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2021 March Madness: Top 5 favorites to win the championship

The Gonzaga Bulldogs carry a 20-0 record this college basketball season
The Gonzaga Bulldogs carry a 20-0 record this college basketball season
Trent Bixby
Modified 19 Feb 2021

With March Madness right around the corner, college basketball's best teams are preparing for their chance at glory.

The top 5 teams in the rankings do not necessarily have the best chance at winning the tournament, especially with an ever-fluctuating system.

While it is always easier to pick the best teams as the favorites, history has told us to expect the unexpected. Upsets happen every year during March Madness, so teams need depth, momentum and a little bit of luck to win the title.

March Madness favorites to win a national championship

The Baylor Bears hold a 17-0 record this season
The Baylor Bears hold a 17-0 record this season

The top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs and the No. 2 Baylor Bears are likely to carry an undefeated record into the first round of March Madness. However, regular season records mean very little when the madness begins.

While teams close out their regular season and prepare for conference tournaments, many are still fighting for a spot in the national tournament. This list, however, is devoted to the top five early favorites to win March Madness.

March Madness favorite #1: Baylor Bears

Although they will likely finish the season as the 2nd-ranked team in college basketball, the Baylor Bears have dominated a very strong Big 12 conference on their way to a perfect 17-0 record.

The Bears' defense is among the NCAA's best, allowing an average of just 62.8 points per game thus far.


While very dominant on defense, the Baylor offense has been equally impressive. Behind the production of Jared Butler and MaCio Teague, the Bears are scoring 87 points per game.

The Baylor Bears have one of the most talented rosters in the NCAA and should be ready to make a deep tournament run.

#2 Gonzaga Bulldogs

The preseason No. 1 seed in college basketball has fulfilled their expectations, carrying a 20-0 record this season.

Led by star forward Corey Kispert, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are scoring at a ridiculous rate thus far. The Zags' offense is averaging an NCAA-leading 93 points per game. While all of Gonzaga's achievements thus far have been impressive, their strength of schedule is always worth mentioning.


The Bulldogs play in the West Coast Conference, where they currently hold a 3.5 game lead over the 2nd place BYU Cougars.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have already earned a number one seed in the March Madness tournament but will need to prove why they would dominate in any conference.

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes

The Big Ten Conference features some of the strongest teams in the NCAA, with the Ohio State Buckeyes arguably representing the best of the bunch.

The Buckeyes carry an overall record of 18-4 this season, putting themselves in a 3-way for first place in the conference.

The Buckeyes' offense is powered by forward E.J. Liddell and guard Duane Washington Jr., combining for 30 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Ohio State plays fast-paced, high-intensity basketball, a quality that may shock many teams in the March Madness tournament.

#4 Michigan Wolverines

The Michigan Wolverines currently hold the 3rd spot in the Top 25 rankings
The Michigan Wolverines currently hold the 3rd spot in the Top 25 rankings

After suffering their only loss of the season recently, the Michigan Wolverines have looked as strong as ever. The Wolverines currently hold the 3rd spot in the Top 25 rankings and are trying to keep a hold of the top spot in the Big Ten.

The biggest test will be the Big Ten Tournament, where the best of the conference get a chance to fight for a title before the big dance.

The Michigan Wolverines will be the favorites in their conference tournament and are certainly final-four contenders in March Madness.

#5 Alabama Crimson Tide

Although the Alabama Crimson Tide are currently ranked 8th in the NCAA, they have proven to have one of the most talented squads in the nation.

The Crimson Tide carry a 17-5 overall record, holding a 3-game lead in the SEC conference.

Among the many talented teams in the SEC, the Alabama Crimson Tide have stood alone as the team to beat.

As they prepare for the March Madness tournament, Alabama will compete alongside the best offenses in college basketball and make a run at the title.

Published 19 Feb 2021, 09:57 IST
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