East region March madness betting favorite: Villanova
The Wildcats are not only the top seed in their region, but in the entire NCAA tournament as well. The fact that Nova is the defending national champion might put off, rather than encourage, certain fans betting on March madness, though. After all, no school has won back to back NCAA titles since the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007. But if Villanova winning a second straight national championship would be exceeding expectations, their failing to win the East region would be nothing short of an upset. Then again, Nova didn’t have to deal with Duke last year. The Blue Devils were in another regional altogether, and were eliminated of the tournament in the Sweet 16. The Blue Devils are ever-dangerous, though.
West region favorite: Gonzaga
The Bulldogs are arguably second only to Villanova in the entire Division I, which would make them a shoe-in to win the West region. The difference maker is undoubtedly point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. If fans betting on March madness were to imagine Nova without Josh Hart, the result would be something akin to what the Zags used to be before Williams-Goss transferred from Washington. The biggest threat to the Bulldogs would be the Arizona Wildcats, which slipped their way in to the top four of the final AP poll of the regular season, and were seeded No. 2 in the West region after winning the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament championship.
Midwest region March madness betting favorite: Kansas
It is a true testament to the J-Hawks’ star power and potential that they are the No. 1 seed in the Midwest (though they do have the longest odds to win a region out of any of the top seeds), considering they shocked fans betting on march madness by being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament by TCU. That being said, it is worth noting that Kansas has not lost back to back games since 2013. Then again, KU entered the 2016-17 season with 40 consecutive wins at Allen Fieldhouse, which turned into 51 during the season before a loss to Iowa State. In other words, streaks are made to be broken, and the Jayhawks making another tournament early exit would be less shocking the second time around.
South region March madness betting favorite: North Carolina
Contrary to Kansas, the Tar Heels are the biggest favorite of any team in the tournament to come out of their bracket. Coach Roy Williams has a revolving door of players, giving nine players 13 or more minutes per contest. That is, they are deeper than the deepest Cousteau would ever go (shout-out to Incubus). UNC has reached the Sweet 16 six years in a row and in 10 of the last 12 years. Moreover, Williams has taken the program to the Final 4 on four occasions. Finally, this season’s team could very well be the best Williams has availed himself of since winning the national championship in 2009.