10 NCAA College Basketball Predictions

After 46 seasons roaming the sidelines, Duke's head coach Mike Krzyzewski will retire at the end of the 2021-22 campaign; this we know. However, Coach K's legendary career can't wrap without one more prediction for the Blue Devils' March Madness chances.

Best Bets

Before you know it, the voice of Luther Vandross will speak those hallowed words “the ball is tipped …and there you are…” as college basketball fans rekindle their love of “One Shining Moment,” mark the end of the NCAA Tournament and bid farewell to the hoops campaign. Until then, let’s enjoy the college basketball betting season and look forward to all the buzzer beaters, upsets and make some college basketball predictions.

Before we start reading Top 25 tea leaves, let’s first highlight the favorites to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Who are the best bets to win March Madness?

According to one of our best online sportsbooks, BetOnline, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the overwhelming favorite to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Mark Few’s squad lost in the 2021 National Championship game to Baylor. The Bears possess 33-to-1 odds to repeat as champs. Rounding out the top six favorites to cut down the nets in New Orleans are perennial contenders Duke, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky as well as Anfernee Hardaway’s Memphis Tigers.

What are the odds of a team winning the NCAA tournament?

When you’re ready to place a real-money college basketball futures bet on the winner of the 2022 March Madness tournament, here are the preseason odds:

Team  Odds to Win the 2022 March Madness Basketball Tournament
Gonzaga +450
Duke +1100
Kansas +1200
Kentucky +1200
Memphis +1200
Michigan +1200
Texas +1200
UCLA +1400
Purdue +1600
Villanova +1600
Illinois +2500
Oregon +2500
Alabama +2800
Arkansas +3300
Baylor +3300
Ohio State +3300
Maryland +4000
North Carolina +4000
Tennessee +4000
Texas Tech +4000
Houston +4500
Auburn +5000
Florida State +5000
LSU +5000
Michigan State +5000
Syracuse +5000
Connecticut +5500
Arizona +6600
Louisville +6600
Oklahoma +6600
St. Bonaventure +6600
USC +6600
Virginia Tech +6600
West Virginia +6600
Virginia +7500
Indiana +8000
Wisconsin +8000

Here are our NCAA college basketball predictions for the upcoming season. Who do we got? Keep reading to find out.

2021-22 College Basketball Predictions

1) Gonzaga will not win the National Championship

Before the calendar flips to December, Gonzaga will have faced three Top 10 teams in Texas, Duke and UCLA. So, we can’t criticize Mark Few’s crew for scheduling non-conference cupcakes this year. However, we’ll have a pretty good sense as to where this program is at after those three games. Despite boasting two senior guards and Player of the Year Candidate Drew Timme, they’re also starting a sophomore and true freshman, albeit, the nation’s top recruit and 7-footer Chet Holmgren. The road to the Final Four is a gauntlet and the soft WCC doesn’t help them prepare for another deep tournament run.

2) Duke will make the Final Four

For some, this is an NCAA college basketball prediction that will be tough to stomach. Yet, even those critics and vengeful haters of Coach K. should find it in their hearts to send this guy out with some pomp and circumstance.

Over the past four decades, he’s built a basketball powerhouse out of a small institution. In this his final season, Coach Krzyzewski boasts one more freshman phenom and a potential No. 1 pick in next summer’s NBA Draft. Paolo Banchero scored 22 points with seven rounds in two steals in his regular-season debut, an 8-point win over 10th-ranked Kentucky.

3) UCLA’s Johnny Juzang will win the Wooden Award

Named after UCLA’s Hall of Fame coach John Wooden, this honor is given to the most outstanding men’s and women’s basketball players. In case you missed it, Bruins junior shooting guard Johnny Juzang broke out during the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament and became a household name for that three-week stretch in March and early-April.

The Kentucky transfer averaged just 16 points per game during the regular season last year, but led UCLA in scoring in the Bruins season opener with 19 points. At 12-to-1 betting odds to win the Wooden Award at BetOnline, he has his work cut out for him chasing the likes of Drew Timme and Trevion Williams, but just as UCLA emerged out of the shadows as a No. 11 seed in last year’s tournament, Juzang can quiet critics and bring the quintessential collegiate basketball honor back to Pauley Pavilion.

4) A No. 12-16 seed will reach the Final Four

While researching our March Madness odds guide, I learned that no seeds lower than a No. 11 have ever reached the Final Four. That changes this year. With so many top college basketball programs losing their five-star recruits to the NBA after one year or, even worse, losing talent to the NBA G-League and international teams, smaller schools have closed the gap and NCAA basketball has enjoyed more parity in recent years.

Plus, No. 12 seeds are notorious for upsetting No. 5 seeds in the first round and earning their way into the Sweet 16 by the end of the first weekend. It’s only a matter of time before an under-seeded roster marches through their region, on into New Orleans and secure their Final Four spot.

