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Best Longshots to Win March Madness 2022

June 10, 2021
Arkansas basketball could win it all in 2022

It was one of the more interesting seasons in college basketball memory. Gonzaga opened as the favorite to win its first national title, made it to the championship game as an unbeaten, but fell short to No. 2 Baylor.

As if unaffected by the national title game defeat, the Bulldogs open 2022 as the overall favorite to win…again. Gonzaga is a +900 favorite at top sportsbooks to capture its first national championship in program history. There are some of the usual suspects among the main contenders – Villanova and Michigan to name a few – and there are plenty of quality longshots that could pull off the upset and win it all.

These are the best longshot candidates to capture next year’s March Madness.

 

ARKANSAS (+3000)

Eric Musselman is one heckuva basketball coach. He took over at Nevada in 2015 and turned the Wolf Pack into the Mountain West Conference’s best program. Musselman took Nevada to a Sweet Sixteen and won at least 24 games in each of the four seasons he was in Reno.

In 2019, he took over a struggling Arkansas program and promptly won 20 games in Year 1. Last year, the Razorbacks finished second in the SEC and Musselman guided his team to the Elite Eight. The turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable and it could take another step in 2022.

Leading scorer Moses Moody (16.8 ppg) declared for the NBA draft after his only season at Arkansas and, while he’ll be missed, Musselman will simply reload. Musselman’s recipe has been to bring in transfers from other programs and plug them in right away. He’ll do the same this season with Chris Lykes from Miami and Au’diese Toney from Pitt. Adding those two to an experienced, talent-rich roster will help Musselman and the Razorbacks contend for an SEC title again and give them a great opportunity to make a March Madness run.

 

MEMPHIS (+4000)

Coach Hardaway at MemphisIn three seasons at Memphis, prodigal son Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway is 63-32 at his alma mater. The Tigers have won at least 20 games in each of those three seasons and captured last years’ NIT title. Hardaway has some experience returning in Landers Nolley II, Lester Quinones, DeAndre Williams, and Alex Lomax. 

Hardaway also has the nation’s No. 8 recruiting class and welcomes back guard Tyler Harris, who spent a season at Iowa State after having spent the previous two at Memphis. Hardaway has a roster that is deep and experienced. The Tigers were No. 1 last year in adjusted defensive efficiency and defense does win championships. Just ask Baylor. That makes Memphis an interesting prospect at +4000.

 

OREGON (+3000)

Head coach Dana Altman has taken Oregon to five Sweet Sixteen appearances in his 11 seasons with the Ducks. The 2022 campaign could be the one where Altman puts his stamp on success. After last year’s fifth trip to the Sweet Sixteen, Altman will return a lineup that could feature three 6-foot-11 players. 

Freshman Nathan Bittle joins N’Flay Dante, Will Richardson, and Eric Williams Jr. As is customary for Altman, he brings in a handful of transfers that will have an immediate impact. Former Rutgers point guard Jacob Young (14.1 ppg, 3.4 apg) joins former Syracuse starter Quincy Guerrier and former Oklahoma starter De’Vion Harmon. The trio should become a key part of Altman and Oregon’s run to a national title in 2022.

 

NORTH CAROLINA (+3300)

College hoops odds to win it all 2022

Armando Bacot, last year’s leading scorer for UNC, returns to play this year.

It’s rare that the term “longshot” is used in a sentence with North Carolina basketball, but that is where we are at in 2021. The Tar Heels became somewhat irrelevant last year and long-time head coach Roy Williams decided to call it a career. The university welcomed UNC basketball alum Hubert Davis as its next head coach. Davis has served as an assistant under Williams for the past ten years.

It has been said that some of what Williams tried to do offensively was a bit outdated. Davis will help the Tar Heels become more relevant both offensively and defensively. UNC did have a strong second half of last season which helped the Tar Heels make the NCAA tournament where they were eliminated quickly by Wisconsin

Davis will return leading scorer Armando Bacot and second-leading scorer Caleb Love. The Tar Heels don’t have an elite recruiting class, but it is still North Carolina. No one will be expecting much from Davis in his first season, especially after UNC struggled to an 18-11 finish last season. That makes the Tar Heels an interesting bet at +3300.

 

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