Odds to Win the NCAA Tournament
The selection committee has unveiled the field of 68 teams that will be playing in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Here you will find a list of each team’s odds on their chances of winning the Big Dance. There is also a preview for a few of the top contenders to take down the championship. At the bottom of the page is a list of each team and their prices. Just like we have seen in past seasons, the favorite also happens to be the overall No. 1 seed.
The Florida Gators are hoping to repeat Louisville’s success from last season when the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed ended up cutting down the net following the championship game. Gator fans have good reason to be optimistic about the tournament. Aside from two losses early in the season Florida has looked dominant in almost every game this season. The team was without key players in both the road loss to Wisconsin and the road loss to UConn, and their margin of loss came be a combined total of seven-points.
Michigan State (+600)
The Spartans are another team that had some injury issues this season, and it ended up costing them several games. All three of the team’s leading scorers missed time this season. Michigan State was finally healthy entering the Big Ten Tournament and they ended up winning the conference championship with ease. The Spartans had a 12.6 point average margin of victory during their conference tournament. Michigan State posted a 6-2 record against ranked opponents this season, including three wins over teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of play.
The schedule was anything but easy for the Cardinals this season. They faced a total of nine ranked opponents, posting a 4-1 record in the five most recent matchups. All five of Louisville’s losses came by a single-digit margin, and all of them also came against ranked teams. The Cardinals also benefit from playing in one of the easier regions in the Midwest. They will have a likely matchup with Wichita State in the Sweet 16, and the Shockers have not faced a single ranked opponent all season. Of all the No. 4 seeds in the tournament, Louisville certainly has the easiest pass to the championship game.
Louisville may have the easiest path to the championship as a No. 4 seed, but Arizona has the easiest path as a No. 1 seed. The Wildcats will likely face Oklahoma State in the round of 32, and the Cowboys were lucky to even make the tournament given their epic collapse during conference play. From there a matchup with Oklahoma or San Diego State is likely to take place, and both of those teams are the most overrated No. 4 and 5 seeds in the tournament. The Wildcats were the nation’s No. 1 ranked team for seven weeks, and I expect them to make easy work of everyone in the West region.
The Duke Blue Devils were a bit inconsistent this season, but this is a team that is known for reserving its best basketball for when it matters the most. Four of Duke’s eight losses came against top 10 ranked teams. The got off to a slow start in conference play, but responded by making a run during the conference championship. The Blue Devils boast some of the nation’s most talented players. Don’t let their 3-4 record against ranked teams fool you, this is a squad that can compete with the best in the country.
Much like Duke, Kansas has been plagued with consistency issues this year. Part of the problem for Kansas has been an injury to Joel Embiid. The Jayhawks lost to Iowa State in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, but they did post a respectable 7-4 record against ranked teams this season. Aside from injuries, Kansas also faced arguably the most difficult schedule in the country. The non-conference portion of the season should have the Jayhawks well prepared for the grind of playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Virginia has won 16 of its last 17 games. The lone loss during that stretch came in the final regular season game of the year after the Cavaliers had locked up the regular season ACC Championship. It was a road loss to Maryland, and it took overtime for the Terrapins to pull off that win. The Cavaliers have the nation’s No. 1 ranked scoring defense allowing a mere 55.3 points per game, and that makes them one of the country’s most dangerous teams in the tournament. I think playing in the East puts Virginia at a big disadvantage. This region is the strongest in the tournament, but if any team is capable of running the table in regional play it is certainly the Cavaliers.
Wichita State (+1200)
The Shockers are the only undefeated team in the country. While many would argue the schedule has been incredibly soft, it still takes an impressive team to win 34 consecutive games. This is also a very similar squad to last year’s team that made a run to the Final Four before losing to overall No. 1 and eventual champion, Louisville by just four points. The Shockers have the 11th ranked scoring defense in the country, holding opponents to a mere 59.6 points per game. Wichita State faced five teams all season that are now playing in the NCAA Tournament, and they have a 12.2-point margin of victory in those games.
The Rest of the Field
|San Diego State||+5000|
|North Dakota State||+50000|
|Mt Saint Mary’s||+100000|
|New Mexico State||+100000|