Image for Andrew Norton Andrew Norton - February 7, 2023

NCAA Tournament Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks 2023

With the 2022-23 college basketball season underway, it’s more than appropriate to look ahead to the NCAA Tournament, also commonly referred to as “March Madness” by hoops enthusiasts. 

The NCAA Tournament consists of 68 teams, including 32 that receive automatic bids by winning their respective conference tournaments and 36 that receive “at-large” bids, which a committee chooses.

There are four regions that teams get assigned to, each with a No. 1 through No. 16 seed. The No. 1 seed plays the No. 16 seed in the first round, while the No. 2 seed battles with the No. 15 seed, and so on. Whichever seed makes it out of the four regions competes in the “Final Four,” two semi-final games that decide the teams who will play in the National Championship.

Who Has the Best Odds to Win the NCAA Tournament 2023?

Four teams have the best odds of winning the NCAA Tournament in 2023. The Kentucky Wildcats, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Houston Cougars, and North Carolina Tar Heels are the favorites, and it’s no surprise why that’s the case. 

These four teams have one thing in common: experience. Gonzaga (Drew Timme), UNC (Armando Bacot, Caleb Love), Kentucky (Oscar Tshiebwe), and Houston (Marcus Sasser) all return key players from last year’s teams. 

As a matter of fact, all of these players were listed on the first or second preseason All-America teams. Anything can happen throughout the season, but the recent NCAA Tournament winners have been teams with plenty of upperclassmen and experience.

Odds taken from Draftkings Sportsbook.

North Carolina+3500



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Who Can Win March Madness 2023?

Tier 1: Gonzaga, UNC, Houston, Kentucky

A legitimate argument could be made for any of these teams to be the last one standing in the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga, UNC, Houston, and Kentucky all return potential first-team All-Americans and a loaded roster filled with a perfect combination of youth and experience.

Gonzaga will bring back Drew Timme, arguably the best power forward in college basketball, and pair him alongside multiple former five-star recruits, Hunter Sallis, Nolan Hickman, and LSU transfer Efton Reid. Malachi Smith is another player that the Zags got in the transfer portal, a 20-points-per-game player from Chattanooga to join Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther in the backcourt.

Like Gonzaga, UNC brings back a trio of powerhouse players: Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, and R.J. Davis. Davis and Love make up what will be an elite backcourt, while Bacot will hold down the frontcourt with fifth-year senior and coveted transfer Pete Nance. Leaky Black, Puff Johnson, Dontrez Styles, and D’Marco Dunn also return to round out the deepest team in America.

Despite returning fewer than a quarter of their minutes from the 2020-21 season and sustaining two significant injuries to key players (preseason All-American Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark), the Houston Cougars made an impressive Elite Eight run last season. They would have made it back to the Final Four if it hadn’t been for an egregious 1-for-20 shooting night from deep against Villanova. Houston will bring in its highest recruit ever in Jarace Walker while returning Sasser, Jamal Shead, and Tramon Mark. The Cougars will compete with North Carolina for the best backcourt in America, and you can count on them playing stifling defense and crashing the boards on every shot.

Oscar Tshiebwe almost led Kentucky in every major statistical category; he averaged the most points, rebounds, steals, and blocks per game for the Wildcats! The fantastic news for Kentucky is that Tshiebwe will return, along with its assist leader and floor general Sahvir Wheeler. Sure, it will miss Kellan Grady, TyTy Washington Jr, and Keion Brooks, but it can find solace knowing that sharpshooter C.J. Fredrick and a pair of five-star freshmen, Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston, will replace them! It should be yet another dominant season for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Tier 2: Indiana, Kansas, UCLA

The second tier of collegiate teams with a legitimate shot of making a deep NCAA Tournament run include the Indiana Hoosiers, Kansas Jayhawks, and UCLA Bruins. 

Kansas is fresh off a national championship run but, unfortunately, lost its two best players and highest scorers to the NBA Draft. The Jayhawks will bring back Jalen Wilson, their third-highest scorer, and Dajuan Harris Jr, but outside of those two, no other returnees played significant minutes. Luckily, Kansas landed coveted transfer Kevin McCullar Jr in the portal and will bring in five-star forward Gradey Dick and three other four-star recruits. 

