Favored Florida Faces Challenge in Final Two Rounds

In two short weeks, the NCAA Tournament field has been reduced from 68 to four. Brackets have been busted, expectations defied and college basketball betting fans who thought they knew how it would all unfold are left scrambling to forecast what comes next. Madness, isn’t it? Leading the foursome of remaining contenders are the top-ranked Florida Gators, a No. 1 seed with lofty goals from the onset. With 10/11 odds of winning the NCAA Tournament, the Billy Donovan-led crew can add their third national championship in a decade. With 30 consecutive wins under their belt heading into the regional final (the first since Duke to do so in 1999), it’s no wonder oddsmakers are having a tough time looking anywhere but Florida in the sportsbook. Still, that doesn’t mean the others can’t deal some damage of their own. Kentucky, fresh off of an upset of 2013 runner-up Michigan in the regional semifinals, boasts 5/2 odds heading into the penultimate round. Julius Randle is a 15.0 PPG/10.5 RPG future pro, but will the likely lottery pick be enough to get the Wildcats through a particularly motivated Wisconsin (13/4) team fresh off a win over top-seeded Arizona? Connecticut (7/1), no stranger to tangoing with top competition, will look to set out and add yet another upset to their portfolio. Skeptics may have reservations whether Shabazz Napier (18.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.9 APG) and company can get through a team like the Gators, but then again they said the same thing about Michigan State. And Iowa State. And Villanova.