NCAA Basketball Tournament 2022: March Madness Returns

March Madness is upon us! The NCAA Basketball Tournament tips off this week with the top universities in college basketball competing for the top prize in the sport. 

Gonzaga, Baylor, Kansas, and Arizona earned the No. 1 seeds for this year’s tournament. Gonzaga is the bookies’ favorite to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament at the odds of +325 according to Be365. Can the Bulldogs finally end their NCAA title drought?

When does the NCAA Basketball Tournament begin?

The NCAA Tournament tips off on Tuesday with the first of the play-in games, aka the First Four.

No. 16 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (23-11) will play No. seed 16 Texas Southern (18-12) in Dayton, Ohio. Then, No. 12 seed Indiana (20-13) will clash with No. 12 seed Wyoming (25-8), also in Dayton, Ohio.

On Wednesday, the First Four continues with No. 16 Bryant (22-9) taking on No. 16 Wright State (21-13) in Dayton. No. 11 Rutgers (18-13) will play No. 11 Notre Dame (22-10) straight after.

One of the great aspects about this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is it is a return to the norm after COVID-19 disrupted things the last two seasons.

NCAA Basketball Tournament Schedule

On Tuesday, the action tips off but it isn’t until Thursday and Friday that basketball fans get the four best days in college sports with wall-to-wall hoops. Here is a look at the schedule.

  • First Four: March 15-16
  • First round: March 17-18
  • Second round: March 19-20
  • Sweet 16: March 24-25
  • Elite Eight: March 26-27
  • Final Four: April 2
  • NCAA championship game: April 4

Who are the last 5 NCAA Basketball Tournament winners?

Forget who won the NCAA Tournament last season? Baylor Bears went through the tournament to win it for the first time. The Bears defeated this season’s overall No. 1 seed Gonzaga to lift the trophy.

  • 2021: Baylor Bears 86-70 Gonzaga Bulldogs
  • 2020: CANCELLED
  • 2019: Virginia Cavaliers 85-77 Texas Tech Red Raiders
  • 2018: Villanova Wildcats 79-62 Michigan Wolverines
  • 2017: North Carolina Tar Heels 71-65 Gonzaga Bulldogs

The NCAA Tournament Bracket

The top seeds for the tournament are Gonzaga, Baylor, Kansas, and Arizona. Gonzaga Bulldogs have regularly been the bookies’ favorite to win the tournament over the last few years. Yet, the Bulldogs have failed to win the tournament. In 2017 and 2021, Gonzaga lost in the final.

According to pundits, Gonzaga has a difficult route to the final. Gonzaga could play the Duke Blue Devils, Arkansas Razorbacks, or Texas Tech Red Raiders to get to the final. The Bulldogs could play Arkansas in the Sweet 16 and either Duke or Texas Tech in the Elite Eight.

Here is a look at the bracket:

NCAA Tournament Best Betting Odds

Here at the latest odds on the teams to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament courtesy of Bet365:

  • Gonzaga +325
  • Arizona +600
  • Kentucky +900
  • Baylor +1100
  • Kansas +1200
  • Purdue +1400
  • Duke +1500
  • Auburn +1600
  • Villanova +1700
  • Tennessee +2000
  • Texas Tech +2200
  • UCLA +2800

According to the NCAA, 36 different teams have won the tournament championship. UCLA has won the most championships with 11. Ten of those championships were won between 1964 to 1975.

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