With the field of 64 just hours away from tipping off, Louisville enters March Madness as the favorites to win the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
According to betting odds provided by Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Rick Pitino’s team is a 9/2 favorite to win the national championship. The Cardinals are the No.1 seed in the Midwest region and the top seeded team in the tourney.
Indiana ranks second with 7/1 odds. The Hoosiers are the top seed in the East, finishing the year at 27-6.
Duke missed out on a No.1 seed after being upset in the ACC Tournament. However, they come in at third with 8/1 odds. LVH has them tied with No.2 Miami, who finished ahead of the Blue Devils in the conference. Florida was seeded third in the South, but they were also given 8/1 odds.
The Gators are favored to reach the Final Four in their region, ahead of top seeded Kansas. The Jayhawks have 10/1 odds to cut down the nets on April 8. It’s the 24th straight year that Kansas has made the NCAA Tournament.
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Gonzaga is considered to be the weakest No.1 seed. The team atop the coaches and writers’ poll has 12/1 odds, according to the casino.
Cinderella teams emerge every March, but rarely does a decided underdog win the national championship. The 1985 Villanova Wildcats were the lowest seed to ever win the title, when they won it all as a No.8 seed. In 1983 and 1988, N.C. State and Kansas both won the championship as No.6 seeds, respectively.
Pittsburgh and North Carolina may have a better chance to win the tourney than many teams that have been seeded higher. The two No.8 seeds have odds set at 50/1. Just 16 teams were given better odds.
In recent seasons, a few long shots have made it all the way to the Final Four. 2011 saw No.11 VCU win their region, as well as No.8 Butler, who lost to Duke in the national championship game. LSU and George Mason have also reached the Final Four as No.11 seeds.
North Carolina A&T began the week with the worst odds to make it through their region. The Aggies were forced to play Liberty on Tuesday in the official first-round of the tournament. Both teams were given 5000/1 odds to represent the Midwest in Atlanta.
Click here to get complete betting odds for every team in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.