Odds to Win Final Four

Odds to Win Final Four

March Madness is here. On Thursday, 68 teams will begin the three-week journey to reach the Final Four and cut down the nets in Texas Stadium. Stay tuned for ugly blowouts, stunning upsets, and fantastic finishes as the country’s top college basketball programs vie for a national championship. Diehard and casual fans alike will spend the next few days studying stats and filling out brackets. Here are the odds on which teams have the best chance to win it all on April 7.

Florida 4/1 – The Tournament’s number one overall seed has won 26 straight games. They are experienced, disciplined, and motivated to give Billy Donovan his third title. The Gators do pretty much everything well, but a team that can run-n-gun like UCLA or Kansas cold darken their hoop dreams.

Michigan State 9/2 – A lot of pundits and talking heads have picked the Spartans to be the last team standing. They have skill, size, depth, and in Keith Appling and Adreian Payne, a pair of senior leaders who have the veteran savvy to gut out victories. Also, guard Gary Harris is one of the field’s players to watch

Arizona 6/1 – The Wildcats have wins over Duke, Michigan, San Diego State, and New Mexico State on their resume. But a few stumbles down the stretch are cause for concern. A tenacious defense and Nick Johnson’s scoring make them dangerous. However, a potential matchup with Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State could mean an early exit.

Wichita State 15/1 – The Shockers advanced the 2013 Final Four and went 34-0 in 2013-2014, and yet they don’t seem to be getting the respect they deserve. Sure, they played a “weak” schedule, but they also crushed the majority of their opponents. Cleanhony Early and Ron Baker form one of the tournament’s best scoring duos. A rematch with Louisville looms.

Duke 15/1 – The Blue Devils’ longest winning streak of the season was five games, so their odds of reeling off six straight are slim. Jabari Parker is a dynamic talent worth the price of admission, but a lack of size in the paint and a reliance on three-point shooting make Coach K’s crew a prime candidate to get bounced early.

Michigan 25/1 – The Wolverines went 2-1 versus the Spartans and also faced Duke, Arizona, and Iowa State outside the conference. They overcame the season-ending back injury to Mitch McGary and boast an athletic lineup the can light up the scoreboard. Like Duke, they have zero inside game, which could be problematic against a big team like Texas.

Creighton 25/1 – Player of the Year Doug McDermott is a one-man scoring machine and fun to watch. The Blue Jays shoot and distribute as well as any team in the country, and McDermott is the type of talent who can take his charges deep into the tournament. A contrast in styles meeting with Baylor’s long front line in the third-round would be intriguing.

San Diego State 75/1 – The Aztecs are the West’s version of Virginia. They are ferocious on defense, but frustrating to watch on offense. They beat Kansas and Creighton, and gave Arizona a fight. And Xavier Thames is one of the best players most have never heard of. At 7an enticing 75/1, they are worth a bet.