Only four teams remain in the hunt for the 2021 college basketball championship. Heading into the Final Four this weekend, top-seeded Gonzaga is now -250 odds to win March Madness, according to DraftKings. Baylor, the only other #1 seed remaining in the Final Four, is +250 odds to win their first title, followed by #2 Houston at +700, and UCLA as the long shot at +2500 odds.
This year’s Final Four pits two Texas teams against each other, and a pair of West Coast teams against each other to determine the championship game.
In the Final Four, #1 Gonzaga and #11 UCLA will slug it out on Saturday for a spot in Monday’s championship game. UCLA became the first First Four team to qualify for the Final Four. Despite upsetting #1 Michigan and #2 Alabama, UCLA comes into the Final Four as a huge underdog getting +14.
|2021 March Madness Odds|
|Final 4||Elite 8||Sweet 16|
In the first Final Four game, #1 Baylor is a -5 favorite over #2 Houston. Neither team has won a men’s college basketball championship, but the winner will get a crack at their first title on Monday evening.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, everyone’s favorite furniture salesman from Houston, backed the Houston Cougars to win March Madness for a cool million bucks last week at +900 odds. If Houston can knock out Baylor and beat the winner of UCLA/Gonzaga, then Mattress Mack will bank $9 million.
Gonzaga is attempting to win March Madness as a wire-to-wire favorite. The Zags entered March Madness with an undefeated record and are looking to become the first college basketball champion since 1976 to end the season unbeaten. Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers were the last undefeated team to win March Madness nearly a half-century ago.
Four other undefeated teams have entered March Madness since 1979, but all four were knocked out. That list includes Indiana State (1979), UNLV (1991), Wichita State (2014), and Kentucky (2015). Larry Bird’s Indiana State lost to Magic Johnson’s Michigan State squad in one of the greatest championship games in Final Four history.
The Zags have the second-best offense in the nation, averaging 91.6 points per game. Their defense allows 68.5 ppg and they have an average margin of victory of 23 points.
In March Madness this year, Gonzaga didn’t break a sweat. They defeated #16 Norfolk State by 43 points in the first round. In the second round, Gonzaga picked off #8 Oklahoma by 16 points. In the Sweet 16, #5 Creighton lost by 18 points. The other night, #6 USC lost in the Elite 8 by 19 points. The Zags’ margin of victory in March Madness this season is 24 points. Only the Cinderella Bruins of #11 UCLA stand in their way of a trip to the title game.
Coming into the Final Four, Gonzaga saw their odds shrink to -250 to win it all.
For the last two seasons, Baylor and Gonzaga have been the top two teams in the nation. Both teams are one win away from meeting each other in the championship game.
Baylor had a sensational start to the season with an 18-0 clip. However, they were sidelined for three weeks due to COVID-19 health protocols to contain an outbreak within the squad, and on other Big 12 teams. After the COVID-19 pause, Baylor looked shaky upon their return. They suffered their first loss of the season against Kansas, but avoided back-to-back losses with an overtime win at West Virginia.
Baylor lost to Oklahoma State, then ranked #12 in the nation, in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament. That marked Baylor’s second loss of the season, and they entered March Madness with a 22-2 record.
Since the start of March Madness, Baylor has coasted to four victories, including a 24-point win over #16 Hartford in the opening round. In the second round, Baylor defeated #9 Wisconsin 76-63. In the Sweet 16, #5 Villanova lost by 11 points. On Monday evening, Baylor picked off #3 Arkansas by nine points, but led by double digits for most of the game. Heading into the Final Four, Baylor won their games by an average of 14 points.
The Baylor Bears are only 5-point favorites over the Houston Cougars in the Final Four, but Baylor offers up the best value at +250 to win March Madness.
Kelvin Sampson and the Houston Cougars were bummed out when they didn’t get a chance to play in March Madness in 2020. Last year’s team boasted one of the best offenses in the NCAA, but never got a chance to show off their high-flying show.
The offense isn’t as potent this year, but Houston (28-3) is just as dangerous. The Cougars won 11 games in a row, but had two close games in March Madness.
In the second round, #10 Rutgers gave #2 Houston some trouble, but Houston pulled away with a 3-point victory thanks to 22 points and five 3-pointers from leading scorer Quentin Grimes.
Houston held off #12 Oregon State in the Elite 8, which was a big deal considering the Beavers were the hottest team in the tournament at the time. The never-quit Beavers backdoored a late cover, but Houston prevailed and advanced to the Final Four.
Houston is seeking their first college hoops championship. They came close when they had Hakeem Olajuwon in the early 1980s. With Hakeem the Dream, Houston secured three-consecutive Final Four berths. They appeared in the championship game in 1983 and 1984, but lost both times.
Heading into the Final Four, Houston is +700 odds to win their first championship.
Johnny Juzang is the toast of Tinsel Town right now. The sophomore, who grew up in the Valley, led UCLA to five consecutive wins — including two overtime victories — to lock up a spot in the Final Four. UCLA earned the #11 seed through a play-in game and became the first First Four team in NCAA history to secure a spot in the Final Four.
UCLA nearly missed the tournament as a bubble team. The Bruins ended the regular season with three losses, then were knocked out of the Pac-12 conference tournament in the opening round by Oregon State. The selection committee threw UCLA a bone and added them as a First Four team. UCLA needed an overtime session to defeat Michigan State in the play-in game.
In the first round, UCLA defeated #6 BYU by 11 points. In the second round, UCLA thumped #14 Abilene Christian by 20 points. By the time the Sweet 16 rolled around, the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide awaited the Bruins. UCLA blew a late lead when Alabama forced overtime. Despite Juzang fouling out, UCLA prevailed by 10 points in OT.
Last night, UCLA upended #1 Michigan 51-49. The Bruins held off a late rally from Michigan and advanced to their first Final Four since 2008. UCLA last won a March Madness championship in 1995, which marked their 11th title — the most in NCAA history. At the onset of the Final Four, UCLA is the long shot on the board at +2500 odds to win March Madness.
Check out the latest OG List, which includes a complete list of every team that won the March Madness championship.