The Syracuse Orange have done their best work to quiet their doubters so far in the month of February, picking up statement wins at home against Duke and on the road against Pittsburgh. Syracuse is not only the country's unanimous No. 1 team in college basketball in the AP Top 25 poll, but is also the betting favorite on the odds to win the NCAA Tournament at Bovada. They are of course just one team on a crowded list of March Madness 2014 contenders.
Florida and Arizona With Syracuse Atop NCAA Tournament Odds
Syracuse's 24-0 SU and 15-5 ATS resume speaks for itself, putting the Orange in Bovada's top spot to win the NCAA Basketball tournament at 6/1. But they aren't the only projected No. 1 seed currently sitting at 6/1 as the Florida Gators share the leaderboard in college basketball odds.
Since suffering two road losses against ranked teams in their first month of play, the Florida Gators have mowed through their competition with a 16-0 SU run that includes wins over Kansas and Memphis. Two games over the final month of play against Kentucky will go a long way in revealing both teams' true colors.
The Arizona Wildcats are right behind the co-leaders at 7/1 to win the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats haven't been earning many style points over their current 5-1 SU and 1-5 ATS run, but the team has been successfully navigating through the competitive Pac-12 and should definitely be a factor come tournament time.
Wichita State has grown up from Cinderella team last year to potential No. 1 seed this year. With a 26-0 SU and 16-6-1 ATS record this season, the Shockers are going off at 14/1 to win the tournament.
Looking at Serious Contenders Beyond the No. 1 Seeds
The Michigan State Spartans entered the season at No. 2 in the AP Top 25 with an experienced group returning and Head Coach Tom Izzo at the helm. A recent 2-3 SU stretch has caused Michigan State to slip a bit in the rankings and on the betting odds down to 15/2, but this is a team that looks built for the postseason.
The Kansas Jayhawks (15/2 odds to win the NCAA Tournament ) and Kentucky Wildcats (12/1) are both loaded with young talent. This recipe can lead to growing pains and some inconsistency during the regular season, but can also be a recipe for a sensational run when March and April roll around. Despite a few head-scratching losses along the way, both teams will be in contention.
After each entered the season ranked in the Top 5, the Duke Blue Devils (8/1) and Louisville Cardinals (14/1) are both flying under the radar at this point. These well-coached teams could provide some great value down the stretch.
Potential Cinderella Teams that Could Make a Splash
Many people wouldn't consider teams like San Diego State at 21-2 SU and Villanova at 22-2 SU Cinderella teams at this point, but their betting odds do; both teams are currently going off at 25/1 to win the NCAA Tournament. Both teams have the confidence and makeup to make deep runs if the bracket shakes out right.
The Big Ten has made a mess of itself this year in conference play, and as a result teams like Iowa (33/1), Wisconsin (33/1), and Ohio State (40/1) have been lost in the shuffle. When at their best, any one of these teams is good enough to make noise in the postseason.
No Cinderella list is complete without the VCU Rams. At just 20-5 SU and 11-12 ATS on the NCAA Basketball odds this season, VCU hasn't had a great season thus far; but at 66/1, this is the type of team with tournament experience that will always be a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.