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March Madness: Which Teams Make the Cut?

The NCAA Tournament is fast approaching and our college basketball expert looks at the teams with the best chance of making March Madness.

The NCAA Tournament is three weeks away. So it’s time to start looking at the teams that will be prominently featured on your brackets during March Madness.

For the next two weeks, I will go through the major conferences and give you the teams that have the best chance of going to the Big Dance.

Big Ten Best March Madness Chances

 The Purdue Boilermakers, Indiana Hoosiers, and the Maryland Terrapins are all ranked in the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll. They have struggled of late, however, and all three are on losing streaks

Indiana is playing well right now and climbing in the polls. They defeated Purdue Sunday and swept the season series with their rival. Maryland has won eight of their last 10 but does not play well on the road . If they win at Ohio State and/or Penn State, their resume will improve.

University of Michigan is a team on the bubble. Michigan needs a strong finish to the end of the regular season. They also need two wins in the Big Ten Conference Tournament to get in to the NCAA’s.

“The Big Ten, outside of Purdue, has been all but ignored by bettors in relation to the future pool for the national title,” Tom Gable, director of Race and Sports from Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City told iGamingPlayer.com. “Purdue has had their moments this year and they are still a dangerous team (currently at 10/1 to win it all). Overall, this has been a down year for the conference.  You can add Indiana (25/1) to the list from the Big Ten who are playing well but I think only the Hoosiers and Boilermakers have any legitimate shot of making a run in the tournament.”

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SEC Best March Madness Chances

The Alabama Crimson Tide, Kentucky Wildcats, Tennessee Volunteers, and Texas A&M Aggies should all make the postseason. Alabama is ranked No. 2 in the nation presently. Kentucky has won four straight games and ranked third in their conference. The Aggies have won six straight games and were impressive in their win over the Vols, Tennessee is slipping and hovering around .500 in their last 10 games.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 7-9 in the SEC but has several quality wins in and out of conference. The Bulldogs need to advance past the first round of the SEC Tournament to merit consideration for the NCAA First Four.

“In terms of teams from the SEC, the most tickets have been written on Alabama, Tennessee (22/1) and Kentucky (40/1) to win the national title,” Gable said. “Obviously Alabama has had a tremendous season. They are one of the favorites at 9/1 to win it all. But with so much controversy surrounding the program due to the off-the-court incident that took place involving members and a former member of the team, I’m not sure they’re a team that I would invest money in at this point. If something comes down legally in the next week or two, it would be a huge blow to this team.

“Kentucky has been playing much better as of late and Tennessee has one of the best defenses in the country. Sometimes go through long dry spells on the offensive end, which won’t translate to success in the tournament.”

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ACC Best March Madness Chances

The University of Virginia Cavaliers, Miami Hurricanes, Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina State Wolfpack, and Pittsburgh Panthers should all get into the tournament.

Three of those teams: Miami, Virginia and Pittsburgh, are ranked in the top 25. Miami is the favorite to win the regular season ACC title with Virginia a close second.

The North Carolina Tarheels and Clemson Tigers need help to get selected. UNC was the preseason number one team in the nation, they are 1-8 in Quad 1 games. A Quad Win is a victory against a team that is ranked in the top 30 of the NET, a neutral site win against the top 50 and a home win versus a team in the top 75. Clemson is in a better position to make it with a 4-2 quad win record. However, the Tigers are on a losing streak. They must turn things around before the ACC tournament to solidify their case.

Next week, I will continue my preview of March Madness with the Big 12, Pac 12, and the Big East. I’ll also review teams ranked in the top 25 of any conference that have a legitimate shot of winning the National Championship.

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