March Madness has officially arrived, but the real lunacy begins in earnest tomorrow with what is now dubbed the second round of play. There are teams all over the country still brimming with hope that they may be the one to win it all; however, the latest NCAA Tournament Odds would indicate only seven to 10 teams have a realistic shot at winning the National Championship. One of those squads is No. 1 overall seed Louisville. The Cardinals, who own the top seed in the Midwest Region, are a 5-1 co-favorite (Indiana) to win the Final Four.
Louisville, which opens NCAA Tournament play against North Carolina A&T on Thursday night, entered the season as the favorite to win the Big East Conference, and it was also a top choice of many, after reaching the Final Four last year, to win the National Championship.
For most of the season the Cardinals, who are one of the top defensive teams in the country, lived up to their billing. Louisville went 12-1 in non-conference play, garnering wins over Missouri, Memphis, and Western Kentucky along the way, and it jumped out to 4-0 start in Big East action.
The Cardinals suffered three straight losses in late January, though, causing many to question whether or not they had overestimated the team’s potential. Louisville spent the remainder of its regular season and conference tournament schedule alleviating those concerns.
Rick Pitino’s troops won 13 of their last 14 games and they stormed through Villanova, Notre Dame, and Syracuse en route to the Big East Tournament title.
Louisville’s current momentum coupled with the overall success of one seeds in recent years makes it a highly intriguing National Championship choice at 5-1 odds.
March Madness NCAA Tournament Odds: Louisville Cardinals
Odds to win 2013 NCAA Men’s National Championship 5/1 ($100 wins $500)
Odds to win the Midwest Region 6/5 ($100 wins $120)
Odds to be the first No. 1 seed eliminated from the NCAA Tournament +400 (three of four)
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