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It’s NCAA Division I basketball tournament time. A time where even the most casual of sports fans can get in on the fun of predicting winners. Let’s face it, part of the excitement of the tournament is that anything can happen. Experienced analysts are just as reliable as a puppy on Instagram randomly picking team names out of a basket. That being said, there are some undeniable monster teams in the tournament that deserve a closer look to run the table. Let’s take a look at the strongest choices.


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UConn (+350)

Clearly the strongest team in the tournament and the fan brackets reflect this. Depending on the site, 30-40% of the brackets have UConn winning the whole thing. They have everything on paper, strong inside, great perimeter, shooting, great ball movement and solid coaching. The tournament was made for upsets and UConn has a potential showdown with Auburn who are extremely efficient on both sides of the ball and just won the SEC tournament. Auburn is fun, energetic and loose. They play with a team-first mentality and could be one major roadblock for the favorites.

Houston (+550)

Fans shouldn’t be surprised if Houston makes another deep run in the tournament. They’ve proved their mettle time after time again. Despite all that, they still remain a team of overachievers, playing above their potential. On paper, they’re a solid choice to go to the final four. However, there are a few problems in their way. Houston isn’t great from the line, which could cost them in a close game. Also, there are some sleeping giants in their bracket. With teams like Kentucky, Duke and Marquette potentially in their way, it’s going to be a tough path to get to the final four.


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Purdue (+700)

Zach Edy is again a unanimous All-American and Purdue once again is looking solid. They did, however, stumble in the Big 10 tournament to Wisconsin. If tournament history is any indication, Purdue is the #1 seed that is most likely to be upset. There’s just something about them that leads them to stumble at the worst possible time. They’re also the team however, that makes fans want to believe that maybe…just maybe, this time will be different. They’re playing close to home to start the tournament and should get a boost from the Boilermaker faithful in Indiana.

North Carolina (+1200)

North Carolina and March Madness are names that generally go hand and hand. They’re practically an institution in the tournament. After missing the tournament in 2023 they certainly won’t squander this opportunity. Do they have something to prove? Absolutely. Will it be an easy path? Not exactly. Even with the ACC player of the year RJ Davis, they face potential clashes with Baylor and Arizona. Arizona may be the favorite pick by both fans and analysts to win their region and for good reason. Baylor however can be a real problem for anyone they play. This all adds up to a rocky path for North Carolina.

*Any tips, predictions, or strategies published are entirely the opinion of the author, and are not guaranteed to be correct or result in financial gain. The Author is not an employee of Bovada. 

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