NCAA Tournament No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds South and Midwest Region Profiles
The March Madness brackets are being filled out, and the picks and pools finalized for the 2022 NCAA Tournament. March Madness tournament betting at leading online sportsbooks is most popular for the opening weekend games with wall-to-wall basketball as teams shoot for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.
There are some fundamental keys to NCAA Tournament success as you evaluate the match-ups and stats prior to and during the tournament. As you break down the brackets and match-ups, futures odds and 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.
The biggest sporting event of the year offers so many action-packed games throughout the tournament, and especially opening weekend. The top teams and seeds will be most popular picks in NCAA Tournament brackets and pools, but there are plenty of very capable teams seeded 3-6 that can challenge. Recall too that UCLA went from First Four to Final Four in last year’s 2021 NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed.
I've chipped in some profiles of the No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds from the East and West Regions, along with the South and Midwest below.
Also, check out the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds profiles from the East and West Regions along with the South and Midwest.
N - Neutral site A - Away
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.
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No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds South Region
No. 3 Tennessee
Key Wins: Arizona, Kentucky (2x), Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M (2x), North Carolina (N)
National Title Odds: +2000 Final Four Odds: +425
KenPom: Top 40 offense and top 5 defense (adjusted efficiency ratings)
Tennessee had 11 Quad 1 wins – second most in the country after taking out Kentucky and Texas A&M on their way to winning the SEC Tournament. The Volunteers NET ranking is 7, and they went 11-7 vs Quad 1 opponents and 5-0 vs Quad 2.
No. 4 Illinois
Key Wins: Wisconsin, Iowa (2x), Michigan (2x), Michigan State (2x), Indiana (A)
NCAA Title Odds: +2500 Final Four Odds +900
KenPom: Top 25 offense and top 30 defense.
Illinois has a NET ranking is 15, and the Fighting Illini went 6-6 vs Quad 1 opponents and 6-3 vs Quad 2.
No. 5 Houston
Key Wins: Memphis (N)
NCAA Title Odds: +10000 Final Four Odds +450
KenPom: Top 10 offense and top 5 in offensive rebounding percentage. Top 15 defense and top 5 in effective FG and blocks percentage.
Houston has a NET ranking is 3, but the Cougars have just one Quad 1 over Memphis in the AAC Conference Tournament championship game. Houston lost to four Quad 1 opponents including one possession losses to Alabama and Wisconsin, but did go 10-1 vs Quad 2. Houston finished No. 5 in efficiency over their final 19 games after losing their league guard and scorer at the end of 2021. The Cougars scoring defense is top 5 in the country allowing 59 points per game.
No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds Midwest Region
No. 3 Wisconsin
Key Wins: Purdue (2x), Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State (A), Indiana (2x), Michigan, Marquette, Houston (N), Texas A&M (N), St. Mary’s (N)
NCAA Title Odds: +6600 Final Four +1100
KenPom: Top 50 offense and top 40 defense.
Wisconsin’s NET ranking is 24, and the Badgers went 9-3 vs Quad 1 teams and 7-2 vs Quad 2. The Badgers were co-Big Ten regular season champs with a number of tight wins while ranking outside of the top 35 in Kenpom's offense and defense adjusted efficiency ratings. Wisconsin was just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games as favorite.
No. 4 Providence
Key Wins: Wisconsin (A), Texas Tech, UCONN (A), Seton Hall, Marquette, Creighton
NCAA Title Odds +15000 Final Four +2800
KenPom: Top 35 offense and top 80 defense
Providence has a NET ranking of 32, and the Friars went 5-3 vs Quad 1 opponents and 9-2 vs Quad 2. Providence won the Big East regular season title, but were blown out in the conference tournament by Creighton and lost twice to Villanova. Like Wisconsin, their analytics don’t align with their performances, but the cohesion and chemistry rises above. “The most connected group (and one of toughest) I’ve ever coached”.- Providence coach Ed Cooley
No. 5 Iowa
Key Wins: Purdue (N), Ohio State (A), Michigan (A), Michigan State, Indiana (2x)
NCAA Title Odds +2200 Final Four +350
KenPom: No. 2 in offense and top 5 in turnover %. Top 80 defense.
Iowa’s NET ranking is 14, and the Hawkeyes (83.8) are one of six teams in the tournament to average at least 80 points per game. Iowa won the Big Ten conference tournament, and went 4-6 vs Quad 1 opponents and 8-3 vs Quad 2. Futures betting note as Iowa has taken money and has lower odds to win the national championship or Final Four at BetOnline than higher seeds Wisconsin, Providence, UCLA, Illinois, Houston, Tennessee.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper including past documented top of the leaderboard college basketball results. FairwayJay 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