A Look ahead at March Madness 2023
Nick Erices reviews the USA men’s college basketball campaign.
The men’s college basketball campaign is well underway now, with about a month and a half gone since the beginning of the season. There have been multiple upsets to date, with the Top 25 also experiencing a shakeup.
March Madness is still months away but fans can secure their picks from the top bookmakers on the internet.
Some favorites have already emerged, while other teams are beginning to look like contenders, and others remain long shots. Take Ohio and Ohio State, for example, they are very unlikely to win at +50000 and +10000 respectively but, that is where Ohio sportsbook promo codes come in handy because you just never know. Codes will be available from all of the bookmakers operating therein, giving punters the opportunity to take advantage of extra playable cash. Folks can also sign up early in order to qualify for special promos and bonuses.
In any case, we will take a look at teams in all three categories, starting with the favorites.
At +800, there is not much value in a bet on Houston, especially as the program will see those odds get snatched up by another team as the season wears on. If you really want to pick Them, you could wait for better odds, which is most likely going to be what obtains where they are concerned soon enough.
The University has been doing well during March Madness as of late and boasts a top defense. Their offense is pretty formidable too, while the Cougars have also maintained most of their main core, plus coaches Marcus Sasser and Kelvin Sampson are still around.
UConn started the season at 80/1 to win it all but the odds have shrunk to 16/1 on the back of the Huskies’ remarkable form. Head coach Dan Hurley has a reputation for finding success with programs around the third year. He is now in his fifth year with this team and they are showing serious signs as they have the best offensive-defensive efficiency ratio across the country.
UConn scores around 80 points per game and only allow an average of 59, while they rank 12th in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency. They could be considered the most well-rounded team in the NCAA and could find some real success in the Big East as Villanova is not in a good place given the retirement of Jay Wright, as well as their injuries.
Purdue started the season out of the Top 25, which was pretty strange. They have gone undefeated this season and have also gone from being unranked to being ranked No.1. Perhaps, the AP voters could not see how the Boilermakers could succeed in the wake of Jaden Ivey and Trevion Williams leaving. But Zach Edey is going about proving folks wrong.
He has become the focal point of this Purdue team and is not letting them down. Edey has been virtually impossible to guard, at least effectively enough. He has gotten his experience playing under the leadership of Ivey and Williams and now looks ready to become the undisputed leader at Purdue.
Arkansas has been playing very well under Eric Musselman. They have reached the Elite Eight in two consecutive seasons and should be even better this term as their non-conference schedule is a bit better than it has been in recent years. They have already picked up wins over Oklahoma and San Diego State, though they have lost to Creighton.
Since Musselman took over, Arkansas has been showing improvement once they get going through their SEC schedule. His best player, Nick Smith Jr., also one of the best freshmen in the nation, is hitting some real form. The player has scored north of 16 points in three consecutive games while knocking down 14-of-17 free throws.
UNC has struggled lately but should definitely not be written off. They struggled until January last season too, so do not count them out. Armando Bacot is still around, which is always great for the program.
Poor defense is what is been plaguing them this season but Bacot’s return should help fix this. The big man has also posted a double-double in five of six games while there are four players averaging double-digit scoring.
If there is one thing they have got, that is experience, with all five of their starters being upperclassmen who know what it takes to win.
Maryland is a good long-shot pick after going 8-0 before suffering their first loss. Their two defeats have been against opposition who were firing on all cylinders. Head coach Kevin Willard has been doing some pretty impressive work, having led the Terrapins through a great start.
There is also the fact that Donta Scott is the team’s leader and best player but does not even lead them in scoring.
There are four players averaging double figures, three of them seniors. Experience is always great to have and what the Terps have shown so far this season is very encouraging.
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About the Author
Nick Erices is a freelance journalist.