2017 March Madness Odds and Futures Update
Most people will think of Duke and North Carolina as strong title contenders even during seasons when both teams actually are not. That’s just a testament to the brand recall of these two well-known programs. But this season, the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels are all worth the hype.
No. 2 seed Duke recently topped the ACC Tournament, beating North Carolina in the finals and proving further how legit it is. As for the Tar Heels, the loss to their bitter rivals does little damage to their March Madness credentials. Roy Williams’ team is given a No. 1 seed and is poised to wreak havoc in the national tournament with a topnotch offense that ranks 25th nationally in points per game and 28th in shooting percentage.
It’s been a while since the Mustangs last lost a game. January 12 to be exact .Since then, SMU has reeled in 16-straight victories. In other words, SMU’s confidence is through the roof right now. With their airtight defense, the Mustangs’ opponents have a hard time reaching the ceiling their scoring averages. The Mustangs allow just 59.8 points per game on an abysmal 38.4 shooting percentage, both are top seven figures in the nation.
Iowa State, meanwhile, has shown it is capable of bringing down the best teams in the nation. The Cyclones beat Kansas in Lawrence in the regular season, took down Baylor, and West Virginia. What’s more, the Cyclones are peaking at the right time, having won nine of their last 10 games. They are led by the very underrated Monte Morris, who has emerged as one of the best point guards not only in the Big 12 but in all of college basketball as well.
Long shot: Wake Forest (+30,000)
Wake Forest big man John Collins (18.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG) can singlehandedly lead the team to victories. The freshman has been an unstoppable force on the floor, who pays little respect even when elite defenses are thrown at him. Case in point: he scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in an 88-81 win over Louisville earlier this month.
Collins is going to be Collins and when he’s on top of his game, opponents tend to collapse on him, leaving a big space for his other talented teammates like Bryant Crawford (16.1 PPG) and Keyshawn Woods (12.8 PPG) to operate offensively. Wake Forest is averaging 82.7 PPG, 15th in Division I ball.
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