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NCAA Men’s Basketball rankings: Who is favored to win March Madness?

March Madness has a tradition of producing stunning upsets, but for the moment, a few teams appear to be strong contenders for the NCAA championship.

Nov 6, 2023; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) and teammates react after a play against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler IIUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Last year’s March Madness culminated in a thrilling victory by UConn, as the Huskies romped to a 76-59 win over the San Diego State Aztecs to lift the NCAA tournament trophy.

The Huskies went 21-2 in the season and are the top ranked team going into Selection Sunday. They have held onto the majority of the players that put up a brilliant championship campaign last year, and have more than a puncher’s chance at defending their title, with the Purdue Boilermakers the only other team to catch the eye of the oddsmakers.

All about that D

The Huskies are heading into the competition with a 21-2 slate and have a solid defense, with only two teams able to get 80+ points on them this year. They also can lean on phenom Tristan Newton, who leads the team in points, assists, and rebounds. Cam Spencer and Alex Karaban are hot on his tail, making the Huskies a force to be reckoned with. Taking all these elements into account, the team has been given the highest odds to win at +475.

Gunning for a second consecutive title

The Huskies came out of nowhere last year to sweep to an incredible win in the final, dominating the San Diego State Aztecs. But UConn are no novices when it comes to the big game, with five March Madness championships under their belt. One thing that they have never done, however, is win consecutive titles.

The Alabama Crimson Tide has an offense that tops the table in college basketball. Their weakness is in their defense, allowing teams to put up a high number on them all season. They are likely to get in as a four seed, but with their explosiveness in the paint, they could make for some surprising, and high scoring games as the tournament continues.

The Purdue Boilermakers (+700) are another team given high chances of winning the title, due in large part to having the most outstanding player in the league. Zach Edey is one of the tallest players in NCAA Division 1 basketball, with the skill to go with the height.