The NCAA season is heading into March Madness pretty soon. While there’s still some way to go, sportsbooks have had odds up for several months. The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been crowned the favorites for the championship following their failure to come up with the goods at the last opportunity, while Arizona and Auburn are also among candidates for the title, though below a few other teams.
The event is popular within the Online sportsbooks with March Madness betting, we should expect to see things roll in at a quicker pace soon enough but, while things are still heating up, we take a look at the favorites, contenders, and longshots as it pertains to the NCAA Tournament.
So far here is the current listing of the favorites
The Zags lost Jalen Suggs and All-American Corey Kispert to the NBA but were fortunate enough to have Drew Timme return. They also secured quite the formidable recruiting class, which includes 7ft 1in center Chet Holmgren, a player destined for the NBA lottery.
They have already made light work of UCLA and Texas and are beginning to find joy from the perimeter. While they remain the outright favorites, they are by no means guaranteed success, as last year’s final proved.
Purdue lost to North Texas in the Round of 64 but there’s enough talent in the team to suggest they will bounce back and make a run at the National Championship game. The Boilermakers boast top big men in Trevion Williams and Zach Edley while second-year guard Jaden Ivey has undergone much improvement.
Matt Painter has never been to the Final Four as a coach and he will need to get the team’s defense going if he wants to broach that phase of the tournament.
The Blue Devils’ offense is being led by the impressive pairing of Paulo Banchero and Trevor Keels but they can also be just as terrifying on the other end of the ball as they create multiple matchup issues.
Duke has already notched a win against the favored Bulldogs during which guard Wendell Moore showed his stuff on both ends of the floor.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski will want to go out with a bang and, who knows? That fairy tale ending could be in store, although Duke will have to improve their transition defense and half-court offense in late-game situations in order to get across the line.
The Baylor Bears are the NCAA’s defending champs and, despite having lost four of their five starters, have hardly slowed down. The Bears’ defense is what made them finals winners last year and they’ve remained a top defensive squad this season.
Baylor held Villanova to their lowest-scoring game under Jay Wright in an impressive victory in December but they will rue the fact that their backcourt starters, James Akinjo and L.J. Cryer, haven’t been as available as they would have liked them to be due to injury.
No team has been able to win back-to-back National Championships since Florida in 2006-2007 but Baylor has every chance of doing so if they can keep defending the way they’ve been.
Bruce Pearl’s team is finding form as Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler are coming out of their shells on both ends of the floor. The Tigers lost their top returning scorer in Alan Flannigan as he missed the beginning of the season while rehabilitating, following surgery on a damaged right Achilles tendon.
Auburn has every chance of returning to the Final Four for a second time under Pearl as they boast one of the most explosive backcourts in the NCAA.
The Kentucky Wildcats have been the best team since conference play got underway and it shouldn’t be surprising to see them at least make it to the Final Four, with Oscar Tshiebwe breaking out at just the right time.
The other Wildcats have surpassed expectations this season, and bettors who put money on their wide preseason odds should be feeling very hopeful over their chances. Arizona has taken wins over Illinois and Michigan this season and looks good enough to challenge for the top prize but they will need to sort things out when it comes to possession of the basketball as they’ve registered 70 turnovers over their last four games.
The Kansas Jayhawks had it pretty rough last season, getting bumped by USC in the Round of 32 but will be confident in their ability to improve on that after keeping four of their top five players.
Kansas also boasts an effective pair of guards in Arizona State transfer Remy Martin and Dajuan Harris and appear to have what it takes to make a deep run and possibly challenge for honors. They will have to show more consistency in order to do that, however.
Tennessee lost three of their four leading scorers from the past season but Rick Barnes is able to return to his pick and roll offense due to freshman Kennedy Chandler’s presence, which should bode well for their chances
UConn has been on a roll since having to take a break due to COVID-19 and it looks like they’ll be one of the biggest threats to Villanova in the Big East. Their length will pose some difficulty to opponents ahead of the important fixtures.