama losing to Michigan State in the Sweet 16 (whoops) with Arizona winning the Midwest Region (double whoops). As for NC State? It did have the Wolfpack upsetting Texas Tech in the first round, but it followed that with this year's Cinderella team losing to ... Kentucky ... in the second round. Better luck next year, ChatGPT!

How to teach ChatGPT to fill out a March Madness bracket

If you're looking to replicate this project at home, it's entirely possible to have ChatGPT fill out your March Madness bracket. It just takes a little work upfront.

First and foremost, I would recommend using GPT-4, a more advanced model of ChatGPT that allows the chatbot to search the internet to fill in the gaps of its preexisting knowledge base. It's also critical to train the large language model - which knows data, not basketball - anything that might be relevant to making predictions for the NCAA Tournament.

To that point, here's how we trained ChatGPT to fill out a March Madness bracket for 2024:

Setting the guidelines

Before we asked ChatGPT for its March Madness picks, we established a set of basic criteria and methodology to instruct this project. This is always an important step when using a chatbot, which is designed to follow instructions without necessarily understanding what it might be asked to do in the first place.

In this case, we asked ChatGPT to predict every game of the NCAA Tournament using the same factors that others consider when making their college basketball picks. We asked it to make these predictions based on team-specific and matchup data as well as the latest college basketball odds and historical trends - all of which served as the basic training data for this bracket projection.

Critically, we also instructed ChatGPT to focus on making plausible but entertaining March Madness upset picks to reflect the typically chaotic nature of the NCAA Tournament.

To be clear, this is for entertainment purposes only, as AI chatbots are not a replacement for typical sports betting models or even the basic research that many do when filling out their bracket. That said, if you want to use ChatGPT's picks to fill out your own bracket, have at it!

Training data

With the guidelines for this project established, we turned to feeding ChatGPT as much training data as possible to improve the "accuracy" of its picks.

First, we asked it to search for common trends related to the NCAA Tournament while also sharing with it some of the best tips from our March Madness betting strategy guide. Then, we provided it with a full list of March Madness odds and Final Four odds for all 68 teams in the tournament field as of Selection Sunday.

Additionally, we imported a spreadsheet of KenPom data for every team in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, including how each team ranks in tempo, adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, and adjusted efficiency margin. This involved a few rounds of training to ensure accurate recognition and interpretation of the data, which is a crucial step when working with any developing model.

Finally, we provided ChatGPT with a list of updated spreads and totals for all 32 first-round games to help establish a baseline expectation from the betting market. With that in addition to the rest of the data, we finally let it loose. And boy, did it deliver.

ChatGPT March Madness bracket

Click here to download the ChatGPT March Madness bracket.

ChatGPT pick to win March Madness

It seems that humans and AI can mostly agree on one thing: the UConn Huskies are winning the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

After a few shocking upset picks in the early rounds, ChatGPT went chalk in the Final Four with three No. 1 seeds, including the top overall seed in the Huskies. They outlast Arizona in the regional final, according to our amateur AI bracketologist, before beating Houston in the championship game to become the first back-to-back champions since 2006-07.

That comes even without the chatbot explicitly searching the web for what others are predicting for this tournament, which speaks to just how dominant UConn is on paper compared to the rest of the field. That said, ChatGPT still left plenty of room for surprising results through the first four rounds.

Here's the exact score prediction and brief analysis for every game of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, courtesy of ChatGPT. Again, these picks should not be confused with an actual prediction by a sports betting system or other AI projection model. These picks are provided by a large language model and should be considered for entertainment purposes only.

Related: Which March Madness champion is the best college basketball team of all time? and March Madness betting promos

ChatGPT March Madness upset picks

What would an NCAA Tournamemt bracket be without a few upsets? Fortunately, ChatGPT had the same idea, picking 15 lower-seeded teams to advance in the bracket - including 12 in the first round alone.

The biggest upset by far was No. 15 seed Western Kentucky upending No. 2 seed Marquette in the opening round, a move surely influenced by Tyler Kolek's suspect health heading into the tournament. The Hilltoppers were one of eight double-digit seeds to advance to the second round, with one of those teams reaching the Sweet 16 in Cinderella fashion.

