After much anticipation, the NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday. Potential matchups of popular teams as well as the favorites can be mapped out using the multitude of brackets to peruse.
Odds makers have also done just that so they can see who they believe will be left standing at the end and list as their favorites to win the National Title. The names sitting atop the futures boards will not be a surprise to most hoops fans and sports bettors.
Rivals in the ACC, Duke and North Carolina are at the top. Duke entering the Big Dance is playing its best basketball of this season and has a relatively easy bracket to reach the Elite Eight.
However, after that, the Blue Devils could face No. 1 overall seed Villanova in the finals of the East Region, if the Wildcats hold true to their ranking.
North Carolina also has favorable matchups as the South Region’s No. 1 seed, but in the same bracket are both Kentucky and UCLA.
Following Duke and North Carolina are Villanova, Kansas and Kentucky on the odds board. All three are closely bunched on the odds boards, as well as on the court when it comes to talent.
Villanova is playing better than any other team in the tournament field and could have the country’s most valuable player in Josh Hart. Most of last year’s national championship team returned this season for the Wildcats.
Kansas’ backcourt is likely the best in the nation led by Frank Mason III. At the same time, Kentucky is inexperienced, with three freshmen leading the offense, but the team possesses more skill than any team top to bottom, led by Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox.
Gonzaga a perennial leader out West is once again one step behind elite status and has been known to fold early during the Big Dance.
Top 10 Teams with Shortest Odds to Win 2016-17 NCAA National Championship
Duke 6 to 1
North Carolina 6 to 1
Villanova 15 to 2
Kansas 8 to 1
Kentucky 17 to 2
Gonzaga 10 to 1
Arizona 12 to 1
UCLA 12 to 1
Louisville 16 to 1
Oregon 18 to 1