NCAA Tournament No. 1 and 2 Seeds South and Midwest Region Profiles
The 2023 NCAA Tournament field is set, and basketball fans and bettors are completing their brackets and reviewing the match-ups and betting lines at the leading online sportsbooks. The most thrilling sporting event of the year has arrived, and bettors are looking to cash-in on their bets, brackets and basketball betting pools. The top-2 seeds in the South Region are Alabama and Arizona, and the top-2 seeds in the Midwest Region are Houston and Texas.
March Madness tournament betting is most popular for the opening weekend games with wall-to-wall basketball as teams shoot for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen - which for the first time will have a regional (West) in Las Vegas March 23 and 25 for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.
Ahead of NCAA Tournament action, there are some great March Madness contests to join sponsored by top online sportsbooks.
There are some fundamental keys to NCAA Tournament success as you evaluate the match-ups and stats prior to and during the tournament. That includes top defensive teams as you evaluated the matchups and break down the brackets. Betting futures odds and teams to win the national championship is popular, along with odds to reach the Final Four.
The biggest sporting event of the year offers so many action-packed games throughout the tournament, and especially opening weekend. As you BetOnline each round of the NCAA Tournament, here are some team profiles, stats and odds outlook to track as the top teams advance through the NCAA Tournament.
Also, check out the top teams No. 1 and No. 2 seeds and profiles from the East and West Regions - Purdue, Marquette and Kansas, UCLA.
NET ranking: takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.
Be sure to get in and enter the Offshore Gaming Association's 2023 March Madness Bracket Challenge. Now in it's 21st year at OSGA, it's free to enter and pays out cash and sports betting prizes thanks to reduced juice sportsbook sponsor BetAnySports.
I chip-in additional NCAA Tournament coverage for Forbes with bracket breakdown and opening round match-ups and betting lines. Additional stats, insights, news and information you can bet on for all the top teams in the bracket.
Odds to win courtesy of BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag.
South Region Top Seeds Preview
No. 1 Alabama (29-5), including 19-14-1 ATS
Key Wins: Houston (A), Michigan State (N), San Diego State, Memphis, Missouri (2x), Arkansas (2x), Kentucky
Key Losses: UCONN (N), Gonzaga (N), Texas A&M (A), Tennessee (A)
National Title Odds: +500
Final Four Odds: +160
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 9
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 19, Defense No. 3, including No. 1 FG% defense
Head Coach: Nate Oats
Alabama's NET ranking is No. 2, and the Crimson Tide went 13-5 vs Quad 1 opponents and 6-0 vs Quad 2. The 'Tide won the SEC Tournament, and Alabama is top-5 in tempo and averages 82.2 points per game (PPG) - one of 10 teams in NCAA Tournament to average at least 80 PPG. Alabama's scoring margin is greater than 13 PPG. Star freshman forward Brandon Miller led the SEC in scoring (19.6 PPG) and was voted SEC Player of the Year. Mark Sears (13.3 PPG) was second team All SEC, and center Charles Bediako was SEC all defensive team.
No. 2 Arizona (28-6), including 17-16-1 ATS
Key Wins: Creighton (N), San Diego State (N), Cincinnati (N), UCLA (2x), USC (2x), ASU (2x),
Key Losses: UCLA (A), ASU
National Title Odds: +1400
Final Four Odds: +400
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 36
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 4 including No. 3 effective FG%. Defense No. 41
Head Coach: Tommy Lloyd
Arizona's NET ranking is No. and the Wildcats went 9-2 vs Quad 1 and 7-4 vs Quad 2 opponents. Arizona is top-10 in tempo and averages 82.7 points per game with a scoring margin of greater than 11 PPG. The Pac-12's leading scorer (19.3) and rebounder (9.5) is Wildcats forward Azuolas Tubelis. He's a first team All-Pac 12 player, along with Most improved Player of the Year, 7-foot center Oumar Ballo, who was No. 2 in rebounding (8.5) and led the league in shooting (64.9% FG).
I have few futures bets to win the national championship, but Arizona (+2200) is one of them for a top payout. Thus, I believe the Wildcats can claw their way through the bracket and reach the Final Four even with a legit top team of Alabama potentially in their way.
Midwest Region Top Seeds Preview
No. 1 Houston (31-3), including 18-16 ATS
Key Wins: Memphis (2x), St. Mary's
Key Losses: Alabama, Memphis (N)
National Title Odds: +500
Final Four Odds: +140
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 92
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 11, Defense No. 4, including top-4 in effective FG% defense and both 3-point and 2-point FG% defense.
Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson
Houston's NET ranking is No. 1 and the Cougars went 7-2 vs Quad 1 and 8-0 vs Quad 2 opponents. Houston's is a defensive dominator and top defensive team with the NCAAT No. 1 scoring defense (56.5). The Cougars also rank No. 1 in defensive block percentage. Houston led the nation in scoring margin at greater than 19 points per game, but the Cougars have a weak strength of schedule rating for a top team. Houston dominated the American (AAC) post season awards with Player of the Year Marcus Sasser, Defensive Player of the Year Jamal Shead, Freshman of the Year Jarace Walker, Sixth Man of the Year Reggie Chaney, Most Improved Player of the Year J’Wan Roberts. Note Sasser suffered a groin injury in the AAC Tournament semi's and missed the conference championship game loss to Memphis. His status for the start of the NCAA Tournament remains in question.
No. 2 Texas (26-8), including 17-17 ATS
Key Wins: Gonzaga, Creighton, Kansas (2x), TCU, Baylor, TCU (2x), Iowa State
Key Losses: Tennessee (A), Illinois (N), TCU (A), Baylor (A), Kansas (A), Iowa State (A), Kansas State
National Title Odds: +1100
Final Four Odds: +350
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 8
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 18, Defense No. 11
Head Coach: Rodney Terry
Texas' NET ranking is No. 7 and the Longhorns went 14-8 vs Quad 1 and 4-0 vs Quad 2 opponents. Texas had a coaching change in late December due to off court issues. The Longhorns lost 4-straight road games to close the regular season before sweeping through to win the Big 12 Tournament and a second win over No. 1 Kansas in the championship game.
Check back for additional stats, updates and information you can bet on.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and insightful analyst with proven winning results including in college basketball. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay