That sound you hear is a thousand angels singing from the heavens that after it was canceled 12 months ago, the greatest sporting month anywhere in the world is back. The NCAA Tournament is here. The Madness will soon commence.
And the million-dollar question, quite literally in the case of some NCAA brackets, is, who will win the NCAA Tournament? Which of the 68 teams will cut down the nets at the Final Four and claim the national championship?
Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan are all No. 1 seeds and are the four betting favorites to win the NCAA Tournament. It’s worth noting that in the last 30 tournaments, a No. 3 seed or lower has only won the whole thing five times.
So, along with these four top seeds, the four No. 2s – Houston, Iowa, Alabama, and Ohio State – are your most likely winners.
Of those eight teams, Gonzaga is the most likely to win it all. The Bulldogs went the regular season as the wire-to-wire number one team in the AP poll, they are the betting favorite at +200, and they are the safest bet to claim the national championship.
As top seeds go, this is as close to a Cinderella story as you’ll find. Gonzaga has played in just a single Final Four (2017) and has never won a championship.
If you don’t like betting on favorites, the No. 2 seed that poses the most problems for Gonzaga is Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won six straight and haven’t lost to an unranked team since the middle of December.
Plus, they are in the East, where No. 1 seed Michigan has lost three of its last five games.
Possible Upset Winners
If you’re looking beyond the top two seeds, give Oklahoma State a try. The Cowboys are the No. 4 seed in the Midwest, but a strong case can be made for them being as high as No. 2.
In the last three weeks, they have wins over No. 1 seed Baylor, No. 3 seed Texas, two wins over No. 3 seed West Virginia, No. 6 seed Texas Tech, and two wins over No. 8 seed Oklahoma.
They also beat No. 3 seed Kansas earlier in the season. Tennessee and Illinois present a tough road for the Cowboys, but this team is ready.
Also, don’t sleep on San Diego State. The No. 6 seed in the Midwest hasn’t lost since Jan. 19.
Wins over ranked teams are tough to find in the Mountain West, but the Aztecs did beat both UCLA and Arizona State this season. They have experience, play great defense, and are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the tournament.
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