Most Likely NCAA Teams To Survive March Madness
Sixty-eight teams path to the national championship will be paved in a matter of days on Selection Sunday. However, who wants to wait that long to find out the matchups and who’s in or out?
Look, the odds for winning the whole thing are only going to shrink from here on out as the rest of the country blindly fills out their bracket. Consider this your head start on the competition!
Below are the top four contenders to win the NCAA Tournament. All odds brought to you by BetOnline!
You have to start with the unanimous top-ranked team in the country. The Cavaliers have been nothing short of dominant this season, setting ACC records for wins (17) and an unblemished road record (9-0). Seemingly the only knock on Virginia is that they’re “boring.”
But that’s a legitimate concern. The Cavs offense ranks 314th nationally in scoring — and that’s not a typo! 314! Of course, they make up for that with a stifling defense that’s allowing an NCAA-low 52.8 points per contest — significantly less than the next-best team at 57.3.
The adage “defense wins championships” usually applies more to football than basketball. There’s going to come a time during March Madness that Virginia will need a big-time bucket and we’re not so sure they’ll find it.
Head coach Tony Bennett might take home Naismith Coach of the Year honors this season. It’s deserving, but at the same time, Bennett has never made it past the Elite Eight in eight seasons at Virginia.
This team as a whole is missing that killer instinct they’ll desperately need to cut down the nets.
Villanova is the antithesis to Virginia and that’s why we think they’re a no-brains bet.
The Wildcats have no shortage of offense, leading the NCAA in scoring at 87.2 per game. They’re two years removed from winning a championship. And perhaps most importantly, Jalen Brunson is the exact type of player you want with the ball in a close game.
Brunson is the model of efficiency. His 19 points per game don’t jump out the stat sheet, however, he’s shooting 60.7 percent on two-point jumpers, 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.6 percent at the charity stripe. Better yet, he averages a mere 1.7 turnovers per game despite being the team’s primary ball-handler.
All in all, there’s not a safer bet in the tournament than Villanova.
No matter the roster or year, the Blue Devils are always championship threats and always will be as long as Mike Krzyzewski is around. This season, Coach K has the perfect juxtaposition of youth and experience to deliver his sixth title.
The youth being Marvin Bagley III, who is a lock to become a top-5 NBA Draft pick this summer. He’s the runaway ACC Player of the Year after averaging 20.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. The experience being senior Grayson Allen, the team captain and final holdover from Duke’s 2015 championship team.
Duke is the bargain bet. We don’t like them more than Villanova or Michigan, but +600 is always value with Krzyzewski and another Duke freshman sensation.
The last time the Wolverines lost was February 6. In the month since Michigan has won nine in a row en route to a convincing Big Ten tournament championship — and we all know what happens when teams enter the postseason scorching hot.
As you might recall, Michigan caught fire at the end of last year, too, before bowing out in the Sweet 16. What makes this year’s different from last?
Believe it or not, this team is peaking even more. Their four wins in the Big Tournament came by an average margin of 11 points. The Wolverines defense has drastically improved from early-season woes. Team leader Moe Wagner is in the zone.
Things are clicking for Big Blue. If you need a “darkhorse” bet, look no further.
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