NCAA Favorites We Like
Of the top teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament, which ones do we feel can make a strong run toward the championship? Here’s our March Madness predictions for the favorites.
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).
1001 Duke +225
Duke is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and there is good reason for that. The Blue Devils have the single most impactful player in the tournament, Zion Williamson. He is a problematic matchup for any team Duke could potentially face. The 6-7, 285-pound forward is averaging 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. If he stays healthy, it’s hard to imagine Duke losing. Along with Williams, the Blue Devils also have R.J. Barrett, who scores 22.9 points per game as well. This is a top-heavy team that has only lost one game at full strength.
1004 North Carolina +800
The Tar Heels were right there with Duke in terms of playing at a very high level at the end of the season. UNC just gave the Blue Devils all they could handle in a 1-point loss in the ACC Tournament semifinal and their only two losses over recent months were to Duke and Virginia by single digits. While UNC had some pretty ugly non-conference performances, the Heels are a much better team now and can score at a very high rate. The loss to Duke last weekend should also add a little fuel to their fire, at least for this opening weekend.
1005 Tennessee +1400
When looking at 2 seeds, Tennessee is the team that most catches my eye. Michigan State certainly is playing well, but is banged up. Michigan just doesn’t look a national championship team and Kentucky has struggled with consistency. While Tennessee has as well, the Vols have the best combination of offense and defense between the 2 seeds and I think they have a favorable bracket by being paired with Virginia. The Cavs are not built to win the NCAA Tournament. That leaves the door open for the Vols. Tennessee ranks 20th in scoring national, seventh in shooting and 18th in defensive field-goal percentage. If the Vols continue to shoot well, it could be a great March for them.