College

Could Gonzaga Go Undefeated During March Madness To Claim National Championship?

With around six weeks of the NCAA DI Regular Season to go, the Gonzaga Bulldogs (14-0) remain the top ranked team in the nation. The Bulldogs  picked up their 14th win of the season from 14 games against the Pepperdine Wolves (4-7).

The Bulldogs have won a total of 18 straight games including the end of last season. Most impressive in that run has been some of the teams they have beaten which includes top 20 ranked teams such as Iowa, Kansas, West Virginia and Virginia.

In those games, the closest any team got to the Bulldogs was five points.

Gonzaga Roster

The team is led by Corey Kispert, Drew Timme, Andrew Nembhard, Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi. Ayayi recently had the first triple-double in the school’s history against Portland (12 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds).

Gonzaga’s talented roster means the route to March Madness does not look too daunting with no remaining regular season games scheduled against ranked opponents.

This has led to some speculating whether the Bulldogs could go the entire season undefeated and claim victory at March Madness, which is to be held in Indiana throughout March and into April.

However, there are two other undefeated teams so far this season that may also have strong claims to achieving that remarkable feat.

Baylor Yet To Taste Defeat

The second ranked Baylor Bears (11-0) are the team most likely to challenge Gonzaga for that honour. This season though, the Bears have only defeated a ranked team once (14th ranked Illinois) but they will face a number of tougher tests in the forthcoming weeks.

Tomorrow they face 15th ranked Texas Tech, followed by a game against sixth ranked Kansas on Tuesday. On the 3rd February Baylor will face arguably their toughest test when they face Texas and they also have further games against West Virginia (13), Texas Tech (15) and Kansas (6) later in the season.

If the Bears can come through that stretch still unbeaten, then they will certainly be rated as highly as the current number 1 ranked Bulldogs.

Michigan Wolverines Unbeaten Thus Far Too

Seventh ranked Michigan Wolverines (11-0) are also undefeated this season. Their only win against ranked opposition was last Thursday when they defeated Minnesota (23) by an 82-57 scoreline. They play the reverse of that fixture tomorrow.

However, the second half of the season looks tougher for the Wolverines with games against Illinois (14), Wisconsin (9), Ohio State (21) and Iowa (5) giving them a very difficult end to the Regular Season.

The consensus of opinion here is that either Wisconsin or Iowa will likely hand the Wolverines a loss heading into March Madness.

How has March Madness changed for 2021?

The NCAA DI announced that March Madness would take place in Indiana for this year, with most games played at the Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil stadium.

A team of ten selectors will rank the top 68 college teams to compete in March Madness, starting with the First Four, which will see four teams eliminated. The 64 teams remaining are then split into four regions of 16 teams each, with each team ranked 1 through to 16.

The four regions then play through their brackets until the winning team in each bracket is known. These four teams then go forward to contest the semifinals on April 3, with the two winners competing for the National Championship on April 5.

Who do the sportsbooks make favourites for March Madness victory?

A quick look at the odds for the winner of the CBB Championship reveals that Gonzaga are the clear favourites with DraftKings Sportsbook. The Bulldogs are +350 to win the National title, ahead of Baylor at +600. Villanova (+700) are third favourites with unbeaten Michigan a +900 shot.

Others in the mix according to the bookmakers are Creighton (+1050), Houston, Texas and Wisconsin (all +1100) and Illinois and Iowa (both +1200).

You can catch the full list of CBB Champion selections and odds at DraftKings Sportsbook now. You can also bet on which team will win some of the most competitive Conferences in the NCAA, as well as on which teams will make the semifinals of March Madness.

*Featured Image Courtesy of SD DirkCC BY S.A 2.0

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