Odds to Win the Final Four
The end is near for college basketball for another season as the 64-team field of the NCAA Tournament has been reduced to just four.
Over the second long weekend of the tournament popular favorites like North Carolina, Gonzaga and Duke were defeated during the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. Just one No. 1 seed remains and that No. 1 seed –Virginia – is the +150 favorite to win the national title.
The Cavaliers are followed by the Michigan State Spartans at +185, the Texas Tech Red Raiders at +425 and the Auburn Tigers at +600.
No. 5 seeded Auburn is the lowest seeded team left in the field. The Tigers thus far have defeated the likes of Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky. The Tigers were able to survive the loss of third leading scorer and leading rebounder Chuma Okeke against North Carolina with a season-ending knee injury and then went on to beat Kentucky.
Auburn must now play Virginia on Saturday in the Final Four with the winner moving on to the national championship final on Monday night.
Virginia has had one of the tops defenses the entire season and just Duke on two occasions during the regular season and Florida State during the ACC tournament were able to beat the Cavaliers this season.
Virginia leads the country in points allowed at 55.4 per game and Purdue was the only opponent thus far in the tournament to score more than 60 points versus the Cavaliers.
Virginia’s mediocre offense is the Achilles heel for the Cavaliers’ national title hopes.
Michigan State defeated Duke in the Elite 8 to punch its ticket to the Final Four. The Spartans have a talented squad led by backcourt general Cassius Winston and will play the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Final Four.
Texas Tech has flown under the radar during the tournament as most basketball pundits and fans alike have given the Red Raiders little chance to win the title.
Nevertheless, Texas Tech has its own suffocating defense and shutdown the nation’s top offense when defeating Gonzaga in the Elite 8 on Saturday 75-69, holding the Bulldogs to 18 points below their per game scoring average of 87 points.