The 2016 NCAA Tournament is set with the 1 seeds going to Kansas in the South, Oregon in the West, North Carolina in the East and Virginia in the Midwest. There’s no doubt that the team favored to win the NCAA Tournament is going to be the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The Tar Heels were ranked 7th in the nation going into Championship Week. North Carolina won all 3 of its games in the ACC Tournament. They did it in fine fashion by covering versus Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Virginia. Since North Carolina was the pre-season favorite and has started to play about as well as it has all season long in the toughest conference in college hoops, they have to be considered the favorites to take home the Tournament Trophy.
The Tar Heels have 2 excellent guards in Joel Berry II and Marcus Paige. Berry II scored 19 points against Virginia in the Heels’ 61 to 57 win over the Cavaliers. Big man Brice Johnson scored 12 points and grabbed 9 boards. What’s incredible is that North Carolina is a team that averages over 80 points a game. They beat Virginia at Virginia’s slow down style. NC has the goods to play any type of game required in the NCAA Tournament. That makes them the favorite.
My second pick in win it all is Michigan State, the 2nd seed in the Midwest. The Spartans were 13/2 favorites before Championship Week. That was before North Carolina ran roughshod through the ACC. Before the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan State had gone 9 and 1 straight up in their last 10 games. The Spartans had gone 10 and 0 ATS in their final 10 regular season games. Michigan State only went 1 and 2 ATS during the Big Ten Tournament. They struggled to beat Maryland and they only beat Purdue 66 to 62 in the Big Ten Conference Tournament Finals. Still, there’s been a buzz building around the Spartans for about a month. They’ll have a lot of fans in the sportsbooks.
My third betting pick to win the 2016 NCAA Tournament is likely to be Kansas. The 1 seed in the South Bracket goes into the NCAA Tournament on a 14 game winning streak. The Jayhawks are on a roll that doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. Kansas is definitely good enough to win the championship. Kansas doesn’t have a real star like the Spartans’ Denzel Valentine. What the Jayhawks do have are excellent players like Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden Jr. and Devonte’ Graham. Not only are those three excellent players but all three play well together.
The Virginia Cavaliers, the 1st seed in the Midwest, and the Oregon Ducks, the 1st seed in the West, are likely to be the fourth and fifth favorites to win the NCAA Tournament. Virginia is stuck in the bracket with Michigan State while Oregon is likely to face tough St. Joe’s, reigning champ Duke, Baylor and Taurean Prince, Oklahoma with likely Player of the Year Buddy Hield or Texas A&M and the Aggies’ shut down defense in the West Region.
2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament Odds
|South Dakota State||2,000-1|
|Florida Gulf Coast||9,999-1|