The Kansas City Jayhawks overcame a 15-point halftime deficit to beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 and win the 2022 edition of March Madness. It was a fitting end to a thrilling NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament full of shocks against the odds.
Soon after the Jayhawks lifted the trophy, Vegas oddsmakers released futures betting odds for March Madness in 2023. The biggest tournament in college basketball begins with the First Four rounds on March 14 and ends with the title game on April 3 in Houston, Texas.
View the latest futures odds for the biggest tournament in college sports.
NCAA Basketball Championship Playoffs – How It Works
The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids) and 36 teams of “at-large” berths. An NCAA selection committee chooses the “at-large” on Selection Sunday.
By using a seeding system, the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination “bracket” this bracket determines which winning teams will face each other next.
The First Four are games between the four lowest-ranked at-large teams and the four lowest-ranked automatic-bid (conference-champion) teams.
First and Second Rounds
The NCAA Championship is a straight knockout tournament at this stage. The First Round of 64 sees the No. 1 seed play the No. 16 seed in all four regions (the No. 2 team plays the No. 15, etc).
There are 16 first-round games played on the Thursday following the “First Four” round. The remaining sixteen first-round games are played on the Friday. At this point, the contestants are reduced to 32 teams.
The Second Round of 32 is played on the Saturday and Sunday immediately after the first round. The second round features the previous Thursday’s winners playing in eight games on the Saturday, followed by Friday’s winners playing in the remaining eight second-round games on the Sunday.
Regional Semifinals and Finals
Once the first weekend’s games have been completed, 16 teams remain (commonly known as the “Sweet Sixteen”).
The teams advance to the regional semifinals (the ‘Sweet Sixteen’) and finals (the ‘Elite Eight’), which are played during the second weekend of the tournament (the games are again split into Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday).
Four regional semi-final games are played Thursday and four are played Friday. After Friday’s games, eight teams (the Elite Eight) remain.
Saturday features two regional final games with Thursday’s winning teams and Sunday’s two final games feature Friday’s winners.
After the second weekend of the tournament, the four regional champions are the “Final Four.”
National Semifinals and Championship
The winners of each region advance to the Final Four, where the national semifinals are played on Saturday and the national championship is played on Monday.
The term ‘Final Four’ refers to the last four teams remaining in the playoff tournament. These are the champions of the tournament’s four regional brackets, and are the only teams remaining on the tournament’s final weekend.
Which regional champion will play which, and in which semifinal they play, is determined by the overall rankings of the four No. 1 seeds in the original bracket.
NCAA March Madness: Leading Contenders
Kansas City Jayhawks
After lifting the Ferris Mowers NABC National Championship Trophy in 2022, the Jayhawks are amongst the opening favorites for March Madness.
As Ochai Agbaji and star big man David McCormack won’t be in the squad due to graduation, Bill Self will rely heavily on Christian Braun and Jalen Wilson. Braun was incredible in the final game of March Madness, securing 12 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists to pull off a historic come-from-behind win over North Carolina. Also, the Jayhawks have one of the top incoming freshman classes.
Therefore, Vegas oddsmakers believe they will still have enough quality to repeat the feat in 2023.
Duke Blue Devils
Although the Coach K era is over, online sportsbooks think Duke will hit the ground running with new head coach Jon Scheyer.
Even though Paolo Banchero, Wendall Moore, Trevor Keels, Mark Williams, and AJ Griffin will likely head to the NBA next season, Duke has the top-ranked incoming class for next season. These new players could hand Scheyer the perfect tools to start his debut season with a bang.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Despite Hubert Davis’ first season in charge ending in heartbreak, Tar Heels fans earned eternal bragging rights after defeating Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke in the Final Four.
After going so close, many expect them to be a strong outfit for March Madness in 2023. However, how they will do without Caleb Love, who is likely heading to the NBA, remains to be seen.
After being upset by No. 15 St. Peter’s in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament as 18-point favorites, Kentucky will be+ hungry for success. Yet all betting value on the Wildcats next season depends on whether Naismith Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe returns for his senior season or declares for the NBA Draft.
Sportsbooks still see the Gonzaga Bulldogs as strong contenders to win the competition despite two disappointing March Madness campaigns. But if Gonzaga loses Drew Timme, Chet Holmgren, and Andrew Nembhard to the NBA, their odds will surely lengthen.
