Countdown to the 2024 NCAA Tournament: East and West Region No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds and Stats

FairwayJay provides insight, stats and profiles of NCAA Tournament No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds in East and West Regions.

NCAA Tournament No. 3, 4 and 5 Seeds East and West Region Profiles 

The March Madness brackets are set and the picks and pools are being finalized ahead of the 2024 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 Illinois, Auburn and San Diego State. The 3, 4 and 5 seeds in the West Region are Baylor, Alabama and St. Mary's

Check out the stats and profiles of the No. 1 and 2 top seeds in the South and Midwest Regions, and East and West Regions, along with the 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, and I've added those odds below. 

NCAA Tournament East West regions previewThe 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 - Connecticut, Purdue, Houston and North Carolina as the top seeds, along with Arizona, Iowa State, Tennessee and Marquette and as No. 2's. But there are plenty of very capable teams seeded 3-6 that can challenge, and we'll outline their stats and profiles. Last year UCONN won the national championship as a No. 4 seed, and No. 5's San Diego State and Miami made the Final Four along with No. 9 seed surprise Florida Atlantic. 

So longshots cannot be dismissed from Final Four futures. In the 2022 NCAA Tournament, No. 10 seed Miami made it to the Elite Eight while No. 8 seed North Carolina pulled off the shocker making it to the Final Four and Championship game before falling 72-69 to No. 1 Kansas. 

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 with a half court buzzer-beater. 

March Madness Contests 

Ahead of NCAA Tournament action, there are some great March Madness contests to join offering top payouts by leading online sportsbooks. 

Be sure to get in and enter the Offshore Gaming Association's 2024 March Madness Bracket Challenge. Now in it's 22st year at OSGA, it's free to enter and pays out cash prizes.

Brackets and Betting 

I chip-in additional 2024 NCAA Tournament coverage for Forbes with bracket breakdown and opening round match-ups and betting lines along with TV schedule and times. 

But here at OSGA we chip-in 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 bet online 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. 

Key stats to picking an NCAA Tournament champion

When evaluating the KenPom stats, know that 20 of the last 21 National Champions have finished in the Top 20 in both offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency. This year's teams include: 

- Connecticu (1,11 off/def)
- Houston (17,2)
- Auburn (10,4)
- Arizona (8,12) 


- Purdue (3,21)
- Marquette (21,19)
- Tennessee (29,3)
- North Carolina (24,6)
- Duke (7,26)
- Creighton (12,24) 

No. 3, 4, 5 Seeds East Region

No. 3 Illinois

Record: 26-8
Key Wins: Michigan State, at Wisconsin (2x), vs. Nebraska, vs. Florida Atlantic
Key Losses: Purdue (2x), at Northwestern, at Michigan State at Tennesse, vs. Marquette
National Title Odds: +3500
Final Four Odds: +1800
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 24
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 3, Defense No. 93
Twitter: @IlliniMBB
Head Coach: Brad Underwood 

Illinois NCAA Tournament preview predictionIllinois has a NET ranking of 13 and the Fighting Illini went 8-6 vs. Quad 1 teams and 6-1 vs. Quad 2. Illinois scores 84.4 points per game, which led the Big Ten, and has a +10.6 scoring margin - second-best in the Big Ten behind Purdue. The Fighting Illini adjusted offensive efficiency is elite and No. 3 in the country with a variety of versatile scoring options. The Illini hit the offensive glass at a top-20 rate while shooting 47.1% FG. That includes 35% from long range while taking more than 800 3-point attempts - tops in the Big Ten but No. 88 in the country. The Illini were No. 2 in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (+8.5) but turn the ball over too much and force fewer turnovers with a negative TO margin (-2.0) per game. 

No. 4 Auburn 

Record: 27-7
Key Wins: Alabama, Mississippi State (2x), vs. Florida, Texas A&M, at Ole Miss, South Carolina (2x), vs. St. Bonaventure 
Key Losses: at Alabama, at Mississippi State, at Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee, vs. Baylor
National Title Odds: +1700
Final Four Odds: +650
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 53 
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 10, Defense No. 4
Twitter: @AuburnMBB
Head Coach: Bruce Pearl 

Auburn has a NET ranking of 5 and the Tigers went 3-7 vs. Quad 1 teams and 10-0 vs. Quad 2. Auburn is one of just four teams that fit the elite top 20 profile of both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. Auburn NCAA prediction statsConsidering that 20 of the last 21 National Champions have finished in the Top 20 in both offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency, and the Tigers are a Final Four and National Title contender. Unfortunately, they drew into the East Region with No. 1 UCONN, who for the second straight year is top-20 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and won the national title last year. The Tigers score 83.5 points per game in the high-scoring SEC and had a top-3 scoring defense that helped them lead the SEC in scoring margin (+14.9). Auburn is a very solid shooting (47.3%) and FT (75.4%) team, and an elite defensive FG (38.8%) team that ranks No. 1 in the country in effective FG% defense and 2-point % defense and top-10 in 3-point % defense. Add in a +3.8 rebounding margin, SEC best in assists, assist/TO margin, and nearly No. 1 in SEC in blocked shots, and the Tigers are a complete team under veteran HC Bruce Pearl and enter the NCAAT off a SEC Tournament Championship run. 

