With the calendar pretty firmly in February, the 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket is coming into focus with teams clawing their way through conference play. In the Big Ten Conference, Purdue has positioned itself at the top of most polls as the No. 1 team in the country with an overall record of 23-3. However, with the Boilermakers falling this weekend in a dramatic upset at Northwestern, the Houston Cougars could leapfrog them in the top spot as they improve to 23-2 and are in the driver’s seat in the American Conference. Another twenty-win team to watch is Alabama which has been the surprise darling of the SEC this year. Finally, in the Pac-12, Arizona has kept the good times rolling from last season as they are again near the top of the conference standings.
In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from each of the top contenders in NCAA men’s basketball and also some final thoughts on NCAAB wagering.
|Odds to Win NCAAB Men's National Championship|
Perhaps slated as the new top dog in the country, some betting outlets have the Cougars pegged as the team to beat. Led by guard Marcus Sasser, the Cougars have run roughshod through the AAC and have only faltered against Temple in a one-point loss and to Alabama at home, 71-65. Sasser leads the squad with 16.4 points per game and has been a dynamic threat for the sharp-shooting Cougars and is also the leader for the team in steals per game (1.7) and field goal percentage (42.9%). Forward J’Wan Roberts has been the main defensive force for Houston with seven rebounds per game. The Cougars have been outpacing opponents to the tune of 75.6 points per game to allow just 55.0 per contest.
With the center, Zach Edey leading the way, the Boilermakers are having one of their best seasons in program history and are primed for a deep run into March Madness. Edey, a colossus in the middle, leads the squad in both scoring (22.1 ppg) and also rebounds (13.2 rpg) and is also among college basketball’s best in both categories. Beyond him, guard Braden Smith is one to watch with 4.4 apg along with 9.9 ppg. Another defensive-heavy squad, Purdue has been holding opponents to just 61.6 ppg and has been dominant in Big Ten Conference play with a record of 12-3. If they can keep opponents where they want them, Purdue has a great chance of earning their first-ever NCAA Championship.
A team with a perfect 12-0 record in conference play, Alabama has been the star of the SEC this season and has come up big against some tough teams this season. This past season, the Tide put together marquee wins over then-No.1 ranked Houston, Arkansas (No.15), Michigan State (12), and North Carolina (No.1 as well). Along with some other strong wins in the SEC, the Tide have looked dominant at times this year and are in a solid position to have a top seed heading into March. Forward Brandon Miller has been the key contributor for Alabama this year with 18.8 ppg. As one of the top-scoring teams in the country at 83.4 ppg (eighth in the NCAA) along with rebounding (44.4 per game, good for second in the NCAA), the Tide operates a high-octane offense.
The last squad on our list, the Wildcats are seeking their first NCAA Championship since 1997. Another high-flying squad, Arizona is in the top ten in the nation in points scored per game at 83.2 ppg. Moreover, the Wildcats do an excellent job of dishing the rock around, averaging 19.5 assists each contest, which is the third-best mark in the country. Forward Azuolas Tubelis is the main scorer for Arizona with 20.2 ppg. Though the Cats did just fall to Stanford on the road, they still have an excellent overall record at 22-4 and numerous ranked wins over various nationally-ranked foes.
Prediction: Selecting the next NCAA Tournament champion is always a tough task, but the Tide seem to have the highest ceiling of the teams on this list and are a great choice for the national championship.
Once you are all squared away regarding your latest round of NCAA basketball wagers, SBS has you covered with a ton of great information that can help keep the good times rolling. Given the topic at hand, SBS has your back when it comes to all kinds of March Madness picks with our NCAAB betting sites breakdown. On this page, you can find the latest lines assigned to the sport and odds for every game during the NCAA Tournament. Another handy option to always have on deck is the SBS best bonus betting sites rundown which goes over the latest and greatest welcome bonuses available. On a final note, if you are also uncertain about which options for payment are the right fit for you, then the SBS payment methods guide is a must-read guide that covers a variety of options from traditional banking to crypto deposit methods.