Indiana brought back five of its six leading scorers, including Trayce Jackson-Davis, a preseason All-American, and his frontcourt partner, Race Thompson. The Hoosiers also bring back Jordan Geronimo, Trey Galloway, and former five-star recruit Tamar Bates, who all played significant minutes last season. Additionally, they brought in two five-stars and one four-star to give them the deepest roster in the Big Ten. Three-point shooting will either make or break this team, but if they can shoot consistently from deep, they’ll be unbelievable.

UCLA will miss Johnny Juzang and his 16 points per game but did an excellent job filling his absence with five-star combo guard Amari Bailey. Bailey joins Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr in what will likely be the most fun backcourt in all of college basketball. Adem Bona, the Bruins’ other five-star recruit, should transition cleanly into Myles Johnson’s role as a rim protector and brute force down low. Look for the Bruins to run the Pac-12.

Tier 3: Arkansas, Duke, Baylor

Tier Three represents teams with plenty of individual talent but lack significant experience or chemistry. Those teams included in that list are Arkansas, Duke, and Baylor. Each of these teams is more than capable of winning the NCAA Tournament, but it will require them to gel with guys they simply haven’t played with much.

Despite the crown moving from Coach K’s head to former Duke guard Jon Scheyer, the Blue Devils were able to secure the best recruiting class in the country and, possibly, one of the best classes ever. This class consists of four five-star recruits, two four-star recruits, and one three-star recruit. On 247Sports, the top recruits are No. 1, 2, 4, 22, and 27; Tyrese Proctor just missed the cut as Duke’s fifth five-star player. Interestingly enough, some scouts have him as a first-rounder in next year’s NBA Draft. If Duke gets these guys to play together, it has a legitimate title shot.

Like Duke, Arkansas also has an elite recruiting class, filled with future first-rounders in the NBA Draft. The problem will not be the talent of the Razorbacks; it will be that they are returning roughly 17% of their minutes from last season; it’s hard even to explain how big of a turnover that is from one year to the next. Still, we have seen a few teams succeed with this, such as the Houston Cougars from 2020-21 to 2021-22. Don’t count out the Razorbacks and their plethora of young talent, including Nick Smith, Jordan Walsh, and Anthony Black.

Baylor would have been a Tier One or Tier Two team had it not lost Matthew Mayer to the portal and Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown to the NBA Draft, but it did. Luckily, the Bears still have enough talent to be a consistent Top 10 or 15 team in college basketball. They return Adam Flagler and L.J. Cryer while bringing in Jalen Bridges, Caleb Lohner, and five-star recruit Keyonte George. Baylor will be tough in March, especially since few teams are coached better.



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NCAA Tournament FAQ

Where Will the NCAA Tournament 2023 be Held?

As always, the NCAA Tournament will be held in numerous locations. For the First Four, the games will take place in Dayton, Ohio, at UD Arena. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be regionally scattered; the locations include Albany, NY; Birmingham, AL; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Greensboro, NC; Orlando, FL; and Sacramento, CA.The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games will occur in Kansas City, MO; Las Vegas, NV; Louisville, KY; and New York City, NY. The final destination for the NCAA Tournament is in Houston, TX, where the Final Four will be hosted. This will be Houston’s fourth time as a host city, and it most recently held the Final Four in 2016.

What are the Dates for March Madness 2023?

The opening of March Madness will take place on the night of March 14, 2023, barring any unforeseen circumstances. March 14th and 15th will be the days that the First Four games occur.A few days later the first and second rounds will occur between March 16th and 19th. The winning teams of the first round will have one rest day in between games.If a team wins their first two games, assuming they were not a First Four team, they will have several days between the second round and the Sweet Sixteen. The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games take place from March 23rd through March 26th. Finally, the 2023 Final Four will take place on April 1, 2023, and April 3, 2023. The Final Four will begin on April 1st, while the NCAA Championship, featuring the winners of those two games, will be two days later. The games will take place in Houston, Texas, at NRG Stadium.

Which Team Has Won the Most NCAA Tournaments in College Basketball?

To no one’s surprise, the UCLA Bruins are the winningest team in March Madness history; they have won 11 NCAA Championships, with the majority of those coming during John Wooden’s head coaching tenure in the 1960s and 70s. Other teams with a handful or more championships are the Indiana Hoosiers (5), Duke Blue Devils (5), North Carolina Tar Heels (6), and Kentucky Wildcats (8.) These teams, along with UCLA, make up what many consider to be the “Blue Bloods” of college basketball.

Who is the Current NCAA Tournament Champion?

The Kansas Jayhawks are the reigning college basketball champions after an impressive comeback victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

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Andrew Norton

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Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.

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