Kansas-Jayhawks

March Madness Betting favorite Kansas tops AP poll

March 17, 2017 NCAA Basketball

March madness betting favorites the Kansas Jayhawks were voted into the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press poll for the first time this season. The Villanova Wildcats remained in second place in spite of a loss to Butler – which climbed all the way up from 22 to 13 –, while the Gonzaga Bulldogs fell to No. 4 after spending four weeks at the very tippy-top following an almost-perfect regular season. As fans who bet on March madness know, Kansas was the second-ranked team on the overall NCAA Tournament Bracket seed list, and was sent to the Midwest regional in Kansas City.

The Jayhawks had secured at least a share of the Big 12 conference regular season title for the 13th year in a row with a win over TCU, and clinched it outright for the fifth of those 13th times with a 77-67 victory over Texas on Saturday. Josh Jackson had 18 points and Frank Mason III added 16, while Devonte Graham and Dwight Coleby had 12 points each. Coleby is used to scoring that number, though the one is usually separated from the two by a decimal point. The J-Hawks converted Texas’s 15 TOs into 28 points. KU went on a 12-0 run in the first half to take a 13-point lead that settled into a 40-31 advantage at the halftime. “Against Kansas, you have to be aggressive,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. Like, cyclone-aggressive. Aggressive enough to fly a whole farmhouse into Munchkin Country and drop it on a Wicked Witch.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs were hoping to reach the March madness betting season with an undefeated regular season, but the BYU Cougars had other plans. The Zags’ 71-79 Saturday loss to BYU is what people who bet on March madness call an upset. Talk about a bad LDS trip. Gonzaga had the longest-winning streak in the country snapped – as well as a string of 15 straight games where the Bulldogs didn’t trail in the second half – by the cougars, who had never defeated a No. 1 school. Eric Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds for BYU, who came back from a 16-point deficit early in the game. The Zags finished the regular season with a 29-1 (17-1 in WCC play) record and the regular season conference title.

Champagne Villanova stumbled against Butler – which became the only school to sweep Nova this season on Wednesday. Jalen Brunson had 24 points and Josh Hart added 18, but the latter lost his first game at the Pavilion in his four years with the program, as did fellow senior players Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds. Nonetheless, the Wildcats only needed one more win to clinch their fourth consecutive outright Big East regular season championship, and that’s precisely what they did on Saturday against Creighton. Eric Paschall scored a season-best 19 points and Hart added 16, while Jenkins scored 15 points and Mikal Bridges had 11. Villanova was the top-ranked team in the country in NCAA March madness betting tournament bracket, which makes them the de facto favorites of fans who will bet on March madness.