- The Arizona Wildcats, who have the second-best odds to win March Madness, are the favorite in the South Region
- There are some other intriguing teams in this group though, including Tennessee, Loyola-Chicago, and Villanova, among others
- Find the preview and full odds for this region below
Selection Sunday has wrapped up and we now know exactly what teams will be battling it out in The Big Dance for the ultimate prize on April 4th in New Orleans. Gonzaga is the No. 1 overall seed for the second straight season in the West, but the South Region also has no shortage of intriguing talent, with the 31-3 Arizona Wildcats leading the way.
In fact, four of the top-15 programs in the March Madness odds are from this region, including the Wildcats, Tennessee, Illinois, and Houston, who made the Final Four in 2022 but lost to eventual National Champions, Baylor.
March Madness South Regional Odds
Odds as of March 13th at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Wildcats are a +110 favorite in the Final Four odds, with Tennessee, Villanova, and Houston behind them.
Can Arizona Live up to The Hype?
The Wildcats are the No. 1 seed in their region for the seventh time but they haven’t been a top dog since 2014. Arizona will be playing either Wright State or Bryant on Friday in San Diego. Tommy Lloyd did a tremendous job with this Wildcats group in his first season as head coach, leading them to a Pac-12 title and one of the best records in the nation. Arizona will be coming into the tournament red-hot as well, winning six straight after beating UCLA in the conference championship on Saturday.
However, Arizona hasn’t been in the NCAA Tournament since 2018 and their last appearance in the Final Four was back in 2001. Nevertheless, Lloyd’s team certainly made their presence felt in 2021/22. They’re 7th in the nation in offensive rating and 16th in defensive rating, while also sitting in the top-five in field goal percentage, rebounds, and assists. Four of the Wildcats’ five starters average double-digits in points, led by guard Bennedict Mathurin, who is top-10 in the Wooden Award Odds and has first-round potential for the upcoming NBA Draft.
Bennedict Mathurin led Arizona to the PAC-12 Title.
🔥 27 PTS
🔥 7 AST
🔥 4 REB pic.twitter.com/48XoWIypuE
— SLAM University (@slam_university) March 13, 2022
The Canadian is putting up 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game and continues to step up when his team needs him most. Azuolas Tubelis, Christian Koloko, and Kerr Kriisa are important pieces, too. However, Kriisa missed the UCLA game with an ankle injury and he’s Arizona’s best playmaker. If he’s sidelined for March Madness, it could be a big loss for a Wildcats team that is looking to get past many years of disappointment on the big stage.
Tennessee, Houston Have Value
Many people thought Tennessee would be higher than a #3 seed. Nonetheless, the Vols just won their first SEC tournament in 43 years and possess a very solid roster. Rick Barnes’ group went 26-7 during the season while beating some very good teams in non-conference play, including Arizona in December, UNC, and Colorado.
THE TENNESSEE VOLS ARE THE SEC TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS🏀 pic.twitter.com/mmlzYeXXuN
— GoVolsXtra (@GoVolsXtra) March 13, 2022
The Volunteers also come into The Big Dance on a roll, winning 12 of their last 13 contests. This is one of the best defensive teams in the country (12th) and has three guards who can really score the rock and create for their teammates in Kennedy Chandler, Josiah-Jordan James, and Santiago Vescovi.
The Cougars, as previously mentioned, were in the Final Four in 2021 but Baylor ran through them. Despite losing one of their best players to the NBA in Quentin Grimes, Houston is back in the mix and strong as ever. Leading scorer Marcus Sasser is out for the year, yet the Cougars continue to get it done in every way imaginable.
Kyler Edwards has filled the void of Sasser, while Fabian White Jr and Tramon Mark are brilliant at both ends. Kelvin Sampson’s group also sits 15th in offensive rating and fourth in defensive rating in the NCAA. They’re the full package and can’t be counted out in this region after a 28-5 campaign.
Don’t Sleep on Loyola
How can you sleep on Loyola, who made the Final Four in 2018 and went on a Cinderella Run to the Sweet 16 last season? The Ramblers are 18th in field goal percentage and 10th in three-point percentage while boasting a fundamentally sound rotation on both ends of the hardwood. They have a tough matchup in the Round of 64 in Ohio State, but this team is always capable of an upset.
South Region Champion Pick
Arizona has been such a force this season, but to be honest, I don’t think they’re going to come out of this region. I didn’t really discuss Villanova much because, in my opinion, there’s more value with Tennessee or Houston. Ultimately though, I really like this Volunteers team who are surging and frankly should’ve been a higher seed.
Pick: Tennessee +500
Other March Madness coverage:
- March Madness Odds Favor Gonzaga at +350 After Selection Sunday – https://www.sportsbettingdime.com/news/ncaab/march-madness-odds-favor-gonzaga-selection-sunday/
- Printable 2022 March Madness Bracket – Make Your Picks for the NCAA Tournament
- West Regional Odds: Gonzaga Odds-On Favorite to Reach Final Four