NCAA Tournament No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds East and West Region Profiles
The March Madness brackets are being filled out, and the picks and pools finalized for the 2023 NCAA Tournament. March Madness tournament betting at leading online sportsbooks is most popular for the opening weekend games with wall-to-wall basketball, as teams shoot for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds in the East Region are Kansas State, Tennessee and Duke. The 3, 4 and 5 seeds in the West Region are Gonzaga, Connecticut and St. Mary's.
Check out the stats and profiles of the No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds in the South and Midwest Regions.
There are some fundamental keys to NCAA Tournament success as you evaluate the match-ups and stats prior to and during the tournament. That includes top defensive teams as you evaluated the matchups and break down the brackets. Betting futures odds and teams to win the national championship is popular, along with odds to reach the Final Four.
The biggest sporting event of the year offers so many action-packed games throughout the tournament, and especially opening weekend. The top teams and seeds will be most popular picks in NCAA Tournament brackets and pools, and when betting matchups. No. 1 and 2 in the East and West - Purdue, Marquette and Kansas, UCLA, along with No. 1 and 2 in the South and Midwest - Alabama, Arizona and Houston, Texas. But there are plenty of very capable teams seeded 3-6 that can challenge, and we'll outline their stats and profiles.
Higher seeds and longshots cannot be dismissed from Final Four futures. Last year in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, No. 10 seed Miami made it to the Elite Eight. And North Carolina pulled off the shocker making it to the Final Four and Championship game before falling 72-69 to Kansas. North Carolina was ranked No. 1 to start this college basketball season, and became the first pre-season No. 1 team to not make the NCAA Tournament.
Recall another recent Cinderella in 2021 when UCLA went from First Four to Final Four as another longshot surprise, only to lose 93-90 in overtime to undefeated Gonzaga in one of the greatest games in Final Four history that ended on a most memorable March Madness moment by Zags guard Jalen Suggs near half court buzzer-beater.
March Madness Contests
Ahead of NCAA Tournament action, there are some great March Madness contests to join sponsored by top online sportsbooks.
Be sure to get in and enter the Offshore Gaming Association's 2023 March Madness Bracket Challenge. Now in it's 21st year at OSGA, it's free to enter and pays out cash prizes thanks to reduced juice sportsbook sponsor BetAnySports.
Brackets and Betting
I chip-in additional NCAA Tournament coverage for Forbes with bracket breakdown and opening round match-ups and betting lines. Additional stats, insights, news and information you can bet on for all the top teams in the bracket.
As you break down the brackets and match-ups, futures odds and BetOnline each round of the NCAA Tournament, here are some team profiles, stats and odds outlook to track as the top teams advance through the NCAA Tournament.
NET ranking: takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses.
Odds to win courtesy of BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag.
No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds East Region Profiles
No. 3 Kansas State (23-9), including 20-12 ATS
Key Wins: Nevada (N), West Virginia, Texas (A), Baylor (2x), Kansas, Iowa State, TCU
Key Losses: Texas, TCU (2x), Kansas (A), Iowa State (A)
National Title Odds: +6600
Final Four Odds: +1200
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 14
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 51, Defense No. 19
Head Coach: Jerome Tang
Kansas State's NET ranking is No. 24, and the Wildcats went 9-8 vs Quad 1 opponents and 4-1 vs Quad 2. K-State tied for the Big 12's best free throw shooting (75%) wild leading the league in assists (16.7/game). The Wildcats defense held opponents to a Big 12-low 30.1% FG from the 3-point line. Wildcats forward Keyontae Johnson (14 PPG, 7 RPG) was the unanimous choice as Newcomer of the Year for Big 12 Coach of the Year Jerome Tang.
