The tourney champ will need to have some definite qualities in regards to offense and defense if they expect to win versus March Madness odds.
March Madness betting has seen winning teams with good offenses in recent years but it is not what it once was. Since 1989 the amount of points scored by teams in the tournament has dropped. Last year in the NCAA Tournament, teams scored just 73.4 points per game. That was almost an all-time record for fewest points per game average. What this means when you look at March Madness odds is that high scoring teams overall are underperforming. Just because a team can light up the scoreboard does not mean they will win in March Madness betting but you don’t want to totally dismiss high scoring teams though. In the last five years the overall numbers in terms of scoring have been down but the NCAA Tourney champ has still averaged almost 84 points per game.
While offensive numbers get the hoopla, it is oftentimes defensive numbers that win games. Look at the scoring defense for a team when you consider them in the NCAA Tournament. In the last 20 years, the best defensive teams have done well in the tourney. What is sometimes forgotten is that the champion gives up more points per game but that is only because they are scoring more per game. Take teams like Kansas and Kentucky for instance in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Their offenses get a lot of attention but you ask the teams that play them and they will tell you that the defense for both teams is very good. Top teams have great defenses even though they sometimes get overshadowed by their scoring.
Who are the top offensive and defensive teams this season heading into the NCAA Tournament? It is a critical question to answer. VMI led the country in points per game and they were followed by BYU, Villanova, Providence, Kansas, Texas, Syracuse and Seton Hall. Many of those teams are going to be in the NCAA Tournament and Kansas is obviously going to be the favorite. Since some conferences play lower scoring games the best defensive statistics to consider is field goal percentage allowed. Kansas is the top defensive team in that category and they are followed by St. Peter’s Wake Forest, Temple, Coastal Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland and Baylor. Many of those teams are going to be in the NCAA Tournament.