Following a cold, quiet February in the sports world, action in the world of basketball is once again heating up with the start of March Madness fast approaching, culminating in the crowning of the 2016 men’s college basketball national champions.
The Madness gets underway on Selection Sunday, March 13, when the 2016 NCAA Tournament Selection Committee determines which teams have made the cut for this year’s tourney, and seeding for each of the regional brackets.
As the college basketball regular season hits the home stretch, the Villanova Wildcats continue to hold the No. 1 spot on the AP Top 25 rankings, and is widely projected to claim the top seed in the East Region.
Despite their stranglehold on the top position in the national rankings, the Wildcats lag badly in March Madness betting at sportsbooks available through BettingSports.com, where they sport long 12/1 odds.
Michigan State leads the way as a 15/2 favorite to claim their first national championship since 2000, but trails at No. 7 on the national rankings and is projected to be the Midwest Region’s No. 2 seed at the Big Dance.
Pegged as a strong No. 2 in the national rankings, the Kansas Jayhawks have moved alongside the Spartans on the March Madness odds with 15/2 odds, according to bettingSports.com, and is expected to be the top seed in the Midwest, setting up a potential Elite Eight showdown.
The battle for top seeding in the South and West regions remains up in the air, with North Carolina and Xavier getting consideration in the South, while Oklahoma and Virginia pegged as top candidates in the West.
The Tar Heels join the favorites at the online sportsbooks with 8/1 odds in college basketball futures betting, followed by the Sooners at 10/1, while the Cavaliers and Musketeers join the defending champion Duke Blue Devils at a distant 16/1.
CBS will once again kick off March Madness with live coverage of the Division I Men’s Basketball Selection Show on March 13, while truTV will be the home of this year’s First Four contests in Dayton, Ohio on March 15 and 16.
CBS and the Turner Network, including TBS, TNT, and truTV offer wall-to-wall coverage of First Round and Second Round action starting on Thursday March 17.
Denver, Des Moines, Providence, and Raleigh play host to action on March 17 and 19, while all eyes will be on Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Spokane on March 18 and 20.
The Regionals get underway the following week, with CBS providing coverage of the West final at Honda Center in Anaheim, and the South final at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, while TBS broadcasts the East final from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and the Midwest final from United Center in Chicago.
The home of this year’s Final Four is NRG Stadium in Houston Texas, where TBS will handle all the action, including both semi-final contests on Saturday April 2, before the national championship game on Monday April 4.