The 2013 NCAA tournament field is set, and March Madness is primed to begin in just a few short days.
Before the action begins, there’s a golden opportunity to not only make the Big Dance more exciting, but also win a couple bucks by making a correct prediction on which team will win it all.
We’re here to help you identify some candidates with the best chance of making a deep run and cutting down the nets at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in early April.
Let’s take a look at three schools with a real shot at winning a national title and the odds of that happening, courtesy of Topbet.eu.
The Bulldogs nabbed the top seed in the West region and should be able to capitalize with a waltz through March Madness.
While their road is by no means easy, this group will have a tune-up game against Southern University before meeting Pittsburgh or Wichita State.
After that, Gonzaga is most likely going to meet up with an overrated Kansas State or feisty Wisconsin, but neither team should put up much resistance.
An Elite Eight matchup with Ohio State is highly likely, setting the stage for a battle between two of college basketball’s biggest powerhouses. If Gonzaga can emerge and make the Final Four, anything could happen.
With Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris making up the top frontcourt in the nation, while Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell team up for great guard play, the Bulldogs have the pieces in place to beat anyone.
This is a complete lineup with enough talent from top to bottom to make a magical run during March Madness.
Michigan State +1200
Anytime you talk about programs with the potential to win a national title, you’d be foolish to leave out coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans.
The 58-year-old coach not only has a championship under his belt, but has also appeared in two title games, made six Final Fours and made the Elite Eight seven different times.
It seems the Spartans always find a way to get it together for a stretch in March, with Izzo deserving much of the credit for that success.
In 2013, freshman phenom Gary Harris will be tasked with leading MSU through the Midwest region. The toughest matchups include No. 2 seed Duke and No. 1 seed Louisville, but these are opponents that the Spartans can beat.
Duke has proved vulnerable recently, especially after losing to Maryland in their first game of the ACC tournament. Louisville may not have fallen since Feb. 9, but Rick Pitino’s Cardinals have only made one Final Four run (2012) in the 12 years he’s been coaching.
If anything, Michigan State is the most complete team in this region and should be able to make a nice run as a No. 3 seed.
NC State +5000
The Wolfpack earned a No. 8 seed in this event, but have the talent to take down any foe they come across.
This preseason darling may have come unraveled once play actually began during the 2012-13 campaign, but they still possess a roster full of NBA draft projects that oozes with potential.
Should the Wolfpack stars realize that upside this March, they could find themselves improbably chasing a title during the Big Dance.
C.J. Leslie, Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown lead a group of players chock-full of talent that has the pure skill to knock any challengers off.
In the East region, the biggest threats to NC State’s Cinderella run include No. 1 Indiana and No. 2 Miami—the latter being an ACC foe that the Wolfpack fell to twice during the regular season.
If they can find a way to overcome the top seeds in their own region, this long shot has a real chance of paying dividends and winning the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game.