March Madness Futures – Vegas Schmegas

The very bottom of this page features the current odds (from a Las Vegas casino) to win the 2016 college basketball national championship.

They’re wrong! (Those odds have been changing every week based on which team just lost. They’re outrageous! They’ve been rotating the “favorite.”)

“Experts” tell us this is a wide-open field and as many as 40 teams have the potential to cut down the nets at the Final Four in Houston.

They don’t!

This season is much like most college basketball seasons where the best teams lose a handful of games. What we don’t have is the greatest collection of talent ever assembled on one roster (2015 Kentucky) attempting to go undefeated. Last year was an exception to the norm. This year’s elite will rise up in March like they always do. While it’s more of a challenge to find those elite teams at this point in the season, it’s still doable. Let’s get to it!

Proper 2016 March Madness Odds

Legitimate Contenders:

Maryland: 6/1
Mark Turgeon’s team will win with defense in March. Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon make up one of the top-three backcourts in America. Diamond Stone has shown the ability to take over in the post. The Terps will be elite when it counts.

Kentucky: 13/2
Speaking of great backcourts, Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray have been fantastic all season. UK has had trouble in the frontcourt and will likely lose a few more games while they put the pieces together. However, look for increased confidence and production from the big fellas down the strech. The Cats are still loaded with talent and have shown the ability to play defense collectively.

Kansas: 7/1
“The Jayhawks are struggling! The Jayhawks are struggling!” Or are they finding their rotation in January? Bill Self is a championship-caliber coach (2008) and has Perry Ellis, Frank Mason, and Wayne Selden to lean on, three vets who have played their share of big games. KU is the best team in the best conference and will be just fine.

Michigan State: 9/1
Sparty is a bit of a wild card because it is dependent on shooting. But Izzo teams always find a way to make shots in March, and the 2000 champ has taken much less talented squads to the Final Four (including last year). The transition game and defense has missed Tum Tum Nairn recently. As the season goes on, Izzo will increase minutes for his best players and find the proper roles to maximize the skill sets of the reserves. It’s his recipe for success and it will taste like victory again this March.

Tier Two:

Louisville: 13/1
The Cardinals are an athletic and aggressive bunch and will be a tough out for any opponent.

Miami FL.: 13/1
Coach Jim Larranaga took George Mason to the Final Four. He can certainly return with this unified bunch.

Villanova: 16/1
The Wildcats have an unfortunate habit of bowing out of the NCAA Tournament too quickly. This squad should survive the first weekend and has the potential for a serious run.

Oklahoma: 18/1
When the Sooners are rolling, they win the eye test as the best team. Buddy Hield is the best player in college hoops and he buys into Lon Kruger’s team structure.

Tier Three:

Iowa: 25/1
The Hawkeyes are experienced and playing with tremendous confidence. Nobody will want to see them in their bracket.

Iowa State: 25/1
The Cyclones would be significantly higher on this list with Nazareth Mitrou-Long healthy. But they’re still a beautiful offensive team to watch.

North Carolina: 25/1
Currently a touch overrated but certainly dangerous. The Heels are another team that has no problem scoring.

Oregon: 25/1
Dana Altman is building a consistent winner in Eugene. It’s only a matter of time until the Ducks are flying to the Final Four.

Longshots:

Purdue: 40/1
USC: 40/1
Xavier: 40/1
Wichita State: 50/1

Best of the Rest:

Arizona: 75/1
Dayton: 75/1
Duke: 75/1
Providence: 75/1
California: 100/1
LSU:100/1
Texas A&M: 100/1
Valparaiso: 100/1
Virginia: 100/1
West Virginia: 100/1

Vegas’ 2016 March Madness Odds

North Carolina: 13/2
Kansas: 7/1
Oklahoma: 7/1
Duke: 9/1
Michigan State: 9/1
Maryland: 12/1
Villanova: 12/1
Iowa: 15/1
Louisville: 15/1
Kentucky: 16/1
Purdue: 16/1
Xavier: 18/1
West Virginia: 20/1
Arizona: 25/1
Virginia: 25/1

 

(Photo credit: Matt Chan (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode].)

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