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Florida Tipped For National Championship

Time to dance: the 68-team field is set for the NCAA tournament.

Time to dance: the 68-team field is set for the NCAA tournament.

After going undefeated in conference play and walking away with the SEC’s regular season and tournament championships, Florida is now considered the favorite to win a national championship.

Florida (32-2, 18-0 SEC) – seeded No. 1 in the South region after Selection Sunday – is listed at 11/2 to win the national championship with leading sportsbook Bovada.

The Gators are closely followed by a pair of No. 4 seeds on the college basketball futures list.

Louisville (29-5, 15-3 American) – ranked No. 4 in the Midwest region – and Michigan State (26-8, 12-6 Big Ten) – ranked No. 4 in the East region – are both listed at 7/1.

The West region’s top-seed, Arizona (30-4, 15-3 Pac-12) is listed at 9/1 to win the title, ahead of a quartet of teams at 10/1.

Here’s a brief overview of how the rest of the NCAA tournament is shaping up.

The First Four

The NCAA tournament begins Tuesday with the first two games of the First Four portion of the bracket. Mount St. Mary’s (16-16, 9-7 Northeast) and Albany (18-14, 9-7 America East) will battle it out for the No. 16 berth in the South region while North Carolina State (21-13, 9-9 ACC) and Xavier (21-12, 10-8 Big East) lock horns looking to score the No. 12 berth in the Midwest.

BettingSports.com will have game lines and odds for both matchups shortly.

On Wednesday, Texas Southern (19-14, 12-6 SWAC) and Cal Poly (13-19, 6-10 Big West) – the only side with a losing record in this year’s field – will look to secure the Midwest region’s No. 16 berth.

Then Tennessee (21-12, 11-7 SEC) – considered 66/1 to win a national championship – will meet Iowa (20-12, 9-9 Big Ten) in the First Four’s marquee matchup, with the No. 11 seed in the Midwest on the line.

First_FourSouth Region

The South region is headlined by Florida, a team many are picking to coast through to the Final Four. But there’s a lot of opposition here.

No. 2 seed Kansas (24-9, 14-4 Big 12) is amongst the teams listed at 10/1 to win the championship, and will be looking to make up for a fairly disappointing season.

Third-seeded Syracuse (27-5, 14-4 ACC) had a slippery end to the season, and may not be deep enough to go far, but if Jim Boeheim can rally his players, the Orange could upset the odds. Syracuse is currently listed at 20/1.

New Mexico (27-6, 15-3 Mountain West) – ranked seventh – could be the dark horse in this pack, having knocked off San Diego State in the Mountain West tournament on Saturday. The Lobos are 100/1 to win the tournament.

South_RegionWest Region

Arizona did enough during the regular season to negate this past weekend’s conference tournament loss to UCLA (26-8, 12-6 Pac-12) and earn a No. 1 seed. While the Bruins will compete in the South region, the Wildcats will look to live up to the bookmakers’ expectations and advance to the Final Four.

Wisconsin (26-7, 12-6) earned the No. 2 seed, and their strong form towards the end of the season will make them a bona fide threat to emerge victorious.

Creighton (26-7, 14-4 Big East) and San Diego State (29-4, 16-2 Mountain West) fill out the top four in this bracket.

No. 9 Oklahoma State (21-12, 8-10 Big 12) is emerging as a popular dark horse within the region, while eight wins in nine games has Oregon (23-9, 10-8 Pac-12) looking like a threat – if the Ducks can get past a BYU (23-11, 13-5 WCC) side that forced overtime when the two met in a high-scoring affair back in December.

West_RegionEast Region

After surprising everybody by taking home the ACC’s regular season and tournament championships, Virginia (28-6, 16-2 ACC) will enter the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed. That doesn’t make the Cavaliers favorite for anything though.

The Cavaliers open the tournament with 10/1 odds of being successful, which puts the side behind fourth-seeded Michigan State. The Spartans were the darlings of TV analysts everywhere on Sunday, being picked more often than not as the future champion. The Cavaliers will look to prove everyone with a Sweet 16 victory, if both sides make it that far.

Villanova (28-4, 16-2 Big East) enters as the No. 2 seed while Big 12 tournament champions Iowa State (26-7, 11-7 Big 12) will be a threat at No. 3.

After a miserable ACC tournament, sixth-seeded North Carolina (23-9, 13-5 ACC) could be a dark horse, providing the Tar Heels play as they did leading up to the end of the regular season, and not over the last two games.

East_RegionMidwest Region

If this were a soccer tournament, the Midwest region would be considered the obligatory ‘group of death’.

Top-seeded Wichita State (34-0, 18-0 MVC) will take its undefeated record into the lion’s den, where the likes of No. 2 Michigan (25-8, 15-3 Big Ten), No. 3 Duke (26-8, 13-5 ACC), No. 4 Louisville (29-5, 15-3 American), No. 8 Kentucky (24-10, 12-6 SEC), and No. 9 Kansas State (20-12, 10-8 Big 12) lay in wait. Talk about a kick in the teeth. One thing’s for sure, if the Shockers make the Final Four, they’ll truly have earned it.

Bookmakers expect Louisville (7/1) to advance to Dallas though, with Duke (10/1) and Wichita State (10/1) in the runners up position. Michigan (20/1) and Kentucky (33/1) follow up.

No. 7 Texas (23-10, 11-7 Big 12) doesn’t arrive at the big dance with the form, but still has the potential to make some noise.

BettingSports.com will have odds and trends for every game between now and the national championship game at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on April 7.


Odds and trends for all NCAA tournament games will appear here.

All odds appearing in this report are supplied by Bovada.

Up-to-date college basketball futures can be found here.

The NCAA’s official interactive bracket can be found here.

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