NCAA Championship Winners (Losing finalists)
- 2010-11 – Connecticut Huskies (Butler Bulldogs)
- 2011-12 – Kentucky Wildcats (Kansas Jayhawks)
- 2012-13 – Louisville Cardinals* (Michigan Wolverines)
- 2013-14 – Connecticut Huskies (Kentucky Wildcats)
- 2014-15 – Duke Blue Devils (Wisconsin Badgers)
- 2015-16 – Villanova Wildcats (North Carolina Rae Heels)
- 2016-17 – North Carolina Tar Heels (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
- 2017-18 – Villanova Wildcats (Michigan Wolverines)
- 2018-19 – Virginia Cavaliers (Texas Tech Red Raiders)
- 2019-20 – Not held because of the Covid-19 pandemic
- 2020-21 – Baylor Bears (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
- 2021-22 – Kansas City Jayhawks (North Carolina Tar Heels)
*The NCAA vacated Louisville’s entire tournament run, including its national title, due to multiple recruiting violations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Teams have Won The Most NCAAB Division I Titles?
- UCLA – 11 (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995)
- Wildcats – 8 (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012)
- North Carolina Tar Heels – 6 (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017)
- Duke Blue Devils – 5 (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)
- Indiana Hoosiers – 5 (1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987)
What are College Basketball Futures?
A College Basketball Futures bet is simply a wager on a NCAA basketball event that will happen at a later date.
It’s possible to wager on a NCAA basketball futures market at any time. Sportsbooks will adjust the odds throughout the season depending on results and other relevant news such as injuries to key players.
When does the College Basketball season normally begin?
The NCAA Division I men's basketball season begins around November time and culminates with March Madness which unsurprisingly begins in March and ends in early April.
What is the College Basketball season format?
To qualify for March Madness, a NCAA Division I college basketball team must either win its conference tournament or receive an “at-large” bid from the NCAA tournament selection committee.
March Madness is more correctly known as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and features 68 college teams.
The season format then proceeds as follows:
- First Four – the First Four are games between the four lowest-ranked at-large teams and the four lowest-ranked automatic-bid (conference-champion) teams.
- First and Second Rounds – the NCAA Championship is a straight knockout tournament at this stage. The First Round of 64 sees the No. 1 seed play the No. 16 seed in all four regions (the No. 2 team plays the No. 15, etc).
- Regional Semifinals and Finals - 16 teams remain (commonly known as the "Sweet Sixteen"). The teams advance to the regional semifinals (the Sweet Sixteen) and finals (the Elite Eight). The four regional champions are the "Final Four."
- National Semifinals and Championship - The winners of each region advance to the Final Four. Which regional champion will play which, and in which semifinal they play, is determined by the overall rankings of the four No. 1 seeds in the original bracket. These are the champions of the tournament's four regional brackets, and are the only teams remaining on the tournament's final weekend.
Who are the favorites for NCAA Basketball Championship 2023?
The preseason favorites for the NCAA Basketball Championship 2023 are current champions Kansas City Jay Hawks, Duke Blue Devils, Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
What’s the best betting advice & strategies for NCAA basketball futures betting?
As online sportsbooks always want to attract new customers, they give you sign-up bonuses of free betting credits for making a deposit. These provide you with risk-free NCAA basketball wagers.
As with all sports, research is crucial when betting on college basketball. Look at coaches with a long history of success, teams that have retained players from previous seasons, and colleges that have performed well in recent seasons to help you make more informed decisions.
Player injuries, suspensions, coaching tweaks, the state of play in the tournament, and any changes in schedule are all factors that should be taken into account when betting on NCAA basketball.
What futures bets are available on the NCAA College Basketball?
The most popular futures bet to wager on is the overall winners of the NCAA Championship. Other markets to look at are the regional options – who will win the West Region, Midwest Region, South Region and East Region.
There are also a number of NCAA College Basketball Prop bets available, such as March Madness Seed Props, Conference Props and Player Props.
Who won the 2022 NCAA Basketball Championship?
The Kansas City Jayhawks bounced back after finishing the first half 15 points behind to defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 and win March Madness in 2022.
When does the 2022-2023 NCAA basketball season start?
The 2021–22 NCAA Division I men's basketball season begins on November 8, 2022, and ends on March 12, 2023. The 2022 NCAA Division I 'March Madness' Tournament starts on March 14, 2023, concluding with the final game on April 3, 2023.