March Madness Seeds vs. National Championship Odds 2022
When putting together a March Madness bracket, there are always question marks surrounding certain teams and their seeding in a region, some believe teams receive a higher seed based on reputation, and others may think the NCAA wants to create certain matchups and rivalries throughout the tournament. This article will analyze the seeds vs national championship odds given to each team before the tournament. It will also look forward to marquee matchups that could potentially happen and see which No. 1 seed has the hardest road to the finals.
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The first time since the number one overall seed was presented in 2004, Gonzaga is the only team to earn the honor in back-to-back years. After an undefeated regular season last year, Gonzaga came up short in the finals to a high powering Baylor squad. Gonzaga looks to win their first ever National Championship and are the odds-on favorite to do so at +300. In their bracket they will have to get through the always dangerous Duke Blue Devils. The headline surrounding Duke is legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season and last time we will ever see him coach in March Madness. Many believe Duke is a bit overseeded as they finished 9th in the AP top 25 and earned a No. 2 seed over the likes of Tennessee, who finished 5th in the AP top 25 and won their conference. Nonetheless, they have been as high as +1200 favorites to win the tournament, putting them around the 4th to 6th favorite depending on the site you use. The contrast between their national ranking and seed is one of the largest amongst the top 10 teams of the tournament. Duke has no reason not to be confident in the West Region, already beating the No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs once this season. Texas Tech comes in as the No. 3 seed in the west and as the No. 1 most efficient defense in the nation. When looking forward to a potential Duke versus Texas Tech battle, the one thing that travels well is a good defense. The Red Raiders come in at +2500 and have knocked off some of the top teams in the country this year. A Darkhorse of the region is Davidson, who comes in at the No.10 seed and +40000 to win the tournament but are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country with a very efficient offense.
In my opinion, the most exciting region in this year’s tournament is the East Region. This part of the bracket features seven teams In the AP top 25. Four of the teams ended the year top 11 in the final polls. Kentucky is the No. 2 seed in the East has bounced around between the 2nd and 3rd overall favorite to win the tournament, according to pre-tournament odds. Coming in at +700, Kentucky’s national championship odds are the highest among all No. 2 seeds and are five spots higher than their AP top 25 rankings. Three of the top eight teams in national championship odds will be competing in the East and four of the top 12. The other three teams to look out for in this bracket will be Baylor at +1100, Purdue at +1700 and UCLA at +2200. Baylor is coming off a national championship. However, because of some recent injuries, they come in as the longest title shot of any of the top seeded teams. This is a bracket where picking against the top 5 seeds would not be in your best interest statistically, as the top four teams have 14.5 spreads on average against their opponents. The fifth seed, Saint Mary’s, finished 18th in the AP top 25 and do not have a spread yet as they are waiting for a play in game, not to mention Saint Mary’s owns a win against the Gonzaga Bulldogs this season.
Arizona enters the South Region as the favorite. A powerhouse all year, the Wildcats have an average scoring margin of 17 points per game and are third nationally in points per game (84.6). Arizona comes in as +675 favorites to win the national championship. Featuring one of the best players in the nation in Bennedict Mathurin, the Wildcats only weakness would be shooting the three-pointers, as they rank 87th in that category. Tennessee, although the No. 3 seed in the south, have better odds then the No. 2 seed Villanova. Tennessee finished the year as the No. 5 in the AP top 25 and many feel that have not been respected as a perennial powerhouse. Tennessee enters the Big Dance with +2000 odds to win the national championship while Villanova sits at +2500. Tennessee is one of the more interesting national championship odds versus March Madness seeds, as the Vols are the only team in the tournament with four victories against teams on the top two seed lines: two against Kentucky, one against Auburn and the other against Arizona. How does that warrant a 3 seed?
Of any No. 1 seed, Kansas has the least favorable odds to walk away with the championship in April, and that partly has to do with historic performance. A team that routinely rolls through the regular season, Bill Self and his Jayhawks have not won a national championship since 2007-2008 and have been a No. 1 or 2 seed nine times since then. In the last two tournaments, the Jayhawks exited in the second round. Kansas has +1100 odds to win the national championship. and depending what site you use, there are as many as six teams have lower odds. Wisconsin might be the least talked about No. 3 seed in the tournament, and their pre-tournament odds look more like a No. 4 seed as the only No. 4 seed they have better odds to win the tournament than is Providence (+6600 Wisconsin, +20000 Providence), and both are participating in the Midwest. No. 5 seed Iowa has caught more attention from Vegas, coming in at +2500. Auburn, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest, is at +1400, and we expect an epic dual against USC in the second round for Auburn.
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