NCAA Tournament 2011 Update: The Odds for Every Team in the Elite Eight
The field of 68 has dwindled down to just eight teams with a shot to win the NCAA tournament. While all eight teams have the potential to win the title, only one can be the favorite as the Elite Eight gets underway.
Here is a look at all eight teams remaining and the odds to win the NCAA tournament.
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If there is a true Cinderella in this field, it is Virginia Commonwealth University. No one would have imagined the Rams would go this deep in the tournament.
They were one of the last four teams to make the dance, and many experts scrutinized the selection. They will now go to the Elite Eight for the first time in the school's history.
The odds on the Rams are 25:1 to win it all, the biggest underdog left in the dance. Point guard Joey Rodriguez leads a hectic pace and a pressure defense, both of which are capable of surprising the college basketball world.
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The Arizona Wildcats shocked the nation by crushing the Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16. Due to that win, the Wildcats are listed at 15:1 to win the national championship, a dark horse in the field.
The Wildcats have a NBA draft lottery pick in Derrick Williams leading the way. Williams can hit the three-point shot as well as work down low, and he also demands double teams.
Arizona is loaded with depth, and that will give it an edge against some of the other teams remaining in the field.
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The Bulldogs are a long shot to win the NCAA tournament with the latest odds at 12:1. But the way they have played lately, they should be considered a serious contender.
Matt Howard provides this team with senior leadership on the floor, and the Bulldogs are also powered by a pesky defense. They trounced a very good Wisconsin team and if Andrew Smith is healthy, there is no reason to think they cannot get back to the Final Four.
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The Huskies are arguably the hottest team in the country.
The odds reflect their recent run as they are 7:1 to win the NCAA championship. The Huskies won five games in five nights to win the Big East championship, and they carried that momentum over to the Big Dance. They are running through the brackets with ease to include a recent win over San Diego State in front of a hostile crowd.
Kemba Walker is the superstar on this team and could be the best player in the country. Don't be fooled however, as Walker is getting help from young players like freshman Jeremy Lamb. The Huskies are the real deal.
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The Florida Gators' odds to win the NCAA tournament are 5:1. If the win against BYU is any indication of how the Gators can play, those odds look pretty tempting.
The Gators can play with any team in the country. They have big bodies inside and quick guards on the perimeters. Alex Tyus can dominate down low, like he did against BYU, and Erving Walker can lead from the point.
The Gators are 15-1 in the tournament since 2006 and always a threat to win it all.
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The Kentucky Wildcats have a legitimate shot of winning the national championship as indicated by the 5:1 odds. After defeating the best team in college basketball, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Wildcats seem unstoppable.
Brandon Knight leads the point and the emergence of Josh Harrellson in the paint makes the Wildcats a dangerous opponent in the Elite Eight.
North Carolina Tar Heels
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The North Carolina Tar Heels are 4:1 to win the NCAA championship, and that comes as no surprise considering how well they have played in the tournament.
After a lack luster performance in the ACC tournament, the Tar Heels were predicted by some experts to get an early exit from the dance, but instead they look like true contenders. Harrison Barnes is an All-Star who can score from anywhere on the floor. With one of the better coaches in the country in Roy Williams, the Tar Heels have a realistic shot of winning it all.
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The Kansas Jayhawks have been one of the best teams in the country all year long. The latest odds to win the national championship have the Jayhawks listed at 2:1. They are always sitting near the top of the college basketball world and have a team loaded with NBA-caliber talent.
Markieff and Marcus Morris get all the headlines for Kansas, but that is just scratching the surface when it comes to weapons on this team. The Jayhawks are almost assured a spot in the Final Four and will be a tough out for any opponent.
The Elite Eight is finally here, and eight great teams will battle to see who makes it to the Final Four. Sit down and buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride!
Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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