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Who are the Early Favorites for March Madness?

Another exciting season of college basketball is ahead of us.
Caleb Love

Caleb Love

For sports fans in the United States, the month of March means only one thing…March Madness. Millions of people around the country, many of which may not watch a college basketball game all year, become engrossed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament. If we go back to when the tournament started in 1939, there was not a great deal of interest but how things have changed.

What is March Madness?

Before we look at the early favorites for March Madness 2023, you must know how the event works. March Madness takes place from the beginning of the month through to April. The top 68 college basketball teams from across the US play each other to determine the overall champion. The teams who won their Conference Championship receive an automatic place in March Madness, and the remaining 38 teams are chosen by the Men's basketball committee members using a set of special criteria. The 68 teams are split into four different regions, with the teams eventually whittled down to the final four and the championship game.

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The Defending Champions

The Kansas Jayhawks are the defending champions, having won March Madness in 2022. They beat North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 in the championship game to land their second March Madness title in 15 years. However, recent history proves that winning March Madness back-to-back is extremely difficult. We must go back to 2007 to find the last time a team won the event back-to-back, and it was Florida Gators who landed the title that year, beating Ohio State Buckeyes 84-75 in the championship game. However, Kansas Jayhawks are not the favorites with the sportsbooks to win the tournament in 2023, and perhaps the recent history of teams failing to win back-to-back plays some part in that decision.

The 2023 Favorite

The early favorite to win March Madness in 2023 is North Carolina Tar Heels. Interestingly, they were the defeated team in the championship game last year, so there will be plenty of motivation to go one better this time. You must go back to 2017 to find the last time North Carolina Tar Heels won the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, and they beat Gonzaga Bulldogs in the final. North Carolina has 6 titles to their name, making them the third most successful team in the competition's history. If you want to back North Carolina to win March Madness, you must take advantage of the latest free bet offers from licensed US sportsbooks. There are promo codes you can use to claim free bets, which you can enjoy throughout March Madness.

Other Contenders

Many people are talking up the Duke Blue Devils as potential winners of March Madness. Duke made a deep run in 2022, reaching the National Semi-finals Final Four before losing out by 4 points to North Carolina. Some sportsbooks have them as the favorites to go all the way in 2023. Interestingly, we must go back to 1995 to find the last time UCLA Bruins won March Madness. They enjoyed a hugely successful period between 1964 and 1975, winning the tournament 10 times. Thanks to that period of dominance, UCLA top the all-time March Madness winners list with 11 victories, but they have struggled since the 1970s to assert themselves in the competition. The Gonzaga Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, and Houston Cougars are also being talked up as early contenders for March Madness. For basketball fans in the United States and worldwide, March Madness is a special event. The basketball is non-stop, with high-quality games and plenty of drama. Which team will come out on top in the next edition of this incredible tournament?

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