There’s a reason it’s called “March Madness”, and this year’s tournament epitomizes madness. With numerous top seeds getting upset in the first two rounds, a 15-seed in the Sweet 16, and a #1 seed already sent home, this tournament has already been full of surprises. With the Sweet 16 tipping off on Thursday, Las Vegas has released the most up-to-date odds on who is going to win the National Championship. Let’s take a look at some of the favorites, along with their NCAA Basketball Championship Odds, who survived the first weekend of this year’s version of “March Madness”.
Updated Odds on Who Will Win the Championship Before Sweet 16 Starts
Gonzaga Bulldogs +225
They were the favorite coming into the tournament, and after a close call against Memphis, they’re still the favorites. The top-seeded Bulldogs will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the round of 16. Gonzaga is the best shooting team in the country, and they’re also one of the best defensive teams as well. Playing teams from the Power 5 conferences will be much more difficult than playing teams in the West Coast Conference.
Arizona Wildcats +500
Arizona has been the surprise team this season. Not much was expected of first-year head coach Tommy Lloyd’s squad. However, their length and athleticism, along with some clutch shooting has made them one of the favorites to win the tournament. The Pac 12 regular season and tournament champions barely survived TCU in the second round. Now they’ll go up against a tough Houston Cougars squad that is one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Kansas Jayhawks +500
Many experts say that Kansas has the easiest road to the National Championship. Now that point guard Remy Martin is back and healthy, the Jayhawks have taken off. They have a matchup with the Providence Friars in the Sweet 16. Providence will try to slow things down and play a very physical game with Kansas, but we think the Jayhawks will prevail.
Houston Cougars +800
Many weren’t sold on the Cougars coming into the tournament. Even though they won the AAC regular-season and tournament titles, many weren’t sure that they could beat teams from bigger conferences. With no starters returning from last year’s Final Four team, no one predicted the success that Houston has had. The committee gave them a #5 seed, which showed that the committee didn’t believe in them either.
After a telling win over Illinois, many fear playing Houston and their tough defense. We’ll see if Arizona can solve Kelvin Sampson’s squad.
Purdue Boilermakers +900
After their second-round win over Texas, the Boilermakers are ready for the next round. They have the Cinderella of the tournament in the round of 16, as they play the #15-seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks. St. Peters won’t be able to match up with the size of Purdue, but Purdue is one of the weakest defensive teams remaining in the tournament. We see St. Peters hanging around, but Purdue will prevail in the end. Jaden Ivey is one of the top players in the country and has shown a penchant for taking games over in crunch time.