These Are The Only 12 Teams That REALLY Have A Chance To Win The NCAA Tournament

Jared Sullinger

Photo: AP Images

With one or two exceptions, these are the types of teams that make the Final Four and have a chance to win the title:

  • #1 and #2 seeds.
  • #3, #4, #5 seeds with at least one NBA prospect and a lot of momentum.
  • 6-9 seeds with overwhelming NBA talent that can beat anyone on any given day.
  • Mid-majors seeded 3-9 with a ton of seniors and one legit NBA player.

By our analysis, there are just 13 such teams in this year’s field. If you don’t have one of these teams winning it all, you’re taking quite the gamble.

Florida (65-1 odds)

Seed: 7

Why they can win: They have experience from a team that made the Elite 8 last year. Plus the NBA talent of Brad Beal and Patric Young makes them a tough match-up for any team.

Best player: Brad Beal.

modelled after: Florida in 2006.

Baylor (35-1 odds)

Seed: 3

Why they can win: They've proven that they can beat the best teams in the Big 12. Plus they have all sorts of talent in Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy, and Qunicy Miller.

Best player: Perry Jones III.

modelled after: Memphis in 2008.

Vanderbilt (35-1 odds)

Seed: 5

Why they can win: They can really knock down threes from anywhere, have good senior leadership, and are playing their best basketball of the season right now.

Best player: John Jenkins

modelled after: Oddly, VCU in 2011.

Louisville (35-1 odds)

Seed: 4

Why they can win: They have great point guard play with Peyton Siva, they play a unique style that's hard to prepare for, and they're red hot.

Best player: Siva.

modelled after: UConn in 2011.

Duke (20-1 odds)

Seed: 2

Why they can win: They can get hot and drain threes. They can, in theory, rebound with the Plumlee brothers. And they have a star in Austin Rivers to go to at the end of games.

Best player: Austin Rivers

modelled after: Butler in 2010.

Syracuse (10-1 odds)

Seed: 1

Why they can win: They're really deep, play swarming defence, and dominate people on the boards. They've only lost two times all year.

Best player: Kris Joseph

modelled after: Florida in 2007.

Missouri (10-1 odds)

Seed: 2

Why they can win: Unreal guard play. Great chemistry, and a style that is hard to prepare for.

Best player: Marcus Denmon.

modelled after: North Carolina in 2009.

Kansas (10-1 odds)

Seed: 2

Why they can win: They're strong inside with superstar Thomas Robinson and shot-blocker Jeff Withey. They parlay that inside play into nailing open threes from the perimeter.

Best player: Thomas Robinson

modelled after: Butler in 2010.

Michigan State (17-2 odds)

Seed: 1

Why they can win: They aren't as talented as most of the other top seeds. But they're tough, play solid defence, and Draymond Green knows how to make winning plays at the end of games.

Best player: Draymond Green.

modelled after: All the efficient, hard-nosed, unidentifiable Michigan State teams that make the Final Four year after year.

North Carolina (13-2 odds)

Seed: 1

Why they can win: They have NBA talent all over the place, and legit stars at nearly every position. They're also a veteran team that seemed to be just waiting for the tournament to start at times this year.

Best player: Tyler Zeller, or Harrison Barnes.

modelled after: UNC in 2009.

Ohio State (11-2 odds)

Seed: 2

Why they can win: They can score at will, and attack inside and outside with Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft/William Buford. They're also long and deep on the wings.

Best player: Jared Sullinger

modelled after: Michigan State in 2009.

Kentucky (9-4 odds)

Seed: 1

Why they can win: defence, rebounding, points in the paint, quickness, length, driving ability, everything, etc.

Best player: Anthony Davis

modelled after: Syracuse in 2003.

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