NCAA Tournament No. 1 and 2 Seeds East and West Region Profiles
The 2023 NCAA Tournament field is set, and basketball fans an bettors are completing their brackets and reviewing the match-ups and betting lines at the leading online sportsbooks. The most thrilling sporting event of the year has arrived, and bettors are looking to cash-in on their bets, brackets and basketball betting pools. The top-2 seeds in the East Region are Purdue and Marquette, and the top-2 seeds in the West Region are Kansas and UCLA.
March Madness tournament betting is most popular for the opening weekend games with wall-to-wall basketball as teams shoot for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen - which for the first time will have a regional (West) in Las Vegas March 23 and 25 for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.
Ahead of NCAA Tournament action, there are some great March Madness contests to join sponsored by top online sportsbooks.
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. As you 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.
Also, check out the top teams No. 1 and No. 2 seeds and profiles from the South and Midwest Regions - Alabama, Arizona and Houston, Texas.
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.
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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.
Odds to win courtesy of BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag.
East Region Top Seeds Preview
No. 1 Purdue (29-5), including 13-19-2 ATS
Key Wins: Gonzaga (N), Duke (N), West Virginia (N), Penn State (3x), Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan State (2x), Illinois, Maryland
Key Losses: Rutgers, Indiana (2x), Maryland (A), Northwestern (A)
National Title Odds: +1200
Final Four Odds: +260
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 21
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 7, and among the slowest offensive tempo's in NCAAT. Defense No. 26, and allow lowest free throw rate in the country.
Head Coach: Matt Painter
Purdue's NET ranking is No. 5, and the Boilermakers went 10-4 vs Quad 1 opponents and 9-1 vs Quad 2. Top coach Matt Painter has Boiler Ball rolling again after winning the Big Ten Tournament and regular season title. Big Ten Player of the Year Zach Edey is a 7' 4" monster in the middle and helped lead Purdue to the No. 1 rebounding margin in the country, and No. 3 offensive rebounding percentage by KenPom's ratings. Purdue outscored opponents by more than 10 points per game.
No. 2 Marquette (28-6), including 21-12-1 ATS
Key Wins: UCONN (2x), Xavier (2x), Creighton (2x)
Key Losses: Purdue (A), Mississippi State (N), UCONN (A), Xavier (A)
National Title Odds: +1800
Final Four Odds: +475
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 39
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 8 including top-10 in effective FG% and 2-point FG%. Defense No. 47.
Head Coach: Shaka Smart
Marquette's NET ranking is No. 12, and the Golden Eagles went 8-5 vs Quad 1 opponents and 6-0 vs Quad 2. Marquette's fast pace of play ranks top-5 in the country, and the Eagles defense ranks top-20 in forced turnover percentage. Marquette won the Big East Tournament and regular season title. Marquette point guard Tyler Kolek was voted Big East Player of the Year for Big East Coach of the Year Shaka Smart. Kolek led the Big East in assists per game (7.7).
West Region Top Seeds Preview
No. 1 Kansas (27-7), including 16-18 ATS
Key Wins: Duke, Missouri (A), Indiana, Texas, Kansas State, TCU, Iowa State, West Virginia (3x)
Key Losses: Tennessee (N), Texas (2x), Iowa State (A), Kansas State (A), TCU (A), Iowa State (A)
National Title Odds: +1400
Final Four Odds: +385
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 1
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 29 , Defense No. 7
Head Coach: Bill Self
Kansas' NET ranking is No. 9, and the Jayhawks had a nation-best 17 Quad 1 wins (17-7) and went 4-0 vs Quad 2 teams while playing the No. 1 Strength of Schedule in the country (KenPom). Kansas won it's 17th Big 12 regular season title under head coach Bill Self before losing to No. 2 Texas in the Big 12 Tournament title game. Jayhawks forward Jalen Wilson was voted Big 12 Player of the Year, and guard Dajuan Harris Defensive Player of the Year. Forward KJ Adams Jr. also garnered Most Improved Player of the year.
No. 2 UCLA (29-5), including 20-12-2 ATS.
Key Wins: Maryland (A), Kentucky (N), Arizona, USC, ASU (2x)
Key Losses: Baylor (N), Illinois (N), Arizona (2x), USC
National Title Odds: +1200
Final Four Odds: +280
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 33
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 25 including No. 3 in steal percentage, Defense No. 1 and top-10 in forcing turnovers.
Head Coach: Mick Cronin
UCLA's NET ranking is No. 3, and the Bruins went 8-5 vs Quad 1 opponents and 9-0 vs Quad 2. Despite a season-ending injury to UCLA's Pac-12 steals leader and Defensive Player of the Year Jaylen Clark in the Pac-12 Tournament, the Bruins are the favorite to win the West Region over No. 1 Kansas. Pac-12 Player of the Year Jaime Jaquez Jr helped lead the Bruins to a +14 PPG scoring margin - top-6 in the NCAA Tournament field. Head coach Mick Cronin has led UCLA to the Final Four, Sweet 16 and now a top seed in the NCAA tournament in his fourth season in Westwood.
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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