Here's a full list of every upset ChatGPT predicted in the first round, ranked by seed differential:

  • (15) Western Kentucky over (2) Marquette
  • (13) Samford over (4) Kansas
  • (12) James Madison over (5) Wisconsin
  • (11) NC State over (6) Texas Tech
  • (11) Oregon over (6) South Carolina
  • (11) New Mexico over (6) Clemson
  • (10) Drake over (7) Washington State
  • (10) Nevada over (7) Dayton
  • (9) Northwestern over (8) FAU
  • (9) Texas A&M over (8) Nebraska
  • (9) TCU over (8) Utah State
  • (9) Michigan State over (8) Mississippi State

ChatGPT March Madness update: 1st and 2nd round

It wasn't a perfect opening weekend for ChatGPT, which correctly predicted 21 of the 32 matchups in the first round and 10 of the 16 teams in the Sweet 16. But, embarrassingly, it was on par with my own March Madness bracket predictions, which accurately predicted 20 of the first 32 games and 12 of the 16 teams playing this weekend.

ChatGPT did nail a few key upsets in the first round: No. 11 seeds Oregon and NC State advanced in its bracket, while No. 12 seed James Madison was also a surprise winner over Wisconsin. That said, our AI companion whiffed on No. 15 Western Kentucky and No. 13 seed Samford, even though both teams had chances to win in the second half.

Even with a few missteps early, ChatGPT still has all of its Final Four picks intact heading into the Sweet 16. That's more than most people - myself included - can say after an unpredictable opening weekend.

ChatGPT score predictions and analysis for every NCAA Tournament game

1st round picks, matchups

East Region

  • (1) UConn 85, (16) Stetson 64 - UConn dominates as expected against the 16 seed.
  • (9) Northwestern 73, (8) FAU 70 - An upset with Northwestern edging out FAU in a close game.
  • (5) San Diego State 71, (12) UAB 65 - SDSU's defense leads to a win, but UAB keeps it competitive.
  • (4) Auburn 78, (13) Yale 68 - Auburn controls the game, but Yale shows resilience.
  • (6) BYU 76, (11) Duquesne 70 - BYU handles business but Duquesne competes fiercely.
  • (3) Illinois 81, (14) Morehead State 70 - Illinois's talent prevails, but Morehead State battles hard.
  • (10) Drake 68, (7) Washington State 66 - Drake pulls off a minor upset in a nail-biter.
  • (2) Iowa State 77, (15) South Dakota State 62 - ISU solidly dispatches the 15 seed.

South Region

  • (1) Houston 79, (16) Longwood 53 - Houston dominates Longwood with its strong defense.
  • (9) Texas A&M 75, (8) Nebraska 72 - Texas A&M narrowly defeats Nebraska in an upset.
  • (12) James Madison 73, (5) Wisconsin 69 - JMU stuns Wisconsin in a major upset.
  • (4) Duke 79, (13) Vermont 65 - Duke comfortably beats Vermont.
  • (11) NC State 76, (6) Texas Tech 71 - NC State upsets Texas Tech in a close game.
  • (3) Kentucky 82, (14) Oakland 67 - Kentucky handles Oakland with ease.
  • (7) Florida 69, (10) Colorado/Boise State 65 - Florida wins in a competitive game against the First Four winner.
  • (15) Western Kentucky 75, (2) Marquette 73 - A big upset with WKU narrowly defeating Marquette.

Midwest Region

  • (1) Purdue 90, (16) Grambling State/Montana State 62 - Purdue easily dispatches the First Four winner to get past the first round.
  • (9) TCU 78, (8) Utah State 75 - TCU narrowly escapes Utah State in a close game.
  • (5) Gonzaga 84, (12) McNeese State 70 - Gonzaga comfortably beats McNeese State.
  • (13) Samford 75, (4) Kansas 72 - Samford shocks Kansas in a huge upset.
  • (11) Oregon 67, (6) South Carolina 65 - Oregon edges out South Carolina in a tight contest.
  • (3) Creighton 80, (14) Akron 70 - Creighton wins comfortably against Akron.
  • (7) Texas 74, (10) Colorado State/Virginia 70 - Texas narrowly beats the First Four winner.
  • (2) Tennessee 86, (15) Saint Peter's 65 - Tennessee easily overcomes Saint Peter's.

West Region

  • (1) North Carolina 88, (16) Wagner/Howard 60 - UNC easily overcomes the First Four winner.
  • (9) Michigan State 67, (8) Mississippi State 64 - MSU secures a close victory in a defensive battle.
  • (5) Saint Mary's 72, (12) Grand Canyon 68 - A tight game, but Saint Mary's edges it out.
  • (4) Alabama 85, (13) Charleston 75 - Alabama's offense shines in a high-scoring affair.
  • (11) New Mexico 78, (6) Clemson 75 - New Mexico upsets Clemson in a high-scoring upset.
  • (3) Baylor 76, (14) Colgate 64 - Baylor's strength is too much for Colgate.
  • (10) Nevada 71, (7) Dayton 68 - Nevada edges out Dayton in a closely contested match.
  • (2) Arizona 83, (15) Long Beach State 61 - Arizona cruises to an easy win.

