NCAA Men’s Basketball 2024 Tournament Taking Shape

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As we close out February, it’s time to look ahead to March, and the sports betting bonanza that is the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. It’s also known as March Madness for the collective insanity that grips 68 college campuses and college basketball fans across the country.

The tournament tips off on March 19, and it ends on April 8 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. And at least at this moment in time, we have a pretty good idea who will be the top seeds.

Basketball online sportsbooks have posted odds on which teams will be selected as No. 1 seeds, and the Purdue Boilermakers lead the way at -20000. Purdue is 25-3 on the season, and over the past week, they notched wins over Rutgers and Michigan. They have three games against unranked teams left in the regular season – home against Michigan State and Wisconsin, and on the road at Illinois.

The Houston Cougars are paying -10000 to be a No. 1 seed after getting a big win this week at Baylor. They are 24-3 and finish the season with four more regular season games. Two of those games are on the road, Oklahoma and UCF, and two are at home, Cincinnati and a season-closer against Kansas.

UConn is also paying -10000 to be a top seed, even though they are coming off a rough week. The defending national champs lost at Creighton by 19 points, their first loss in two months, and it extends one of the oddest streaks in college basketball. Despite all of UConn’s success, they haven’t beaten a ranked team on the road since 2014. The Huskies finish the season with two road games, including at top 10 Marquette.

Fourth Top Seed Still to be Determined

The last of the top seeds is still up in the air. Arizona is the favorite at -130, but Tennessee isn’t far behind at +180. North Carolina is +750, and Marquette is +1200. If the latter can bet UConn on March 6, those odds will shorten.

Arizona has its rivalry game at Arizona State on Wednesday. Then they play at home against Oregon, and close with road games at UCLA and USC. Tennessee has a more challenging finish to the season – home vs. Auburn, at Alabama, at South Carolina, and home against Kentucky. 

North Carolina has the opportunity to beat Duke two more times – once to end the regular season, and again in the ACC Tournament. If they can do that and one of the other teams falter, it’s possible the Tar Heels would be a No. 1 seed for the 18th time in school history. Their 17 No. 1 seeds is an NCAA record.

The Danger of Court Storming

At North Carolina retail sportsbooks, Duke is paying +550 to make its 18th trip to the Final Four. They did lose to Wake Forest on Saturday, but a much bigger loss could be Kyle Filipowski, who injured his knee when Demon Deacons’ fans stormed the court before time expired. He got caught up in the madness of the crowd, and had to be helped by teammates while limping to the locker room.

“It’s really ridiculous how, you know, that situation’s handled,” Filipowski said after the game. “I’ve already heard that there are videos of [me] getting punched in the back, so I absolutely feel like it was personal, intentional for sure. There’s no reason why they see a big guy like me trying to work my way off the court and can’t work their way around me.”

Wake Forest athletic director John Currie released a statement in which he said, “I appreciate the postgame comments of Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and am I in complete agreement that something must be done about the national phenomenon of court and field storming, and Wake Forest looks forward to being a part of those conversations.” has Zach Edey of Purdue as the heavy favorite to win the Wooden Award as the best men’s college basketball player this year. Kyle Filipowski leads Duke in points and rebounds this season. But he is a +6000 longshot to win player of the year.

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