2022 March Madness: Here is what to look out for
March 16, 2022
After a year off due to low attendance, March Madness of the NCAA basketball tournament is back in action in 2022 with a full slate of games at arenas across the country.
The tournament begins in Ohio with the First Four. As the tournament progresses, there are a few things to watch out for, such as which teams are the favorite to win it all, the underdogs, star players, exciting games, and even the betting odds.
March Madness Picks
One team that could be in the mix as top contenders is Gonzaga, who advanced to the championship game a year ago. They're led by Mark Few, who has turned the program into a dominant force. Following the Zags, Tommy Lloyd's Arizona is a strong title contender.
Additionally, Kansas, led by Ochai Agbaji, could be in the mix for a Final Four berth. The last team on the favorite list is Baylor. The Bears are looking to defend their NCAA championship title.
While there are some favorite contenders, many fans root for the underdogs, such as South Dakota State, who hasn't lost since December. Following the Jackrabbits, Loyola Chicago can not be taken lightly for Sister Jean is on its side.
Moreover, Murray State, which has a trio of players who can take over a game, is also considered a favorite with its 20-game winning streak. Lastly, Chattanooga could display a scoring clinic with Malachi Smith's skills.
March Madness is filled with the best talents in the country. They are highly competitive, ambitious, and hungry for victory. One player that everyone is expecting to make it to the Final Four is Duke's Paolo Banchero. He's the potential No. 1 pick in the draft and could help take Mike Krzyzewski to the Final Four in his final season.
Moreover, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren is a versatile player with the vision and passing skills of a guard but built like a center. Additionally, Kentucky Wildcats' Oscar Tshiebwe has been scary good at rebounding and is tenacious to get into the offense.
From Iowa, Keegan Murray is touted to be this season's breakout star due to his offensive efficiency. Another offensive star is Jaden Ivey of Purdue. Ivey is unguardable with his flashy finish around the rim. Lastly, Bryant's Peter Kiss leads the nation with 25.1 points per game.
Arkansas and Vermont will meet in the West Region on Thursday. The Catamounts are a veteran team that will be ready to take on the Razorbacks with their five-out offense.
On Friday, the Texas Longhorns will face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the East Region. The Hokies are coming off a successful ACC Tournament.
Michigan State and Davidson will meet in the West Region on Friday. The Spartans are always dangerous under the direction of Tom Izzo.
The seventh-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the 10th-seeded team from the South Region, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Both teams are led by experienced coaches.
According to sportsbook operator FanDuel Sportsbook, the favorites to win it all are:
- Arizona (+600)
- Kentucky (+850)
- Kansas (+1,000)
- Gonzaga (+300)
Other than the favorite team to win the title, there are also the best bets to reach the finals. The odds for Gonzaga and Kansas to reach the finals are +1,100, and Gonzaga and Arizona are +950.
Meanwhile, the biggest spreads for March Madness games between Georgia State vs. Gonzaga is -23.5, Norfolk State vs. Baylor is -21.5, and Cal State-Fullerton vs. Duke is -18.5.