1st round score predictions

UConn 85, Stetson 64Houston 79, Longwood 53Purdue 90, Grambling State/Montana State 62North Carolina 88, Howard 60
Northwestern 75, FAU 70Texas A&M 75, Nebraska 72TCU 78, Utah State 75Michigan State 67, Mississippi State 64
San Diego State 71, UAB 65James Madison 73, Wisconsin 69Gonzaga 84, McNeese State 70Saint Mary's 72, Grand Canyon 68
Auburn 78, Yale 68Duke 79, Vermont 65Samford 75, Kansas 72Alabama 85, Charleston 75
BYU 76, Duquesne 70NC State 76, Texas Tech 71Oregon 67, South Carolina 65New Mexico 78, Clemson 75
Illinois 81, Morehead State 70Kentucky 82, Oakland 67Creighton 80, Akron 70Baylor 76, Colgate 64
Drake 68, Washington State 66Florida 69, Colorado/Boise State 65Texas 74, Colorado State/Virginia 70Nevada 71, Dayton 68
Iowa State 77, South Dakota State 62Western Kentucky 75, Marquette 73Tennessee 86, Saint Peter's 65Arizona 83, Long Beach State 61

2nd round picks, matchups

East Region

  • (1) UConn 81, (9) Northwestern 70 - UConn continues its strong play, overcoming Northwestern's challenge.
  • (4) Auburn 76, (5) San Diego State 72 - Auburn edges out San Diego State in a closely contested game.
  • (3) Illinois 79, (6) BYU 74 - Illinois's depth and talent prove too much for BYU.
  • (2) Iowa State 75, (10) Drake 68 - Iowa State withstands a valiant effort from Drake to advance.

South Region

  • (1) Houston 83, (9) Texas A&M 70 - Houston's defense and efficient scoring lead them past Texas A&M.
  • (4) Duke 82, (12) James Madison 75 - Duke's talent and experience help it fend off a spirited James Madison.
  • (3) Kentucky 77, (11) NC State 72 - Kentucky's athleticism and skill outlast NC State in a tough matchup.
  • (7) Florida 71, (15) Western Kentucky 65 - Florida advances, overcoming Western Kentucky's upset bid.

Midwest Region

  • (1) Purdue 88, (9) TCU 80 - Purdue's balanced attack proves too strong for TCU.
  • (5) Gonzaga 82, (13) Samford 74 - Gonzaga's experience and depth help them move past a surprising Samford team.
  • (11) Oregon 70, (3) Creighton 66 - Oregon continues its upset run, taking down Creighton.
  • (2) Tennessee 84, (7) Texas 77 - Tennessee's efficient play and defensive prowess lead to victory over Texas.

West Region

  • (9) Michigan State 76, (1) North Carolina 72 - Michigan State continues its upset streak, taking down North Carolina.
  • (4) Alabama 80, (5) Saint Mary's 73 - Alabama's offense proves too much for Saint Mary's.
  • (3) Baylor 78, (11) New Mexico 70 - Baylor's consistency and strength lead it past New Mexico.
  • (2) Arizona 87, (10) Nevada 79 - Arizona's offensive firepower carries it to victory over Nevada.

2nd round score predictions

UConn 81, Northwestern 70Houston 83, Texas A&M 70Purdue 88, TCU 80Michigan State 76, North Carolina 72
Auburn 76, San Diego State 72Duke 82, James Madison 75Gonzaga 82, Samford 74Alabama 80, Saint Mary's 73
Illinois 79, BYU 74Kentucky 77, NC State 72Oregon 70, Creighton 66Baylor 78, New Mexico 70
Iowa State 75, Drake 68Florida 71, Western Kentucky 65Tennessee 84, Texas 77Arizona 87, Nevada 79

Sweet 16 picks, matchups

East Region

  • (1) UConn 83, (4) Auburn 78 - In a battle of heavyweights, UConn's versatility and clutch play late in the game secure a spot in the Elite Eight.
  • (2) Iowa State 74, (3) Illinois 70 - Iowa State pulls off a slight upset, leveraging its strong defensive play to slow down Illinois and advance.

South Region

  • (1) Houston 77, (4) Duke 73 - Houston's defense stifles Duke's stars in a close game, sending the Cougars to the Elite Eight.
  • (3) Kentucky 75, (7) Florida 69 - Kentucky's talent and depth are too much for Florida, as it advances in a competitive matchup.

