Mar 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; The Villanova Wildcats players celebrate after defeating the Xavier Musketeers in the Big East Tournament championship game at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats won 69-52. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
You can see any number of prediction posts going up, and you will definitely see mine too, but I have something else to get to first: the prop bets. This will cover some of the most common prop bets, such as the first number one seed to lose, the most likely 12-5 upset, and so on. My region by region preview is coming soon, but first, let’s have a little fun dissecting these brackets before we get to the serious part!
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How many number one seeds will reach the final four? over/under 2.5
The number one seeds are tough this year. Kentucky is a given to advance until at least the second weekend. That is where the matchups get a little tougher. Potential matchups against Maryland, Kansas, Notre Dame, or even Wichita State could be tough. Still, I think the Wildcats are a sure bet. In fact, they are even money to win the title. That is unheard of!
Wisconsin doesn’t match up well with Oregon, if that game were to come to fruition on the first weekend. North Carolina, Baylor, Arkansas, and Arizona are all in the west region also, so Wisconsin has the toughest road. They are capable of making it, but I am not as confident here.
Villanova is my pick for the first number one seed to lose. It is not because I don’t believe in the Wildcats, I just think they get the toughest matchups for them. LSU, Michigan State, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, and Virginia are all in that region. I could see Nova losing in the first weekend if they have to play LSU.
The South region is my pick for the bracket to be busted. The most dangerous low seeds are here, which means that Duke could have an easier road. Iowa State is the team with the best shot, and even that isn’t a great one.
My pick: Under
Next: Who Are the Most Dangerous Low Seeds?
Nov 24, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Eastern Washington Eagles bench reacts to the victory over the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall. Eastern Washington Eagles beats Indiana Hoosiers by the score of 88-86. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Most Likely seeds to win:
16: Forget it. It’s not going to happen. And no, I don’t count the play-in games.
15: North Dakota State. A 15 has only beaten a two seed seven times since the tournament expanded. It happened twice on the same day back in 2011! That said, the chances of it happening this year are not very good. NDSU is the best 15 seed, and they won their first round game last year as a 12 seed. They won’t be an intimidated bunch of kids, and Gonzaga doesn’t really have the size to bully them. The Bison are the most likely team to hang around the whole game, and that makes them dangerous.
14: Albany. The Great Danes have been to four straight NCAA tournaments. Oklahoma is a good team, but they lack depth. If Albany can hang around, their chances of winning will increase significantly as the game goes on.
13. Eastern Washington. The only certain thing come March is that Georgetown loses interest. They were flat last year in the Big East tourney and the NCAA tourney. They were fortunate to escape Creighton this year. The Eagles are a great shooting team, and have a terrific shot to unseat the Hoyas. They are the worst seed with the best chance to win.
12. Stephen F. Austin. I can only pick one? The only one that I think doesn’t have much of a chance is Wyoming. The best chance has to go to the Lumberjacks. They beat a very good VCU team last year as a 12 seed, and have practically the same team. Utah is a good, tough team, but I don’t think they are as good as VCU was last year.
11. Texas. The Longhorns were in the top ten earlier this year. They have a terrific frontcourt, and Butler is going to have a really tough time scoring from inside 12 feet. This is as good of a matchup as Texas could have hoped for.
10. Davidson. Iowa did not finish strong, and Davidson matches up very well with them. Iowa didn’t get to go to Omaha either, so the crowd is looking for any reason to get behind Davidson. It could feel like a road game for the Hawkeyes.
9. LSU. NC State is going to give them problems, but LSU’s size should ultimately be too much. LSU has a good chance of making it out of the first weekend as well.
For seeds 8-5, it will be the most likely to make the Sweet Sixteen. for seeds 4-1, it will be the first one to lose.
8. Oregon. An eight beating a nine is no big deal. No, this is the eight seed most likely to make the Sweet 16. They match up pretty well with Wisconsin, and are playing their best basketball of the season right now.
7. Michigan State. As with the eights, this is the most likely to make the Sweet 16. The Spartans are always dangerous come tournament time. They just don’t lose in the first weekend. It just doesn’t happen. This year could be no different.
6. SMU. The last time Larry Brown took a team to the NCAA tournament, he won it. That was with Kansas in 1988. I’m not saying that this SMU team can win it, but they are good enough to destroy a bracket.
5. Northern Iowa. This is mostly because I think the Panthers have the best chance to get out of the first round.
4. Georgetown. Not fair since I already picked Eastern Washington to beat them in the first round? Okay, I pick Louisville. UC Irvine is going to give them all they want, and Northern Iowa is not a great matchup for them eith
3. Oklahoma. I honestly think all four three seeds will make it to the second weekend. It pains me to say this, but Oklahoma is the weakest link at a three seed. The are prone to shooting slumps, and only go eight deep on their best days. Someone is going to wear them out.
2. Gonzaga. Gonzaga is in trouble if they run into a good defensive team. They likely get Michigan State in the second round.
1. Villanova. It wouldn’t surprise me all that much if all four number ones made the Final Four. That rarely happens. The only reason Villanova is here is because I am still not sold on the strength of the Big East.
Next: Want More?
Mar 15, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Trey Lyles (41) celebrates after a win in the SEC Conference Championship game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bridgestone Arena. Kentucky won 78-63. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Here are a few more for you!
Biggest blowout: Kentucky against whoever is unfortunate enough to play them.
Fewest top eight seeds to get past the first round: South Region. Stephen F. Austin, Eastern Washington, Davidson, St John’s, and even North Dakota State have good chances at pulling upsets.
First major conference to lose all of their teams: Big East. They might not get a team out of the first weekend. Villanova has a tough second round matchup. Georgetown is out to lunch right now. Butler got the worst draw of the six seeds. If Xavier wins in the first round, they have to go against Baylor, who has been in the top ten much of the year. St. John’s might get out of the first round, but they’re not beating Duke. Providence could have their hands full with Dayton, but they likely have the easiest road to the second weekend.
Tallest player: That would be UC-Irvine’s 7’6″ African import Mamadou Ndiaye. He is like a slightly more cooridinated Manute Bol.
Stories to watch:
Dana Altman returns to Omaha. His Ducks follow Wisconsin’s pod to his former stomping ground.
Will Dayton win in Dayton? Nevermind the fact that a team with a 29 RPI playing in the play in game is a travesty by itself.
Can all four 12 seeds win? It might be more likely this year than in any other.
More drama for Omaha? Wichita State has been trying to get Kansas to come down the turnpike to play them for years now. It may just happen in Omaha if both win their first round games!
Come back to Fantasy CPR for help on your brackets before this thing tips off!
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