- LSU enjoyed its best-ever season, posting a 16-2 SU record to claim its first SEC regular-season title since 2009
- Controversy surrounding suspended head coach Will Wade has dampened expectations at March Madness
- Purdue poised as the No. 3 seed likely to do the most damage at this year’s NCAA Tournament
The LSU Tigers marched to a best-ever 16-2 record this season to claim their first SEC regular-season title since 2009. But the suspension of head coach Will Wade plus and early exit from the SEC Tournament has led to the Tigers’ March Madness odds sagging.
LSU has the worst odds to win the NCAA Men’s Tournament among this year’s No. 3 seeds, pegged at a lengthy +5000.
Odds to Win March Madness National Championship
|Team (Seed)||Odds to win NCAA Tournament|
|North Carolina (#1)||+750|
|Texas Tech (#3)||+2000|
Tigers Overcame Adversity En Route to SEC Title
The Tigers overcame ample early-season adversity, including the tragic murder of forward Wayde Sims, to dominate in conference play.
The squad also regularly rewarded sports bettors, posting an impressive 13-5-1 record against the spread in their past 19 outings, including outright victories as betting underdogs over Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.
— Sheldon Mickles (@MicklesAdvocate) February 18, 2019
Exceeding expectations gave the Tigers a lift at the sportsbooks, where they rocketed from a long +10000 bet in the national championship odds in the last week of January up to an intriguing +4000 wager in early March.
Wade’s Suspension Takes Shine Off LSU’s Historic Season
However, the Tigers were struck by off-court controversy as the regular-season schedule came to a close, with head coach Will Wade now facing indefinite suspension after being implicated in an ongoing FBI investigation into illegal recruiting tactics.
The SEC's second (Kentucky) and third-place (Tennessee) finishers are playing in today's conference tourney semifinals. LSU, the regular-season champs, are out. Are the Tigers also in trouble for the NCAA Tournament under interim coach Tony Benford: https://t.co/P2bnrJ6oK1
— Mark Wiedmer (@TFPWeeds) March 16, 2019
With interim coach Tony Benford at the reins, the Tigers managed to close out their schedule with an 80-59 rout of Vanderbilt as 13-point home favorites.
However, a stunning 76-73 loss to No. 8 Florida as 3.5-point chalk in the quarterfinal of the SEC Tournament, combined with the controversy swirling around Wade, has dramatically lowered expectations as the Tigers prepare for their first trip to the Big Dance since 2015.
Duke, Michigan State Massive Obstacles in Tigers’ Path to Final Four
A less than ideal draw in the East Bracket leaves the Tigers with a daunting path to the Final Four that involves likely matchups with No. 2 Michigan State and top-seeded Duke.
— 18d.Media (@18dMedia) March 18, 2019
With Zion Williamson back in the lineup, the Blue Devils have cemented their position as short +225 favorites, while the Spartans ride a 10-1 SU run into March Madness and have reasonably short +1200 odds to claim their first national title since 2000.
Bulldogs Emerging as Popular Pick to Pull Off First-Round Upset
Before the Tigers can even think about how they stack up against Duke or MSU, they must first rise to the occasion in a tough opening-round clash with the Ivy League champion Yale Bulldogs.
— SportsRadio 740 (@SportsRadio_740) March 18, 2019
Following decisive victories over Princeton and Harvard at this year’s Ivy League Tournament, Yale has emerged as a popular pick to pull off the upset when it faces the beleaguered Tigers in first-round action
After overcoming a worrisome 1-3 SU slide, the No. 14 Bulldogs have impressed in three straight victories. Following decisive victories over Princeton and Harvard at this year’s Ivy League Tournament, Yale has emerged as a popular pick to pull off the upset when it faces the beleaguered Tigers in first-round action on Thursday as a 7.5-point underdog.
Purdue a Legitimate Threat to Lead all Three-Seeds at this Year’s Tournament
Among the tiro of other No. 3 seeds in this year’s NCAA Tournament, it is tough to look past Purdue, which currently sits as a +3300 bet.
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) March 18, 2019
Powered by star junior Carsen Edwards, the Boilermakers claimed a share of the Big Ten regular-season title, joining the Spartans at 16-4, and could be poised to make noise in a South Region that features a pair of top-seeded teams, No. 1 Virginia and No. 2 Tennessee, that have failed to fulfill the promise in recent editions of the NCAA Tournament.
SBD’s Regional Previews
- Odds to Win the West Region of 2019 March Madness Tournament
- Duke Listed as Odds-On Favorite to Win East Region of March Madness Bracket
- South Region Preview: Virginia Listed at +140 to Reach Final Four
SBD’s Other March Madness coverage:
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