NCAA Bracket 2019: Latest Bracketology and Early Championship Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 14: Zion Williamson #1 and teammate RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils react against the Syracuse Orange during their game in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 14, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As Selection Sunday draws closer, we're all constantly refreshing the bracketology pages on our favorite websites and checking Twitter to see which teams are in and out of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Which programs jump from the bubble into the field of 68 depend on which expert you trust the most, as the opinions on teams like Belmont, Florida and NC State differ.

Going into Friday's conference tournament slate, there is a consensus surrounding the No. 1 seeds, but that could change if a few results go certain ways.

Below is a look at the projections going into Friday's games, which should change at some point because of a plethora of conference tournament results.


Latest Bracketology

ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi has Virginia, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Kentucky as the No. 1 seeds in his latest projection.

Lunardi's last four in are Florida, NC State, TCU and Belmont, while his first four out are Alabama, Texas, Indiana and Clemson.

CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm is in agreement with Lunardi on the four No. 1 seeds, but the bubble teams are seen differently in his latest projection.

Instead of Belmont, Palm has UNC-Greensboro as the mid-major at-large team joining the last four in contingent alongside Arizona State, Florida and Alabama.

Belmont is on the outside looking in with NC State, Furman and Creighton in Palm's eyes.

Daniel R. Patmore/Associated Press

Because the bubble is so hard to figure out this year, SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean has a different combination of teams at the back end of his bracket.

Dobbertean's last four in are Ohio State, Temple, Texas and Belmont, while Alabama, Indiana, NC State and Lipscomb are on the outside looking in.

There's a similar bubble theme in the projection from The Athletic's Brian Bennett, who has St. John's, TCU, Belmont and NC State as his last four in, while Texas, Lipscomb, UNC-Greensboro and Alabama are his first four out.

Unfortunately, most of the bubble teams mentioned above can't do anything to improve their resumes, with Belmont, Lipscomb, UNC-Greensboro and Furman all having had their seasons end.

Texas, St. John's, Creighton, TCU and NC State lost in their respective conference tournaments Thursday, which puts all eyes on Florida and Alabama in the SEC tournament quarterfinals.

If the Gators and Crimson Tide are able to upset LSU and Kentucky, respectively, they will put themselves in much better positions to clinch spots in the field of 68.

If not, the pair of SEC teams will join a long list of teams waiting anxiously to learn their fate on Selection Sunday.

As for the teams that are essentially locked into the Big Dance, a change could happen at the top if Duke beats North Carolina Friday in the ACC tournament semifinals.

A victory over the Tar Heels would make the Blue Devils a player for one of the four No. 1 seeds, while a potential SEC tournament semifinal between Kentucky and Tennessee could decide another spot on the top seed line.

With a few high-profile matchups expected in the next three days, more attention might be paid to the argument surrounding the No. 1 seeds than the bubble simply because the teams in contention for top seeds are still playing.


Championship Odds

Duke is the favorite to win the NCAA tournament, according to VegasInsider.com.

Virginia and Gonzaga are close behind the Blue Devils, while North Carolina, Michigan State and Kentucky have decent odds as well.

Given how well Duke has played at full strength with Zion Williamson, it's hard to see it as anything other than the favorite.

The Blue Devils aren't the only team capable of winning a championship—Virginia, Gonzaga and a few others will have a say in that—but it's hard to bet against Mike Krzyzewski's talented group of freshmen.

If you're looking for a dark horse to cash in on, Nevada at 40-1 or Florida State at 60-1 are good options.

Both the Wolf Pack and Seminoles are experienced teams that made deep runs in March Madness a year ago.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.