No. 5 San Diego State 

Record: 24-10
Key Wins: New Mexico, Nevada, Utah State (2x), Colorado State, vs. St. Mary's, vs. Gonzaga
Key Losses: at New Mexico (2x), at Boise State (2x), at Nevada, at Colorado State, at Utah State, vs. BYU
National Title Odds: +9000
Final Four Odds: +4000
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 25
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 62, Defense No. 9 
Twitter: @Aztec_MBB
Head Coach: Brian Dutcher

San Diego State March Madness stats previewSan Diego State has a NET ranking of 20 and the Aztecs went 4-9 vs. Quad 1 teams 6-1 vs. Quad 2. Last year's national champion runner-ups led a record 6-team charge for the Mountain West into the NCAA Tournament this year as the MWC's top-seeded team despite finishing 5th in the conference and losing in the Mountain West Conference title game. The Aztecs still have long odds to win the NCAA Tournament at 90/1, but feature a top-10 adjusted defensive efficiency team for the third straight season under coach Brian Dutcher. The Aztecs led the Mountain West in scoring defense (66.5 PPG) and FG defense (40.5%) while forcing long opponent possessions. But SDSU struggle's to shoot the ball well ranking last in the Mountain West at 44% FG and 3-point shooting (31.3). Rebounding is still solid with a +4.6 margin and No. 2 in steals but average in assist/turnover ratio. 

No. 3, 4, 5 Seeds West Region

No. 3 Baylor 

Record: 23-10
Key Wins: Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, BYU, vs. Auburn, vs. Florida
Key Losses: Houston, at Texas Tech, at Kansas, vs. Iowa State, at BYU, TCU, vs. Duke, vs. Michigan State
National Title Odds: +3000
Final Four Odds: +1600
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 1
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 6, Defense No. 64
Twitter: @BaylorMBB
Head Coach: Scott Drew 

Baylor has a NET ranking of 15 and the Bears went 10-9 vs. Quad 1 teams and 4-1 vs. Quad 2. Baylor led the Big 12 in 3-point shooting (38.8%) and was among the elite long-range shooting teams in the country while averaging 80 points per game - one of 30 teams in the country to score 80+ per contest. But volatility of 3-point shooting was on display in the Big 12 Tournament when the Bears hit just 10/43 (23.3%) in two Big 12 Tournament games. Baylor shot 48.3% FG to finish just behind Kansas in the Big 12, but their FG defense was poor (45.3%) ranking 13th in the conference. The Bears +5.9 rebounding margin was No. 3 in the Big 12 and they were even on turnovers both giving and taking away 12 per game. 

No. 4 Alabama

Record: 21-11
Key Wins: Auburn, Florida, at Mississippi State (2x), South Carolina, Texas A&M, vs. Oregon
Key Losses: at Tennessee (2x), at Auburn, at Kentucky, Florida (2x), vs. Purdue, vs. Arizona, at Creighton, at Clemson
National Title Odds: +4000
Final Four Odds: +1800
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 6
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 2, Defense No. 112
Twitter: @AlabamaMBB
Head Coach: Nate Oats 

Alabama has a NET ranking of 6 and the Crimson Tide went 4-10 vs. Quad 1 teams and 7-1 vs. Quad 2. Alabama led the country in scoring (90.8 PPG) and 46.8% of their shot attempts were from beyond the 3-point arc. Ranking No. 3 in the country in offensive efficiency, the Crimson Tide also play at a blistering fast pace (No. 3), and their opening round opponent does as well (Charleston), which has created the highest total of 173.5 points. Alabama's scoring defense ranked last in the SEC allowing 80 points per game, including more than 100 points allowed in three of their final six contests. The 'Tide still had a +10.4 scoring margin, and shot 47.8% FG and 37% from long range while also making an outstanding 78.6% from the FT line. The 'Tide do have a +4.7 rebounding margin but a slightly negative turnover margin. 

No. 5 St. Mary's 

Record: 26-7
Key Wins: at Gonzaga (2x), at Colorado State, vs. New Mexico
Key Losses: Gonzaga, vs. San Diego State, vs. Boise State
National Title Odds: +7000
Final Four Odds: +3500
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 108
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 45, Defense No. 16
Twitter: @saintmaryshoops
Head Coach: Randy Bennett 

St. Mary's has a NET ranking of 16 and the Gaels went 5-3 vs. Quad 1 teams and 3-2 vs. Quad 2. The Gaels won the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament title to stop the stranglehold of Gonzaga. A No. 3 national rank of effective FG defense is the Gaels calling card, and St. Mary's allows just 58.7 points per game to rank No. 2 in the country behind Houston. Solid 3-point defense and outstanding rebounding margin (+12.0) along with a solid assist/turnover ratio completes the balanced profile of the well-coached Gaels. 

Check back for additional stats, updates and information you can bet on. 

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