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Kansas Jayhawks Favored to Win NCAA National Championship

Thus far after two rounds of upsets, tightly contested games, controversial calls and no calls, the Kansas Jayhawks have been the only No. 1 seed to dominate in their first two games.

Over the first two rounds of the tournament last weekend, Kansas won by an average of 29 points, shot 54.6% from the floor and out rebounded its two opponents by a total of 30 boards between the two games.

With Kansas defeating one opponent by 38 points and the other by 20 points, the Jayhawks, led by Frank Mason III are slight favorites at 9 to 2 to win the national title entering the start of the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

Kansas will play the Purdue Boilermakers in their Sweet 16 game with the winner moving on to the Elite Eight. Kansas does have a lack of depth in the frontcourt, which Purdue could expose with its big players in the paint.

However, the Jayhawks backcourt should continue to dominate as it has in the first two games of the tournament and during the entire just concluded regular season. All five Kansas starters averaged double-digits in points scored after the first two games of the tournament.

Just behind Kansas are the North Carolina Tar Heels at 5 to 1. North Carolina easily beat Texas Southern but struggled in its win over Arkansas. The Tar Heels turned over the ball 17 times against the Razorbacks and shot only 38% from the field.

The region that has been the most interesting thus far is the East. Both last year’s national champion Villanova and this year’s favorite going into the tournament, Duke have been eliminated.

Any of the four teams left in the region could be a Final Four representative. Of the teams left standing in the East after the first two rounds, Florida has the shortest odds at 12 to 1 to win the national championship.

Florida held Virginia to only 39 points in its second round game. However, the Gators will have their hands full with Wisconsin, while the other East region Sweet 16 game pits Baylor against the biggest surprise team of the tournament, South Carolina.

Odds to win 2017 NCAA Tournament

Kansas 9 to 2

North Carolina 5 to 1

Arizona 13 to 2

Gonzaga 13 to 2

UCLA 9 to 1

Kentucky 10 to 1

Florida 12 to 1

Baylor 16 to 1

Michigan 16 to 1

West Virginia 18 to 1

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