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Much of the college basketball world wondered, could Baylor finish the regular season undefeated? Saturday night gave us the answer to that question: a resounding NO. They were obliterated in the second half of their road matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks, losing 71-58. While Baylor will without a doubt be one of the four one seeds in the NCAA Tournament, they now take a backseat to undefeated and No. 1 ranked Gonzaga for the top overall seed. Gonzaga, led by stars Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs, continues to roll, improving to 24-0 with a 17-point win against Loyola Marymount. With the Zags and Baylor locking up one seeds, let’s take a look at a few contenders for the two remaining one seeds.
Michigan – at 18-1, the Wolverines have likely locked up the #3 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament, regardless of what they do in the Big Ten Tournament. Led by star Isaiah Livers, they are a force to be reckoned with putting together one of the most dominant Big Ten seasons in the history of the conference, beating top ten mainstays Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois along the way. Former NBA Champion and superstar coach Juwan Howard is proving to be a great hire and is here to stay, with an up-tempo offense and a great defense. This team could easily catch lightning in a bottle and win the National Championship (+360 to win it all at FanDuel Sportsbook ).
With Michigan seemingly locking up the third overall seed, that leaves the final one seed up in the air between a few teams: Ohio State, Illinois and Alabama. These three teams will likely need to win their conference tournament in order to be considered for a one seed, and out of these three, Alabama will have the easiest path as the SEC is a bit weaker than the Big Ten. However, with a deep run in the Big Ten Tournament and even without winning the conference, I think Illinois could grab the final spot as they are definitely the most talented team of the three. You can currently grab the Illini at +1200 at FanDuel (as of 3/3) to cut down the nets in Indy.
Odds to win the NCAA Tournament via FanDuel Sportsbook (updated 3/3/21)
- Gonzaga +250
- Baylor +330
- Michigan +420
- Illinois +1200
- Villanova +1300
- Houston +1800
- Iowa +1800
- Ohio State +1800
- Alabama +2000
In 2021, we have seen three teams that are clearly better than the rest of the field. It appears it could be one of the biggest locks ever for Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan to reach the Final Four, right? But as the great Lee Corso says, not so fast, my friend. With March comes crazy results, and with crazy results comes upsets. Who can forget UMBC taking out #1 seed Virginia? That’s the beauty of March Madness, anything can happen. Any team can lose to anyone on a given day which means that anyone can cut down the nets in Indy. So with that said, who do you got to win it all?