March Madness: Which Teams Should You Bet on to Win the Regions?
The selection committee has done their job and as always, I am scratching my head wondering what in the world the committee was thinking.
Big Ten Champion Iowa is the 5-seed in the Midwest Region and Arkansas is the 4-seed in the West Region. Both are questionable seeds and will keep you on your toes as you make your March Madness wagers.
Let’s look at how we see the four regions.
West Region is Highly Competitive
The 2-seed in the West Region is Duke and the bottom half of this region looks to have many teams fully capable of knocking off No. 1 Gonzaga or the Blue Devils at 2.
The 7-seed is Michigan State, and it takes on 10-seed Davidson, with the winner advancing to face Duke. Both the Spartans and Wildcats can send the Blue Devils home.
Then No. 3 team in the bracket, and arguably a team that I think was fully qualified to be a 2-seed, Texas Tech, will take on the 14-seed Montana State.
I think Gonzaga was put into the toughest region, based on my Strength of Schedule Power Ratings.
Another view of this region is that the committee significantly underrates the Blue Devils, Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Alabama.
I do not see Duke or Gonzaga getting out of the West Region.
I like Texas Tech quite a bit to make it to the Final Four.
South Region is top heavy
For an easy college basketball betting play, I think Arizona is head and shoulders better than any of the other teams in this region and that includes the 2-seed Villanova.
The Wildcats open with Delaware and will advance to the Round of 32 to take on the winner of 7-seed Ohio State against 10-seed Loyola-Chicago.
I see Villanova and Arizona on a collision course to meet for the South Region Championship, with the winner advancing to the Final Four.
Upsets are abundant in the tournament, but I cannot find a team, other than Villanova, that can pull off the upset.
I believe Arizona will cut down the nets in the South Region.
East Region Full of Questionable Seeding
I will apologize now. I’m at a loss of how in the world the East Region matchups make any sense, compared to the West.
Baylor as a No. 1-seed is a head-scratcher and I think that if it advances to play 2-see Kentucky, the Wildcats will be favored by at least 3.5 points.
The committee got it right by making Purdue a 3-seed, although I can make a case for it to be a No. 2.
Baylor will defeat the 16-seed Norfolk State, but then must play the winner of No. 8 North Carolina against No. 9 Marquette. The Bears will have to play well to even get past this matchup.
An intriguing potential matchup in this region is the 5-seed St. Mary’s going up against UCLA in the Round of 32.
I also question how Virginia Tech is the 11-seed after the way it played down the stretch.
The Hokies are matched up against a Texas team with the talent to make a deep run. Either the Hokies or the Longhorns have the potential to reach the region championship.
I am betting on the Kentucky to win the East Region.
Midwest Region Could See Interesting Matchups
Although this matchup is not guaranteed to happen, I am looking forward to the No. 1-seed Kansas to play No. 5-seed Iowa. On a neutral court, my models have this as a pick-em game on the moneyline, but the Jayhawks are likely to be favorited by four or more points.
The Hawkeyes are the fourth-highest scoring offense in the nation and have the best assist-to-turnover ratio. They love to play fast and rank fifth, averaging 65 shot attempts per game.
What is truly amazing with the Hawkeyes is that they average nine turnovers per game, despite playing a fast-paced style of basketball.
Can anyone explain to me how Wisconsin is the 3-seed and Iowa is a No. 5?
The 3-seeds have done well historically in the tournament, but 6-seed LSU and 7-seed Southern Cal are better teams and the Badgers would be priced at no more than a 3-point favorite against either of them.
I will get to the point and stop the rant, because Auburn is the best team in this region and have a veteran head coach in Bruce Pearl at the helm.
I stated in early December the Tigers had the potential to win the national championship and I will still stand by that prediction.
I am already on the Auburn at +1400 to win the title, so I have them winning the Midwest Region.
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