We’re in the middle of Championship Week and roughly 80 hours away from learning the names of the 68 teams that will compete in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Most of the elite teams have yet to suit up in their conference tourneys so we thought it would be a good time to take another look at how Vegas bookmakers are viewing the best teams heading into this final weekend prior to the bracket release on Sunday. We ran through this exercise in both the preseason and again in December before conference season got under way, so it’s always instructive to see how the perception of teams has changed in the eyes of those who make their livelihoods from knowing such things. Although there’s been a good amount of movement among the top 10 teams on our list, the top two have remained Kentucky and North Carolina with a bullet, far above the rest of the field all season long. As the season has progressed, Vegas has gotten even more in these two teams’ corners, at this point suggesting that combined (and normalized to 100% total among all teams) the Wildcats and Tar Heels have a 33.7% chance of cutting down the nets in New Orleans. One in three — not bad at all.
*The remaining listed schools were too numerous to name, but they included most of the remainder of the power conference teams.