March is undoubtedly the most thrilling month for college basketball fans. Basketball enthusiasts around the world gear up for March Madness by discussing brackets, buzzer beaters, and bubble teams. However, with so many teams participating, it can be challenging to select a favorite team to cheer for.
Whether you're a novice in sports betting or an expert, this guide will outline the squads you should support during March Madness 2023. Read on for information on favorites, sleeper bets, and tips on navigating your fan experience throughout March and, if you're lucky, even the first few days of April.
One strategy for selecting which team and games to follow is to choose a favorite. However, what makes March Madness so captivating is the unpredictability of the tournament - any team can emerge victorious with so many strong competitors. To narrow down your options, we have compiled a list of the teams with the best chance of winning the National Championship based on March Madness odds.
Unsurprisingly, the Bulldogs claimed the regular-season title of the West Coast Conference with only two non-conference losses and a sole conference defeat against ranked Saint Mary’s in their final game of the season.
While Gonzaga consistently fields some of the best teams in the country, this year's squad is particularly exceptional. Junior Drew Timme leads the team with impressive stats of 17.6 points per game and 9.7 rebounds. Freshman Chet Holmgren, one of the top high school recruits last year, is another standout player in what may be his sole season of college basketball.
Gonzaga began and ended the season as the No. 1 team in the nation. This makes them a clear favorite to root for if you want to fully appreciate the game.
The Wildcats’ track record has been exceptional, and some argue that they could be the nation's best team, despite Gonzaga holding the top rank.
Arizona's height and excellent shooting abilities set them apart. Sophomore guard Benedict Mathurin stands out as the most remarkable player on the team, boasting an impressive shooting record of over 38% from three-point range. Additionally, forwards Azules Tubelis and center Christian Koloko have also contributed significantly to Arizona's success.
The guys came into the season with high rankings and were viewed as strong contenders for the national championship, boasting one of the most talented teams in the country.
The addition of forward Oscar Tshiebwe has bolstered Kentucky's already impressive roster significantly. Tshiebwe, who transferred from West Virginia, is one of the country's top big men.
Despite being +2800 to reach the Final Four at present, Kentucky's potential and ability to achieve results, as demonstrated by their two victories over Tennessee, make their value exceptional. If things click, they could go far in the tournament.
March Madness often sees an underdog team that creates a major upset in the tournament, which makes it exciting to cheer on a dark horse that may win all the way up.
This year, several sleepers have the potential to make a Cinderella run, including Mississippi State (+17000), New Mexico (+20000), Southern California (+20000), and Wisconsin (+20000). Keep an eye out for these squads as they may surprise everyone with their performance.
If you believe that defense wins championships, then Mississippi State is an intriguing sleeper possibility for March Madness if they make the field of 68. Under Chris Jans, the Bulldogs have emerged as one of the best defensive teams in college basketball this season.
While offensive struggles have plagued them in a recent stretch where they lost five straight and eight of nine, they have since improved on that end and worked their way back into contention. So, if they can shoot at least 40%, they have a good chance of advancing past the first weekend of March Madness.
Similarly to Mississippi State, New Mexico is currently facing a tough stretch, having lost five of their last six games, which has put their chances of making the field of 68 in question. However, if they manage to turn things around and secure their spot in the tournament, they could be a major threat as a double-digit seed. This offensive firepower, combined with a solid defense, could propel them to the second week of March Madness if they can find their rhythm.
Southern California is a team that has been hit hard by injuries this season, but they are finally getting some key players back on the court. With Reese Dixon-Waters and Joshua Morgan back in the lineup, the Trojans are poised to make a run in March Madness if they can secure a spot in the field of 68.
Their schedule is tough down the stretch with games against No. 7 Arizona and Arizona State, but if they can pick up some wins and build momentum heading into the tournament, they could be a very dangerous team as a lower seed.
Tips to Follow When Choosing a Team
Here are a few tips that will help you to navigate your fanhood during March Madness, whether you are looking to increase your betting profits or simply enhance your enjoyment of the tournament.
Consider Experienced Teams and Coaches
When it comes to NCAA success, tournament experience and a solid group of upperclassmen can make a big difference as the pressure rises during postseason play. That's why it's common to see the same coaches advancing past the first weekend of the tournament. The ability to manage lineups and adapt from game to game is invaluable.
Look for a Cinderella Team
Finding a potential Cinderella team can lead to big winnings in March Madness betting. Keep an eye out for underdogs from smaller conferences with unique playing styles or impressive victories over top-ranked teams in non-conference play. However, don't overlook lower-seeded teams from powerhouse conferences that have been consistently competitive throughout the season and are peaking at the right time during the tournament.
Choose a Player You Like to Watch
There are always a few standout players who capture our attention and make the tournament even more exciting to follow. For example, Purdue's Zach Edey and Alabama's Brandon Miller are two players to keep an eye on this year.
That said, there are many other great players to follow, such as Marcus Sasser of Houston. So, take the time to appreciate the talent and effort of these athletes during the tournament. And for those missing NFL, the XFL season offers great action to watch. Owned by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the third season of the XFL is currently underway.