March Madness 2012 is almost upon us and the field of 68 has been released. Who is favored to win the 2012 NCAA Tournament?
From the Cinderella stories such as the Butler Bulldogs, an underdog team that came within one victory of winning the championship last year to the annual impressive tourney runs by college basketball powerhouses Duke, Kansas and North Carolina, March Madness provides thrills throughout the month of March.
Out of all those 68 teams chosen on Selection Sunday, the Kentucky Wildcats are favored to win it all at 2:1 odds, according to sportsbook.com.
Here are the favorites and their chances of winning the 2012 NCAA Tournament, based on odds at sportsbook.com as of Monday morning.
1. Kentucky Wildcats: 2 to 1
College basketball experts think Kentucky is stacked based on having the No. 1 overall top seed in the tournament. Odds-makers agree.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels: 5 to 1
Tyler Zeller and company have a No. 1 seed in the East Region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament and have a 29-5 record.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes: 8 to 1
Big man Jared Sullinger leads the Buckeyes, who have a No. 2 seed in the tournament and lost to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament.
4. Michigan State Spartans: 10 to 1
The Big Ten Tournament champions are coming into the tournament on a hot streak.
5. Missouri Tigers: 10 to 1
To the shock of many, Missouri was given a No. 2 seed in this year's tournament, despite rolling through the Big 12 Tournament and impressive regular-season wins over Kansas and Baylor. The perceived snub may be extra motivation for the Tigers.
6. Kansas Jayhawks: 12 to 1
The Jayhawks are the No. 2 seed in the tournament's East Region. Kansas has one of the most favorable draw of all the teams in the tournament. College basketball lovers are fathoming at a regional final that puts the Jayhawks against their former coach, UNC's Roy Williams.
7. Syracuse Orange: 12 to 1
Fab Melo and Scoop Jardine are the backbone of the Orange, who were the Big East Conference regular season champs with a 17-1 conference record.
8. Duke Blue Devils: 15 to 1
The Blue Devils were runners-up to North Carolina for the ACC regular season and split their two games with the Tar Heels.
9. Marquette Golden Eagles: 25 to 1
Runners-up to Syracuse in the Big East regular season, Marquette has a 25-7 overall record and quality wins Georgetown, Louisville and Wisconsin.
10. Baylor Bears, Florida State Seminoles and Louisville Cardinals: 30 to 1
All three teams have pulled together a string of victories over the season. Florida State and Louisville both steamrolled their competition in the ACC and Big East tournaments, respectively.