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The Early Favorites to win 2019 March Madness

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
13 Mar 2019, 20:50 IST

All eyes will be on Duke and Zion Williamson
All eyes will be on Duke and Zion Williamson

The college basketball season has been underway since late 2018, however, with the arrival of March Madness, the season is about to kick into full gear. The 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is scheduled to begin on March 19, and the tournament is sure to provide plenty of twists and turns before concluding on April 8. 

The Villanova Wildcats enter the tournament as the defending champions having defeated the Michigan Wolverines in the 2018 Championship Game, however, 68 teams will be vying to take their crown. So, with just a week to go until the tip-off, here are the favorites to lift the trophy on April 8.


#5 Kentucky - Current Odds: +900

Kentucky will be looking to win their first March Madness since 2012
Kentucky will be looking to win their first March Madness since 2012

While Kentucky has not matched the heights of last season, few teams raise their game for March Madness like the Wildcats. The team has reached at least the Sweet Sixteen stage in three of the past four seasons, and Kentucky has a number of players that can cause issues for opposing teams.

20-year-old forward PJ Washington is averaging nearly 15 points per game, while Kentucky's promising guard, Tyler Herro, was just named the SEC Newcomer of the Year. Ultimately the Wildcats are historically overachievers, and the teams latest crop of talent once again has a shot at taking home the title.


#4 Virginia - Current Odds: +800

The Virginia Cavaliers enter the tournament with the best defense in the country
The Virginia Cavaliers enter the tournament with the best defense in the country

Despite not getting the same amount of media exposure as the likes of Duke, Virginia has quietly enjoyed a strong season. The team's success has been fuelled by the best defense in the country, while Virginia's offense has also improved in recent weeks.

After struggling to score the basketball for much of the season, Virginia has reached at least 70 points in each of its last four contests, including dropping 81 on Georgia Tech. Due to this, Virginia enters the tournament among the favorites, however, the Cavaliers may come unstuck against Duke, as Zion and co. have already inflicted two defeats on Virginia so far this year.


Also read: Everything You Need to Know about March Madness

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