NCAA Tournament bracket: Should you have picked chalk?

USA TODAY Sports

How does your bracket stack up against the chalk after the first week of play?

It's become an insult when looking at other peoples' bracket picks: "chalk." Meant to imply that someone is playing their predictions too safe, afraid to venture out and pick a 15 over a 2, or a 1-seed to fall in the Round of 32. But are you better off picking the higher seeds and letting everyone else in your pool take all the risks?

Mostly out of pure curiosity I decided to look at how a bracket would've fared after the first week of this year's Tournament had it gone straight-up chalk. But because we know seedings are flawed, I compared outcomes with three different chalk-based brackets: Picks based on RPI, KenPom, and just picking the higher seeds to advance.

To the results!

RPI: 15 total incorrect

Round of 64 incorrect picks (RPI in parenthesis): 10

-- Oklahoma State (27) vs. Oregon (47)

-- Wisconsin (31) vs. Ole Miss (47)

-- Kansas St. (20) vs. La Salle (46)

-- New Mexico (2) vs. Harvard (92)

-- Notre Dame (35) vs. Iowa St. (45)

-- UCLA (26) vs. Minnesota (34)

-- Georgetown (11) vs. FGCU (93)

-- N.C. State (33) vs. Temple (42)

-- UNLV (22) vs. California (53)

-- Colorado (38) vs. Illinois (40)

Round of 32 incorrect picks: 5

-- St. Louis (16) vs. Oregon (47)

-- Gonzaga (6) vs. Wichita St. (37)

-- Ole Miss vs. La Salle (Kansas St. would've been the pick)

-- Arizona vs. Harvard (New Mexico would've been the pick)

-- San Diego St. vs. FGCU (Georgetown would've been the pick)

Kenpom: 14 total incorrect

Round of 64 incorrect picks (Kenpom rating in parenthesis): 10

-- Missouri (20) vs. Colorado St. (32)

-- Oklahoma St. (25) vs. Oregon (31)

-- St. Mary's (23) vs. Memphis (41)

-- Pittsburgh (11) vs. Wichita St. (21)

-- Wisconsin (10) vs. Ole Miss (29)

-- Kansas St. (33) vs. La Salle (45)

-- New Mexico (24) vs. Harvard (106)

-- Georgetown (14) vs. FGCU (90)

-- N.C. State (34) vs. Temple (61)

-- UNLV (42) vs. California (57)

Round of 32 incorrect picks: 4

-- St. Louis (17) vs. Oregon (31)

-- Gonzaga (6) vs. Wichita St. (21)

-- Ole Miss vs. La Salle (Wisconsin would've been the pick)

-- San Diego St. vs. FGCU (Georgetown would've been the pick)

Higher seeds: 15 total incorrect

Round of 64 incorrect picks: 10

-- Oklahoma St. (5) vs. Oregon (12)

-- Pittsburgh (8) vs. Wichita St. (9)

-- Wisconsin (5) vs. Ole Miss (12)

-- Kansas St. (4) vs. La Salle (13)

-- New Mexico (3) vs. Harvard (14)

-- Notre Dame (7) vs. Iowa St. (10)

-- UCLA (6) vs. Minnesota (11)

-- Georgetown (2) vs. FGCU (15)

-- N.C. State (8) vs. Temple (9)

-- UNLV (5) vs. California (12)

Round of 32 incorrect picks: 5

-- St. Louis (4) vs. Oregon (12)

-- Gonzaga (1) vs. Wichita St. (9)

-- Ole Miss vs. La Salle (Kansas St. would've been the pick)

-- Arizona vs. Harvard (New Mexico would've been the pick)

-- San Diego St. vs. FGCU (Georgetown would've been the pick)

A footnote: Of these three chalk brackets, you'd be best off right now using Kenpom, not only because you'd have the most correct so far, but also because you'd have all of your Final Four teams standing -- Louisville, Ohio State, Florida and Indiana. In both the RPI and seedings-based brackets, you'd be without Gonzaga.

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