5) Games will be postponed/canceled due to COVID-19

Not to embrace my inner-Debbie Downer, but the global pandemic hasn’t graduated Summa Cum See Ya Laude yet. With the virus lurking around every corner and evidently hungrier indoors, odds are pretty strong that several NCAA basketball games will either be postponed or canceled outright before the New Year.

Heck, if Browns running back Nick Chubb, who is vaccinated, can test positive for coronavirus playing an outdoor sport, dozen-plus dudes running around a gymnasium during multi-hour practices and 40-minute regular-season games are ripe for the picking.

6) Memphis will be upset in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament

Some of the best Nike commercials of all time featured Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and his sidekick “Lil Penny” voiced by Chris Rock:

Despite posting 20-win seasons in each of his first three years as head coach of the Memphis Tigers, coach Hardaway has yet to sniff the NCAA Tournament. In fact, the program hasn’t punched their ticket since 2014. BetOnline bookmakers have Memphis pegged as 12-to-1 sports betting odds favorites to win a national title.

However, Hardaway’s program is still under the NCAA microscope and investigation is still pending on if former player James Wiseman, now in the NBA, was eligible to play for Memphis back in 2019. The legal red tape has to do with Wiseman allegedly receiving cash from Hardaway when Penny was a head coach at a local Memphis high school. In the end, a judge cleared him to play, which Memphis did and forced the NCAA to issue the following statement:

“The University of Memphis was notified that James Wiseman is likely ineligible. The university chose to play him and ultimately is responsible for ensuring its student-athletes are eligible to play.”

This distraction stems from 2019-20 and regardless of which way the ruling lands, it’s active and ongoing and not what the Tigers need in the background of what is expected to be a tournament-bound season.

7) No team will reach the NCAA Championship game undefeated

Heading into the 2021 NCAA championship game, Gonzaga was an unblemished 31-0. Baylor’s 86-70 title game win left an ugly mark on the Bulldogs as they sought to become the first team since 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers to finish as undefeated National Champions. Since 1939, only seven programs have achieved that feat:

  • 1975-76 Indiana finished 32-0
  • 1972-73 UCLA finished 30-0
  • 1971-72 UCLA finished 30-0
  • 1966-67 UCLA finished 30-0
  • 1963-64 UCLA finished 30-0
  • 1956-57 North Carolina finished 32-0
  • 1955-56 San Francisco finished 29-0

John Wooden’s UCLA dynasty was an unstoppable force during much of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Since 1976, five teams have finished the regular season undefeated, 1979 Indiana State (Larry Bird, lost in natty), 1991 UNLV (lost in Final Four) 2014 Wichita State (lost in 2nd Round), 2015 Kentucky (lost in Final Four), and the aforementioned Bulldogs (lost in natty).

8) Bruce Weber’s tenure at Kansas State ends

There are coaches on the hot seat and then there is the raging inferno under the bum of Kansas State head basketball coach Bruce Weber. It’s been 16 years since coach Web took Illinois to the NCAA National Championship game and won Associated Press Coach of the Year. It’s been just three years since Weber took Kansas State to the Elite Eight.

However, college basketball is a “what have you done for us lately” business model. And the Wildcats are 20-41 over their past two seasons. That’s not going to cut it in the Big 12. This will be his 10th season at K-State and at 65 years old, Weber has a shot to land a new gig at one more program before he retires.

9) Some 3-point records will be broken

The record for most 3-point field goals made in a single game is 15 and the feat has occurred three times since 1996. What’s wild about this record is Robert Morris’ Josh Williams and Furman’s Jordan Lyons matched Keith Veney’s record on back-to-back nights back in 2018. Williams hit 15 against Mount Aloysius on November 14 before Lyons lit up North Greenville on the night of November 15.

Prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, the NCAA moved the three-point line back and thus three-point trends have regressed somewhat over the past few years. However, players and coaches adapt to these changes over time and why I believe some player is either going to bury 16 triples in a game and/or a team record for most threes made in a game will be set.

10) I will still dislike College Basketball National Championships being played in football stadiums

The record attendance inside New Orleans’ Caesars Superdome (previously known as Mercedes-Benz) is 78,133 when the stadium hosted Wrestlemania 34 back in 2018.

The last NCAA men’s championship game played under normal living conditions was in 2019 when Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium welcomed 72,062 college basketball fans.

Ticket prices already posted on third-party distributors are asking $500+ for seats up in the Superdome rafters to watch a game played on a surface 94-feet by 50-feet, not 100-yards by 50-yards. I understand money talks and the almighty dollar is what is coveted by these host stadiums and cities, but at some point they need to shrink the environment down. Hoosiers is one of the most popular movies/stories of all-time and they played their games in a sardine can. Make the “One Shining Moment” an intimate setting and just raise the price of admission.

Learn more about college basketball betting ahead of 2022 March Madness, or check out the best online sportsbook for you to wager on NCAA basketball.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.

Back To Top
Back To Top