Winning the NCAA Tournament is an extremely difficult accomplishment. Winning six games in a row against quality competition, against different styles of opponents and against teams that could get hot from the perimeter provides a challenge that few teams are capable of surpassing.
With that being said, the odds of even the major teams in the tournament should be low when you consider everything that could happen in a one-game elimination tournament.
That's what makes college basketball so great—anything can and will happen.
Let's dive into the odds of legitimate championship contenders for the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky Wildcats - 17 percent
Kentucky lost one game all season and that was to Indiana at Assembly Hall on a Christian Watford buzzer beating three-pointer.
This team is the real deal.
With first-round NBA talent across the board with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague, this is one of the best, if not the best, John Calipari teams in his career.
Just because they're the best team doesn't mean they are a shoe-in for champion. That's why they play the games.
North Carolina Tar Heels - 15.6 percent
John Henson's wrist is a little bit of an issue but I think he'll be fine for the NCAA Tournament. When he is 100 percent healthy, North Carolina, the Preseason No. 1 in college basketball, has the talent to win the national championship.
Like Kentucky, the Tar Heels have NBA talent, but they're mixed with a coach who has won the tournament before.
North Carolina will be a tough out with their dynamic offense.
Syracuse Orange - 15.2 percent
I love Syracuse and their underrated talent. Despite all the off-the-court issues this season, the Orange have a team capable of winning the national championship.
They have experience with Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph, they have depth with C.J. Fair and Dion Waiters and they have Fab Melo who is a difference maker in the 2-3 zone.
Syracuse can win a national title with this deep and talented crew.
Kansas Jayhawks - 12 percent
Kansas has the experience to make a deep run in the tournament. Thomas Robinson was fantastic this year, posting 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.
Jeff Withey improved drastically this season in the pant.
Tyshawn Taylor is the key for the Jayhawks. He can play great for stretches but fade in others. If the Jayhawks make a deep run, Taylor will have to play consistently well.
Missouri Tigers - 11 percent
Missouri has unbelievable guards capable of taking over in the NCAA Tournament. Their downfall, however, is their size. How they use their guards on offense will be a tough matchup for opponents but they will have to defend, too.
It hurt them during the year and I wouldn't surprised if it came back to bite them again.
Michigan State Spartans - 10.2 percent
Never bet against Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans. Izzo is a tournament coach that preaches defense and rebounding. They compete at a high level in the tournament, and they have the talent to go against the best in the country.
Don't be shocked to see Michigan State in the championship game.
Ohio State Buckeyes - 9.8 percent
Jared Sullinger has turned it on down the stretch in the Big Ten.
With their experience, I wouldn't be shocked if Ohio State made a deep run into the tournament after their hot finish.
Other - 9.2 percent
Let's be honest here, this year's tournament has the capability of having four mid-major schools in the Sweet 16 if not more. There are several mid-major programs and power conference teams that have talent capable of making deep runs.
Aside from the top of the field, there is enough talent down the line that several teams could get hot and win a championship.
Duke with their three-point capabilities highlight the field of others.
Knowing how many teams are in the field, I think that the "other" category is deserving of 9.2 percent.
MARCH MADNESS 2012 Schedule
Selection Show (March 11) - CBS
Play-in Games (March 13-14) - truTV
First Round (March 15-16) - CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV
Second Round (March 17-18) - CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV
Sweet 16 & Elite Eight (March 22-25) - CBS & TBS
Final Four (March 31) - CBS
Championship Game (April 2) - CBS
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