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.
Last year’s March Madness culminated in a thrilling victory by the Kansas Jayhawks who bounced back from a 15-point deficit at halftime to conquer the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 to lift the NCAA tournament trophy.
The Jayhawks are expected to have maintained majority of the players that put up a brilliant championship campaign last year. They are projected to have a fighting chance at defending their title, but coming into the competition, it’s the Houston Cougars who have caught the eye of the oddsmakers.
The best defense
The Cougars are heading into the March competition with a 27-2 slate and lead the country in defense, with only 55.9 points surrendered per game. They also claim the highest overall winning percentage in Division 1. Houston also relies on their talented head coach Kelvin Sampson, and equally gifted players Marcus Sasser and Jarace Walker. Taking all these elements into account, the team has been given the highest odds to win at +650.
Gunning for a second consecutive title
The Jayhawks boast the most seasoned squad in the country, and coach Bill Self has made sure they are serious contenders for a back-to-back title. Forwards Gradey Dick and Jalen Wilson have been deadly this season, with the duo averaging 34.5 points and 13.4 rebounds per game. The Kansas team is second at +850, up from +1200.
The Alabama Crimson Tide has an offense that is counted among the top ten highest in college basketball. They have a talented set of freshmen led by Brandon Miller who has shot an average of 18.8 points per game. The Crimson Tide are not far behind the Jayhawks, at +900.
The Purdue Boilermakers (+1000) 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.
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