Ohio State Is An Under-The-Radar Team To Follow Closely
The 2022 March Madness tournament saw the Kansas Jayhawks narrowly outlast the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69 in the championship game.
Looking ahead to next season, it’s quite obvious which teams will be in the running for the 2023 national championship. Kansas, North Carolina, Houston, Duke, Kentucky and Arkansas headline the main contenders.
There are other deep and dynamic teams that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Ohio State Buckeyes are mostly known for their successful football program, but the basketball team should also be viewed as a sleeper team heading into 2022.
Mobile and online sports betting is expected to go live in “The Buckeye State” by Jan. 1, 2023. Caesars Ohio would be among the top sportsbooks to launch in the state, and it would offer new customers a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. At the sportsbook, you’d be able to place all sorts of different wagers, including moneylines, props, over/unders and futures.
Through Caesars Ohio, customers would be able to place bets on popular sports like football, basketball, baseball and hockey. With so many professional sports clubs and popular collegiate programs in the state, Ohio could be a major leader in the U.S. sports gambling industry.
Ohio State has +7000 odds of winning the 2023 national championship at FanDuel. This would be a good value pick, as the team has recorded 20-win seasons in each of Chris Holtmann’s five years on the job (including playoff games).
The Buckeyes got past Loyola Chicago in the round of 64 but ultimately fell to the powerhouse Villanova 71-61 in the round of 32. Still, it’s evident that Holtmann is building something special here, and the Buckeyes have the ability to exceed expectations with a deep March Madness run in 2023.
The Main Favorites
This marked the long-awaited fourth national championship for the Jayhawks’ men’s basketball program, and their first since 2008. Kansas had to overcome a ton of past March Madness heartbreak to reach the mountaintop again, but the wait was certainly worthwhile.
The defending champions are obviously a prime favorite to go on yet another deep run come March of next year. The Jayhawks haven’t missed the March Madness tournament since 1989, and that was due to a postseason ban stemming from violating the recruiting rules.
Duke managed to reach the final four in the final season under legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski, ultimately falling to North Carolina 81-77 in a thrilling tight-knit affair. Even without “Coach K”, the winning foundation will continue to run through his successor, Jon Scheyer.
The Houston Cougars are the betting favorites to win the national championship at multiple sportsbooks. The Cougars’ dream 2021-22 season ended with a heartbreaking 50-44 loss to Villanova in the Elite Eight.
This came a year after Houston fell 78-59 to the eventual champion Baylor Bears in the Final Four. The 2019-20 Cougars also looked poised for a deep run, but the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the Cougars remain one of the nation’s prestigious basketball programs, and they have every reason to be optimistic about another lengthy postseason run in March. The only real question is if they’ll manage to get past all the other contenders come playoff time.
A frequent participant in the Sweet 16, the Tar Heels are obviously going to be a serious challenger again for the 2023 National Championship. North Carolina has advanced to the Sweet 16 in five of the last seven years. The consistency really speaks for itself there.
Speaking of annual powerhouses, we can also expect the Kentucky Wildcats to fare much better in 2022-23. Last season, the Wildcats were stunned 85-79 by the feel-good underdog Saint Peter’s Peacocks in the round of 64.
Nonetheless, it was surely a far more successful season compared to 2020-21, in which the Wildcats went 9-16 to miss out on the March Madness tournament altogether. The Wildcats are due to return to their elite form in 2022-23, and expect a much better (and deeper) performance in the tournament this time around.
Finally, keep an eye on the Arkansas Razorbacks. Eric Musselman has done a grade-A job in building a winning culture here, having lead the team to consecutive Elite Eight appearances.