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As the "madness" looms, these are the betting favorites to win the NCAA tournament


NCAA tournament "madness".

As the 'madness' looms, these are the betting favorites to win the NCAA tournament | News Article by

NCAA basketball is inching closer to march madness betting with only a handful of games remaining for most major conferences. This year, the college hoops landscape is fairly flat without a true elite program setting the bar for the rest of the country.

No team is invincible, as we saw this past weekend, which means there is great value in the odds to win the NCAA tournament. We look at the oddsmakers’ favorites to win the Big Dance and why those top programs could have their “one shining moment” when March Madness betting comes to a close.

Kansas Jayhawks 6/1
The Jayhawks staked their claim for a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament with a victory over No. 1 Baylor this past weekend, closing out a tight game in Waco thanks to the interior dominance of big man Udoka Azubuike. He’s just one of the many weapons this Jayhawks program possesses on both ends of the floor.

Kansas is a stout defensive team, giving up less than 61 points per game and sitting tops in’s defensive efficiency ranking. Perhaps the biggest weakness for KU heading into the Big 12 tournament and beyond is a lack of depth. Bill Self went just two deep into his bench against Baylor and the grind of the postseason could leave his stars running on empty.

Duke Blue Devils 7/1
The ACC is a bit of a logjam at the top with Duke fighting off Louisville and Florida State. The Blue Devils will always draw a considerable amount of futures action, which has something to do with their stop near the top of the odds to win March Madness. Quite honestly, the ACC has been dreadful so there’s no telling how good – or bad – Duke really is.

The Blue Devils have been caught in bad losses to Clemson and North Carolina State and while they can fill it up against mediocre teams – averaging almost 83 points per game – this offense still has plenty to prove. Defensively, Coach K’s crew is among the Top 10 in efficiency and does a good job of shutting down their opponents from beyond the arc.

Gonzaga Bulldogs 7/1
Could this finally be the year the Bulldogs battle their way to the top of the bracket? Gonzaga had its annual reality check against BYU this past weekend but is still holding the inside track to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, baring a disaster in the WCC postseason.

Gonzaga is the top scoring team in the county, piling up almost 88 points per game, but doesn’t face much pushback in the WCC. The Bulldogs have plenty of scoring depth, with seven players averaging 10 points or more on the season, but their defense will have to answer the call come the tournament. Gonzaga allows foes to shoot almost 42% from the field and sit well down the board in defensive efficiency.

Baylor Bears 8/1
The Bears round out the Top 4 favorites to cut down the nets. Baylor lost a crusher at home to Kansas this past weekend but for a game in which BU didn’t play well for 40 minutes, it was still very much in it during the closing seconds.

Defense is the name of the game for Baylor, which gives up only 58.4 points per game in a very competitive Big 12 conference. The Bears are third in defensive efficiency – behind Big 12 foes Kansas and West Virginia – and that size and athleticism also allows them to control the boards. Baylor is among the top rebounding teams in the country and makes up for a lack of scoring production with plenty of extra-chance buckets.

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