Midwest Region

  • (1) Purdue 85, (5) Gonzaga 80 - Purdue's size and offensive efficiency carry it past Gonzaga in a thrilling contest.
  • (2) Tennessee 79, (11) Oregon 73 - Tennessee's disciplined play and strong defense end Oregon's Cinderella run.

West Region

  • (9) Michigan State 68, (4) Alabama 66 - Michigan State's magical run continues as it edges out Alabama in a defensive slugfest.
  • (2) Arizona 82, (3) Baylor 77 - Arizona's dynamic offense overpowers Baylor in a high-scoring affair, moving it into the Elite Eight.

Sweet 16 score predictions

UConn 83, Auburn 78Houston 77, Duke 73Purdue 85, Gonzaga 80Michigan State 68, Alabama 66
Iowa State 74, Illinois 70Kentucky 75, Florida 69Tennessee 79, Oregon 73Arizona 82, Baylor 77

Elite Eight picks, matchups

East Region

  • (1) UConn 79, (2) Iowa State 74 - UConn's consistent performance and late-game execution help it edge past a tough Iowa State team to advance to the Final Four.

South Region

  • (1) Houston 75, (3) Kentucky 72 - In a closely fought battle, Houston's elite defense and efficient scoring give it the edge over Kentucky, securing its place in the Final Four.

Midwest Region

  • (1) Purdue 81, (2) Tennessee 76 - Purdue's balanced team effort and strong inside play prove too much for Tennessee, as it advances to the Final Four.

West Region

  • (2) Arizona 84, (9) Michigan State 78 - Arizona's offensive prowess and ability to control the tempo of the game lead it past a resilient Michigan State team into the Final Four.

Elite Eight score predictions

UConn 79, Iowa State 74Houston 75, Kentucky 72Purdue 81, Tennessee 76Arizona 84, Michigan State 78

Final Four, championship score predictions

Final Four picks

  • (1) UConn 82, (2) Arizona 79 - In a high-stakes showdown, UConn's depth and clutch shooting help it overcome Arizona's dynamic offense in a nail-biting finish, propelling it into the championship game.
  • (1) Houston 78, (1) Purdue 74 - Houston's defense proves pivotal in a tough matchup against Purdue. The Cougars manage to contain Purdue's inside game and execute effectively on offense to secure its spot in the national championship.

National championship pick

  • (1) UConn 81, (1) Houston 77 - In a thrilling championship game, UConn's balanced offense and ability to make critical plays in key moments give it the edge over Houston's stout defense. The game remains tight throughout, but UConn's experience and poise under pressure allow it to pull ahead in the final minutes, capturing the national title in a memorable showdown.

How to make March Madness bracket predictions

You don't need to be a bracketologist to fill in a March Madness bracket against your friends, family, and coworkers, as even the most experienced college basketball experts have never submitted a perfect bracket. But these tips can help you put forth your best shot on the road to glory.

  • Research teams: Start by familiarizing yourself with the teams participating in the tournament. Look into their regular-season performance, key players, playing styles, and recent form. Pay attention to factors like strength of schedule, conference performance, and any notable wins or losses.
  • Study the bracket: Examine the tournament bracket carefully to understand the matchups and potential paths each team could take. Consider factors like seeding, potential upsets, and historical trends when evaluating matchups.
  • Analyze statistics: Dive into team and player statistics to gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses. Look at metrics like scoring offense and defense, rebounding, three-point shooting, and turnover margin to assess each team's capabilities.
  • Consider matchups: Evaluate individual matchups within each game to determine how teams might fare against each other. Look for mismatches in playing styles, size, and skill sets that could impact the outcome.
  • Factor in intangibles: Consider intangible factors like coaching experience, tournament experience, injuries, and momentum when making predictions. These factors can often play a significant role in determining game outcomes.
  • Trust your instincts: While data and analysis are essential, don't overlook your gut feelings and instincts when making bracket predictions. March Madness is known for its unpredictability, and sometimes, a hunch or gut feeling can lead to successful predictions.
  • Fill out your bracket: Once you've done your research and analysis, fill out your bracket accordingly, making picks for each matchup based on your predictions. Consider both favorites and potential upsets when filling out your bracket to maximize your chances of success.
  • Stay flexible: Remember that March Madness is inherently unpredictable, and upsets are bound to happen. Stay flexible and be prepared to adjust your predictions as the tournament progresses based on game results and developments.

2024 March Madness bracket

Click here to download and print our FREE March Madness bracket for the 2024 NCAA Tournament!

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