NCAA Favorites To Avoid
Of the top seeds in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which ones do we feel have little chance to actually emerge from March Madness with the 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).
1002 Virginia +550
If you have followed the spread, you know that we don’t have a lot of love for Virginia as a championship contender. We told you to stay away from them last year and they ended up losing to a 16 seed. I don’t believe the Cavaliers are ever going to win a national championship with their current style of play. I give Tony Bennett credit, as he puts up great records and beats some high-profile teams, but relying on defense to win as much as Virginia does is a recipe for disaster in the NCAA Tournament. Eventually you run into a team that shoots the lights out and Virginia doesn’t have the ability to win a game from behind. It killed them last year as well. UVA ranks 193rd nationally in offense and 218th in rebounding. While they are the best defense in the nation, defense doesn’t typically win national championships in March Madness.
1006 Michigan State +1200
I respect Tom Izzo and the grittiness his team has shown in recent weeks, but the Spartans are a beat up team that just lost another role player to injury in the Big Ten Tournament final on Sunday. Kyle Ahrens is likely out for the tournament and Big Ten MVP Cassius Winston is battling a toe injury that couldn’t have healed up by playing three games in three days this weekend. Izzo has a good history with March, but has had back-to-back disappointing exits the last two years. I don’t think MSU is a team that can take down Duke, either, and the two are in the same region. While the Spartans are a good team, there are a lot of warning signs for them coming into the tournament.
1008 Michigan +1600
This isn’t a beef with the mitten state, I promise. Michigan made a great postseason run last year, but I don’t see this team having that same toughness that the Wolverines had a year ago. Michigan has impressive defensive numbers, ranking second in the nation in points allowed, but their shooting numbers are down this year. They are just 35 percent from the arc, and 3-point shooting was a big asset for Michigan in previous postseasons. The Wolverines just don’t have that visual appeal and that mental toughness that they had a year ago and I think it could be a quick exit for U-M.