The four No.1 seeds are usually considered to have the best chance of winning the national championship. That’s not the case in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
As expected, the Florida Gators were given the top overall seed. After winning the SEC Tournament, the Gators have the best odds, at 11/2, of cutting down the nets on April 7. The next two teams on the list, though, didn’t even earn top three seeds.
The Michigan State Spartans have been named the second favorite with 6/1 odds. The Spartans were ranked atop the polls early in the year, but struggled after their first few games of Big Ten play. Now that the team is healthy and coming off a win in the conference championship, they are expected to have a big run in March Madness.
Following Michigan State on the list is another No.4 seed. The Louisville Cardinals have the third-best odds at 13/2. The Cardinals won the AAC regular season and conference championships, but were still given a No.4 seed. They enter the field of 68 at 29-5, with all of their losses coming to ranked opponents. In the Midwest, they have better odds than No.1 Wichita State. The Shockers are undefeated, but failed to play a ranked opponent all season.
The Virginia Cavaliers are considered to be the weakest No.1 seed. The Cavaliers have exceeded preseason expectations, losing just once in the last two months. In the ACC Tournament final, they defeated Duke, the strongest No.3 seed.
Kentucky and Oklahoma State are the biggest longshots that have a chance to reach the Final Four. With so many talented freshman, the Wildcats began the year as top team in the nation. They’ve had their struggles, but the No.8 seed could be playing well at the right time, after a one-point loss to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. The Cowboys are a No.9 seed, because of a seven-game losing streak that occurred during Marcus Smart’s suspension. The star guard has posted strong numbers in four of his last five games.
Twenty-six teams have better than 100/1 odds of winning the national title. All betting odds are courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Michigan State 6/1
Wichita State 10/1
Iowa State 33/1
North Carolina 40/1
Oklahoma State 40/1
San Diego State 50/1
Ohio State 66/1
East: Iowa State
Championship Game: Florida over Louisville