NCAA Tournament Dark Horses
Which NCAA Tournament teams with longer odds have a chance to run the table and shock the field to claim the NCAA Tournament? Here’s four teams to consider.
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Villanova is favored to win it all this year, as the Wildcats are listed with odds of 5/1 to prevail. Other short odds to win are Virginia (6/1), Duke (7/1), and Michigan State (10/1).
510 Kentucky/512 Arizona +2000
I put these two teams together because they are likely to meet in the second round and I feel that meeting is a toss up. Both teams are playing really well right now after going through some struggles during the year. Kentucky’s freshmen are starting to gel and play to their potential while Arizona has the top player in the entire tournament in DeAndre Ayton. Both of these teams are typically high up on the favorites list, but the pressure is somewhat off, which could make their run a little easier. Kentucky went to the Final Four as the 8th seed in 2014. If I had to pick between these two, I would go with the Wildcats, but I think the winner of this game can run the table.
513 Gonzaga +2500
Not many are giving Gonzaga much consideration to win the title this year, but the Bulldogs have had another strong season. Zaga finally broke through last season and reached its first Final Four and was a few plays away from a national championship. That experience a year ago should help this season. Gonzaga already has non-conference wins over teams like Ohio State and Creighton. I think the Bulldogs have great value at 24/1.
514 West Virginia +2500
The Mountaineers didn’t have a great year in the Big 12, but WVU has shown the ability to be one of the best teams in the nation. They had just one loss in non-conference play and they are one of few teams to defeat Virginia this season. The Mountaineers have a smothering defense that can cause a lot of problems and they also have a lot of athleticism on offense. Getting out of conference play can often provide a big boost for teams and I think that is what will happen with WVU. West Virginia can make a run in the East Region if it can get past Villanova.