NCAA Tournament dark horses
In a top-heavy NCAA Tournament this year, there are still some teams that we think could rock the boat and make a surprising run to the March Madness championship.
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Duke is the favorite to win the whole tournament, as it is listed with +225 odds. Other short odds to win are Gonzaga (+500), Virginia (+550) and North Carolina (+800).
1011 Texas Tech +2000
While I am not in love with defensive-led teams, Texas Tech is a pretty good team that has some longer odds to win it all. The fourth-ranked defense in the country should be able to find a way to compete against almost any opponent it faces. However, the Red Raiders shoot 47 percent on offense and 37 percent from the arc. Tech can still put up the offense and I think that is what can set them apart from other defensive teams like Virginia and Michigan. Tech also has a wide-open region out West. I think if a non top-2 seed is going to win a region, the West may be the most likely.
1022 Villanova +4000
The defending champs are peaking right now, having won the Big East regular season and tournament titles. The Wildcats are a 6 seed, which doesn’t inspire a lot of hope, but they play in the South region that doesn’t have a lot of offensive firepower. Nova can certainly compete with the likes of Purdue, Cincinnati and Tennessee, which are on the bottom half of their bracket. Nova also has the ability to beat Virginia, a team that won’t put up a lot of points. Villanova has won two of the last three NCAA Tournaments for a reason and that experience goes a long way this time of year. I think the Wildcats have a lot of value at 40/1.
1016 Kansas +5000
Kansas isn’t on anyone’s radar right now and that is for good reason. The Jayhawks have had a down year and didn’t win the Big 12 for the first time in quite a while. However, that may work out into their favor this tournament. Usually Kansas disappoints in March Madness, as they exit early as a top seed. This year, Kansas is a 4 seed with people giving them little expectation for success. Kansas has been done a huge favor by landing in the Midwest region, which has the regional semifinals and finals in Kansas City. If the Jayhawks can get past Northeastern and then Auburn, Kansas will have a home-court advantage for its second week. The Jayhawks still have talent. It’s a long shot, but with 50/1 odds, it could provide a huge payday.