This article is about how the national championship odds have changed for every NCAA Tournament team from the preseason to today. We're going to take the long way to get there though. If you just want to see the table with odds provided by VegasInsider.com, scroll down to the break. You'll see it.
Let's do this.
College basketball preseason rankings are pretty good, generally speaking. Since the 1999-2000 season, 11 of 16 National Champions came into the year ranked in the AP top five, while seven champions were No. 1 or No. 2 before the season began, while only two were unranked. Take a look:
|Year||Rank||Champion (Votes for No. 1)|
|2009||1||North Carolina (72)|
|2005||4||North Carolina (10)|
|2000||3||Michigan State (20)|
But that kind of makes sense, doesn't it? We might not know which teams will do enough to earn a spot in the tournament field, but we're pretty good at predicting which teams have a chance to win it all. Top teams are easier to spot.
So if this trend holds, your champion will be one of the five teams listed below:
|AP||Team (No. 1 Votes)|
None of these teams would be shocking champions. In fact, as of today, exactly half of all brackets filled out on ESPN.com have one of those five teams winning it all.
So expectations started high and stayed high for all five of those teams. But what did Vegas think? How have their odds changed since the season began? And since we're doing the top five, we might as well do the whole field.
The following table shows preseason and pre-tournament championship odds for each NCAA Tournament team, plus the amount of money you'd stand to win if you had put $100 on the team to win the championship at either point. I also included their seed and overall seed, for reference. A positive difference means the odds are worse today than they were before the season (red numbers), while a negative difference means Vegas is more excited about the team now than they were before the season started (green numbers).
$100 Preseason Bet