- What: 2023 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship Game
- When: Monday, April 3, 2023. Time is TBD
- Where: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
With the 2022-23 NCAA Basketball season on the horizon, bettors can already dive into some NCAA Tournament futures action and make some early-season March Madness picks. Preseason March Madness presents some tremendous value on high-upside teams, and there are a few schools out of the Pac-12 that could be worth a look when it comes to the Men’s NCAA Tournament.
Among the best of the West include the UCLA Bruins (+1800) and the Arizona Wildcats (+2800), and for some longshot picks, the Oregon Ducks (+7500) and even the USC Trojans (+10000) could be worth a sprinkle. All four are tournament regulars, and if the cards fall their way, they could end up making some noise in the Big Dance. Before we dive into a closer look at these four Pac-12 giants, make sure to take a look at our NCAA Tournament National Championship betting guide, as well as our college basketball betting guide in order to get all the information you need.
NCAA Tournament Odds
|To Win NCAA Tournament|
Early on, the tournament favorites are the Gonzaga Bulldogs (+750), North Carolina Tar Heels (+850), and the Kentucky Wildcats (+1000). Among the Pac-12 crowd, UCLA’s (+1800) are the best odds to win the NCAA Tournament, and overall they’re 10th on the list in terms of their current odds. Arizona at (+2800) ranks not far behind at 12th, while Oregon and USC are towards the middle of the pack.
UCLA has two of the most intriguing players in the conference in Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate Jaime Jaquez Jr., and Bruins newcomer and highly-coveted recruit Amari Bailey. The duo is set to hit the ground running in 2022-23 and could make some serious noise for a UCLA team that underperformed down the stretch last year. UCLA will be eager to avenge last year’s struggles by setting things right with a big NCAA Tournament run in 2022-23.
In addition to Jaquez Jr., who averaged 13.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists last season, the Bruins are bringing back the likes of Tyger Campbell (11.9 pts, 4.3 assists) and Jaylen Clark (6.7 points in 18.1 minutes per game). Clark figures to take big strides in his junior season and if he reaches his potential, UCLA could be one of the best teams in the nation. The loss of Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard will be tough pills to swallow, but UCLA still has one of the strongest rosters in the country.
If UCLA’s incoming talent can help replace Juzang and Bernard, which they’re expected to do, and more, the Bruins will be in a great position to not only run away with the Pac-12 but possibly enter the 2023 NCAA Tournament as a regional No. 1 seed. After seeing their title dreams cut short by UNC in the Sweet 16 last season, UCLA will be eager to make a deep run this time around.
Arizona lost some significant talent to the NBA during the offseason, including the likes of Bennedict Mathurin, Dalen Terry, and Christian Koloko. They did well to replace those guys, however, and have a strong core of returning talent. Last year’s squad entered the 2022 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed but was upended by the Houston Cougars in the Sweet 16. There will be a handful of Arizona players keen on getting revenge from last year’s disappointing finish, including Pelle Larsson, Kerr Kriisa, Oumar Ballo, and Azuolas Tubelis.
In addition to the aforementioned four, Arizona had success in the transfer portal, bringing in some experienced players who will be ready to contribute immediately. Former Texas Longhorns standout Courtney Ramey and ex-Campbell star Cedric Henderson Jr. will be among the new arrivals in Tuscon, and they’ll look to help Arizona push forth with another successful season. Ramey averaged 9.4 points last year for Texas, while Henderson scored 14.0 points per game for Campbell.
Adding experienced scorers like that will go a long way for Arizona, and with Pelle Larsson a major breakout candidate in 2022-23, the Wildcats could vault into true title contention as the season progresses.
Oregon has one of the best coaches in college basketball in Dana Altman, and while the Ducks haven’t been considered national title contenders, at (+7500), it could be worth a look. Since 2012-13, Dana Altman and the Ducks have won at least one NCAA Tournament game in seven different seasons. There are two key players to look out for on Oregon’s roster, in veteran returnee Will Richardson and incoming freshman Kel’el Ware. Richardson averaged 14.1 points across 30 games for Oregon last year, while Ware was a McDonald’s All-American prospect who boasts massive upside. It would take something of a miracle run for the Ducks to have a chance, but that’s what you’re getting into with (+7500) odds.
A true “dartboard” pick, the Trojans enter the year with (+10000) odds to win the NCAA Tournament. A longshot, to say the least, USC is led by returnees Drew Peterson (12.4 points per game in 2022) and Boogie Ellis (12.5 points). Pairing those two with the likes of newcomers in Tre White and Vincent Iwuchukwu, USC should wind up in the NCAA Tournament come March. From there, anything is on the table.
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