The Countdown to March Madness Begins

The 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament winners Duke went down as one of the best team’s that college basketball has seen in many years, with even talk of a potential unbeaten season. However, just a few months down the line, with Duke having recorded an underwhelming season, with injuries and poor form effecting their chances, the 2017 March Madness tourney is more open than ever. There are interesting stories across the line with many believing that this year’s tournament could well be an unpredictable free-for-all.

This theory is further justified by the fact that thirteen top-25 teams have lost over the last two weeks, two of whom have even lost two encounters. On top of that, of the 13 ranked teams to suffer defeat, 11 came at the hands of unseeded opponents. With Gonzaga set to become the fifth different no.1 ranked team thanks to their unbeaten record this week, picking a winner has become increasingly difficult. With the tournament having quickly become one of the most popular events for punters, sports betting experts and other outlets are gathering information and have all the latest news and tips ahead of the competition.

No. 1 Villanova lacks a true big man, no back-to-the-basket threat. That makes the Wildcats vulnerable when their 3-point shots aren’t falling, as was the case in Tuesday’s loss at Marquette. Fourth-ranked Kentucky, which fell to Tennessee and No. 2 Kansas in the last week, is over-reliant on its two fantastic freshman guards, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, and is a limited 3-point shooting team. Kansas, like Villanova, is thin up front, and was exposed in the paint in an 85-69 loss at West Virginia on Tuesday.

Despite their defensive issues, with recent losses to Oregon and Arizona exposing their weaknesses, UCLA are likely to be heavily backed by punters, with the Wildcats in particular proving to be one of the surprises of the season so far. Meanwhile, North Carolina are expected to be competitive despite losing to unranked Miami and Georgia Tech, with the likes of Louisville, Notre Dame and Florida State also set to challenge.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Villanova can obviously not be ruled out, with Donte DiVicenzo helping them to a narrow victory over no.12 ranked Virginia recently. The Wildcats are 20-2 this season, with their latest victory coming in front of over 20,000 fans at the Wells Fargo Center.

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