Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a No. 2 seed has made it to the Final Four 30 times. 13 times a second seed has advanced to the championship game, but only five No. 2’s have gone on to win the national title. This year though, there are a few No. 2 seeded teams that have the potential to leave New Orleans with the championship in their hands.
Teams that COULD be a No.2 seed | March Madness Betting Analysis
Kentucky Wildcats +600
It’s almost serendipitous that the national championship will be held in New Orleans, the same city where Kentucky won its last championship 10 years ago. Head Coach John Calipari has gone against his usual formula of freshman talent and instead went with experienced transfers. Oscar Tshiebwe has been a beast on the boards, leading the country in defensive rebounds with 15 a game. Sahvir Wheeler is dynamic and a sensational passer, ranking 3rd in assists with 7 per game. Kellan Grady brings the experience and is top 10 in the nation in 3 point percentage. And star freshman TyTy Washington Jr. who could be a first round pick brings high basketball IQ. With a mix of experience and talent, we could see a decade long drought come to an end.
Duke Blue Devils +900
Hall of fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski is aiming to end his career at the pinnacle of college basketball, a feat he’s already accomplished 5 times. This season, Coach K’s Blue Devils have a high ceiling with 5 potential first-round picks in the 2022 NBA draft, including freshman Paolo Banchero who could go in the top 5. The 6’10” Banchero is averaging nearly 17 points and over 8 boards a game. Described as “automatic” when you get him the ball, Center Mark Williams is shooting over 72% from the field and has the potential to be the x-factor that puts Duke in the championship conversation.
Baylor Bears +1100
The reigning national champs started the season on a 15-0 run and held down the top spot for 5 straight weeks. While the team has battled through injuries, most notably to center Jonathan Tchamwa Tchathoua, they’ve seemed to find their footing. They rallied against the Kansas Jayhawks for a double digit win and have the most Quadrant 1 wins in the nation with 11. Led by a brilliant tactician in Coach Scott Drew, they are more athletic than last season. Freshman standouts Kendall Brown and Jeremy Sochan have carried the load and are expected to be first-round picks. Add in high-level shooters in LJ Cryer as well as Adam Flagler and the Bears have a back court good enough to carry them from Lexington to New Orleans.
Purdue Boilermakers +1775
1969 was the last time Purdue made it to the finals and since the 1985 expansion, they’ve only gone as far as the elite eight. Ranked 5th in the nation with the ball, they’re averaging over 82 points per game. The Boilermakers are led by 2 standout sophomores in 7’4” Canadian Zach Edey and potential top 5 pick Jaden Ivey. Edey is putting up nearly 15 points while shooting 68% from the field and Ivey leads the team, averaging over 17 per game. They’ve held the #2 seed 3 times in school history, the last being 2018 where they bowed out in the sweet sixteen. Purdue will be looking to extend their stay in the tournament and prove they are the best in the nation.