North Carolina and Connecticut have been ranked #1 for much of the season while Michigan State and Villanova get a lot of respect. It is really a powerful group of teams that make up the NCAA Final Four odds this year.
Final Four odds have become full of powerful teams in recent seasons. In the last ten seasons of Final Four odds you have 40 teams, 17 of which were #1 seeds, nine #2 seeds, six #3 seeds and two #4 seeds. No team lower than a #3 seed has even won a game in Final Four odds since 2002 and it won’t happen in 2009 as all four teams are high seeds.
The mid-majors made some noise in the past but in recent seasons it is all about the power conferences in NCAA Final Four odds and the selection committee has noticed. While Dick Vitale whined about St. Mary’s not getting a bid they didn’t deserve one. None of the mid-majors did anything in this year’s tournament. Gonzaga made the Sweet Sixteen but then they were crushed by North Carolina. And they were the best mid-major team out there and most people don’t even consider them a mid-major anymore.
Respect is earned in college basketball and the four teams in this year’s Final Four odds have earned it. North Carolina reached last year’s Final Four odds and lost but almost everyone came back and they were the favorites before the season began to win it all. That has not changed, despite the committee putting Louisville as the overall #1 seed. The Tar Heels were the bettor’s choice from the beginning in NCAA Final Four odds and they still are.
Connecticut was #1 this season at various points and they are also well respected in Final Four odds. Head coach Jim Calhoun simply wins when he gets this far (4-0 and two national titles). The Huskies are a solid second choice in Final Four odds behind Carolina. Michigan State has won a national title in the past and they have Tom Izzo as head coach and he has won a title before in Final Four odds. Even Villanova is well respected in NCAA Final Four odds with Jay Wright as head coach. He is thought of as one of the best young coaches in college hoops and Villanova has been the pick of many to make Final Four odds this season.
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