Thursday, March 3, 2016

It should be a wacky 2016 NCAA tournament (it's a good year to bet on some long shots)

Cavaliers a No. 1 seed with 30/1 odds?
We're two weeks away from the 2016 NCAA men's basketball tournament, and it's looking like one of the most wide-open fields we've seen in a long time.

The expected No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, Ben Simmons, plays for an 18-12 LSU team that likely won't even be there.  That's weird.  The last time a top-overall selection missed the tournament was 18 years ago, when Michael Olowokandi was selected first by the Clippers out of Pacific University.

Buddy Hield has taken the nation by storm, but after lifting Oklahoma to No. 1 in the AP poll in January, his Sooners have fallen back to No. 6 in the rankings.

According to, Kansas and Michigan St. are the co-favorites to win it all at 6/1.  For comparison, last year Kentucky was 6/5 to take home the title (although Duke, who was 9/1, ended up winning).

ESPN's Joe Lunardi currently projects Kansas, Villanova (20/1), North Carolina (25/1) and Virginia (30/1) as the four top seeds.  A No. 1 seed with 30/1 odds?  Wow.  Lunardi also has Xavier (40/1) as a No. 2 seed.  If you're somebody who likes to put down money on winners instead of entering a standard fill-out-a-bracket pool, this is shaping up like a great tourney to pick a few long shots.

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