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Oddsmakers Five Favorites – 2009 NCAAB Championship

March Madness: 5 Longshots to win NCAA Championship!!

With only one NFL game left it is time to turn my attention to NCAA basketball. It is hard to believe that the NCAA tournament selection show is only 55 days away. I’m going to look at five teams that present a lot of value with 8 weeks remaining in the season. To make the list I will only consider teams who odds makers have listed at 10-1 or higher so as of 1/19/09 that rules out the following teams UNC, UConn, Louisville, Duke and Pitt. Very interesting that the odds makers five favorites are all from the Big East and ACC.

5. Michigan State 20-1

The Spartans are currently in the top 5 in the RPI and I have them in my top 10 in my power poll. I look for Tom Izzo’s squad to receive a two seed when the brackets are released. This Michigan St. team is very similar to past Spartan’s teams. They are solid on d and a very hard nosed team. This team is led in scoring by Ramar Morgan who is averaging nearly 15 ppg. Kalin Lucas does a great job running the offense with nearly a 5-1 assist to turnover ratio while averaging 13 ppg. My one concern about this team is the lack of a dominate center.

4. Wake Forest 15-1

They are currently 11th in the RPI, top 5 in my power poll, and putting a strong resume together to lobby for a one seed. The Demon Deacons are undefeated and led by Jeff Teague who is averaging 21 ppg. Joining Teague are Johnson, Aminu, and McFarland who all are averaging double digits. This team had an easy schedule at the beginning of the year but has beaten UNC and won at Clemson Saturday.

3. Oklahoma 18-1

The Sooners are 4th in the RPI, 8th in my power poll and looking at a two seeding. The Sooners are led by Players of the Year front runner Blake Griffin who is averaging 22 pts and 13 rebounds a game. Austin Johnson does an excellent job running the offense with a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio. I worry that this team hasn’t beat a lot of good teams but could end up in the final four if Blake Griffin stays out of foul trouble.

2. Georgetown 30-1

What value for a team who plays in the big east and will be battle tested. Thompson has coached in one final four so he has big game experience. Yes they lost by 9 at Duke on Saturday but stayed with the established number set by the odds makers. This team is just outside my top ten, ranked 6th in RPI and will probably be a 3 seed. Dejuan Summers leads this team in scoring averaging 15 pts. a contest. Greg Monroe is coming along nicely at center and this team is deep. Only two guys on the roster play less than 10 minutes a game.

1. Marquette 60-1

If you like value lock in the Golden Eagles today because this line will continue to go down. In my opinion Marquette will be a three seed and on March 15th and odds makers will list them at 18-1 on that Sunday. Winners of 8 in a row the golden eagles are currently 16th in RPI and in my top 10. They are also ranked 14th in the country. I’m surprised that a veteran team ranked this high is currently tabbed at +6000 by the odds makers. They have been wrong before as the Arizona Cardinals opened the year at 42-1. This team has three players averaging over 15 ppg. Matthews (19) McNeal (18.8) and Layward (16.5). Their floor leader is veteran Dominic James (11.6) He has played in some big NCAA tournament games with is backcourt mate McNeal. Last year this team lost two a very good Stanford team 82-81 in the 2nd round of the tournament. They were not able to handle the Lopez brothers. If this team doesn’t face a domination big man they are capable of playing in the final four and with a little luck cashing in your ticket at 60-1.

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