Three great college basketballs to make it to the final four

With the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tournaments less than a month away, we begin the final phase of the regular season before the conference tournaments are selected and seeds are awarded.

This year, a lot of middleweight teams have taken over their business both in the conference game as well as outside the conference; show off in front of some of the big guys in the land of Power 5.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a mid-tier team make it to the Finals, but the odds providers at WynnBET are still offering some of the lesser known schools to the betting public at great prices.

Here are three schools with 20/1 or greater that I think could make it to the Final Four in New Orleans this year.

Colorado State Odds to Make Final Quarterfinals (+2000)

The Rams went through a rough little period in late January with two head-to-head losses to UNLV, followed by an extra-time loss to Wyoming, the KenPom team in the top 40 in their own right. But they returned to playing excellent basketball with a top 16 tuned effective strike in the country.

Head coach Niko Medved has seen consistent improvement over every year he was in charge at CSU, with fourth year being their best year ever in terms of adjusted offensive and defensive performance, effective goal rate, number of missed goals and three-point ratio.

Also, the Rams make their free throws with the ninth best rate in the country; shot 79.1% from charity stripe. A smart attack combined with fouls taken and no costly redirects can make for a nice run.

Odds of Loyola Chicago making it to the Finals 4 (+2000)

Like the State of Colorado, I trust Loyola’s commitment to running a truly smooth and efficient offense. They’re ranked first in the top 30 for adjusted efficiency, top five in EFG%, and once inside the coat, they don’t miss the buckets easily; hit 57% of their two shots on target.

Freshman head coach Drew Valentine didn’t skip a beat when he took over Porter Moser after leaving Oklahoma. They still have the second-best defense in the Missouri Valley, and lead the conference in shooting from inside and out of the three-point range.

I do have some concerns about the Ramblers shooting only 71.2% from the free-throw line, especially if they have to stay close to the teams for longer, sportier attempts to get to their spot in the paint, but with odds are +2000, which feels like a fair number for a veteran team that predates the league’s most experienced 29 roster.

Odds of Iona reaching the Quarterfinals (+5000)

Rick Pitino’s Gaels earned the MAAC title, leading a somewhat rigged Siena team in two games on the leaderboard. Different from the two losses a few weeks ago in the conference game, Iona was stable at both ends of the floor. They ranked first in the conference for adjusted offensive performance, second in defense, and also the second best performing force in the league.

Iona plays quickly, but does not lose control when attacking, and can at the same time push back to push back the defense, leading to easy dunks. They also have a really good size for a middleweight, led by Nelly Junior Joseph at 6-9, at 240 pounds, who is an inside force and second in MAAC in interception rate.

Gaels has experience on the sidelines with one of the top coaches in the league. I will accept 50/1 odds with that play.

Follow all of Ben Heisler select bets in real time HERE! Three great college basketballs to make it to the final four

John Verrall

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