No. 4 Tennessee (23-10), including 17-16 ATS
Key Wins: USC (N), Kansas (N), Maryland (N), Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi State (2x)
Key Losses: Arizona (A), Kentucky (2x), Missouri (2x)
National Title Odds: +2500
Final Four Odds: +500
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 35
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 48, Defense No. 2
Head Coach: Rick Barnes
Tennessee's NET ranking is No. 4, and the Volunteers went 7-7 vs Quad 1 opponents and 3-3 vs Quad 2. The Vols 58.0 PPG defense is No. 2 in the NCAA Tournament behind Houston. Tennessee is No. 1 in 3-point percentage defense and No. 1 in effective FG% defense. Guard Zakai Zeigler led the SEC in assists (5.4/game) and T-3 in steals while earning SEC All-Defensive team honors. Santiago Vescovi (16 PPG) led the Vols in scoring while hitting 41.1% from the arc on his way to first team All-SEC.
No. 5 Duke (26-8), including 15-19 ATS
Key Wins: Xavier (N), Iowa (N), Miami (2x), Virginia (N), Pitt (2x)
Key Losses: Kansas (N), Purdue (N), Miami (A), Virginia (A)
National Title Odds: +2000
Final Four Odds: +500
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 66
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 41, Defense No. 25
Head Coach: Jon Scheyer
Duke's NET ranking is No. 4, and the Blue Devils went 5-6 vs Quad 1 opponents and 7-2 vs Quad 2. Duke got healthier and won the ACC Tournament. Duke's defense held opponents to less than 41% FG and 30.2% from the arc - both second-best in ACC. The Blue Devils hit 77% FT's and led the ACC in rebounding margin (8.1/game), but had a negative turnover margin. Center Dereck Lively II was voted to the ACC All Defensive Team.
No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds West Region Profiles
No. 3 Gonzaga (28-5), including 13-18-1 ATS
Key Wins: Michigan State (N), Kentucky (N), Xavier (N), Alabama, St. Mary's (2x)
Key Losses: Texas (A), Purdue (N), Baylor (N), St. Mary's (A)
National Title Odds: +1400
Final Four Odds: +375
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 60
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 1, Defense No. 76
Head Coach: Mark Few
Gonzaga's NET ranking is No. 6, and the Bulldogs went 6-4 vs Quad 1 opponents and 5-0 vs Quad 2. The Zags boast the No. 1 adjusted offense and No. 2 in effective FG% and 2-point percentage. Gonzaga's 86.5 points per game led the country, and the Bulldogs scoring margin of +8.5 is top-10.All-American forward Drew Timme was named the Co-Player of the Year in the West Coast Conference after scoring 21.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG and hitting 61.8% FG.
No. 4 UCONN (25-8), including 21-11-1 ATS
Key Wins: Alabama (N), Iowa State (N), Marquette, Providence (2x),
Key Losses: Xavier (2x) Marquette (2x), Providence (A), Creighton (A)
National Title Odds: +1600
Final Four Odds: +400
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 42
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 6, Defense No. 18
Head Coach: Dan Hurley
Connecticut's NET ranking is No. 8, and the Huskies went 7-6 vs Quad 1 opponents and 6-1 vs Quad 2. Connecticut averages 78.5 PPG and is No. 1 in offensive rebounding percentage and No. 6 in adjusted offensive efficiency and top-12 in defensive effective FG percentage. Forward Adama Sanogo (19.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG) is the lone repeat selection on the All-Big East First Team. Guard Jordan Hawkins (16.4 PPG) also was voted first team All-Big East.
No. 5 St. Mary's (26-7), including 17-13-2 ATS
Key Wins: San Diego State (N), Gonzaga
Key Losses: Houston (N), Gonzaga (2x)
National Title Odds: +5500
Final Four Odds: +1100
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 73
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 39, Defense No. 8
Head Coach: Randy Bennett
St. Mary's NET ranking is No. 8, and the Gaels went 2-3 vs Quad 1 opponents and 7-2 vs Quad 2. The Gaels won a share of the West Coast regular season title but were blown out by Gonzaga in the WCC championship game. St. Mary's scoring defense (60.0) was best in the WCC and top-5 in the country, and +7.2 rebounding margin was best in the WCC. The Gaels had three players on the WCC team - Senior guard Logan Johnson (14.7 PPG), Center Mitchell Saxsen (11.8 PPG, 8 RPG) and freshman guard Aiden Mahaney (14.6 (PPG) and 41% from 3-point arc.
Check back for additional stats, updates and information you can bet on.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and insightful analyst with proven winning results including in college basketball. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay