Believe it or not (and judging by the temperatures outside, I definitely believe it), but we are in the first weekend of February, which means that we are just four weeks away from the maddest month of them all. So, as college basketball begins to heat up, our friends at SB Nation Reacts sent out a questionnaire to survey college sports fans nationwide about what four teams they think will end up as the top four seeds in this springs NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Three of the teams that the respondents selected — Gonzaga (No. 2), Auburn (No. 1), and Purdue (No. 4) — are currently in the top four of the AP Poll, while the defending champion Baylor Bears are at No. 8. Ohio State, currently No. 16 in the poll, was not picked as one of the country’s No. 1 seed predictions.
So while the SBN Reacts community went mostly chalk on the top seeds, the last in and last out lists are interesting. The survey says that Big Ten squads Iowa and Michigan will make it and that (baby) blue blood North Carolina Tarheels will join them, along with Creighton and Oregon.
However, the respondents see Florida State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Florida, Wake Forest, TCU, and Mississippi State being on the outside looking in as well.
And while there is often truth to be found in the consensus of the crowd, I tend to lend a little more credibility to the sharp minds out in the desert. So, according to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook, our own Ohio State Buckeyes are still carrying fairly decent 10/1 odds to make this year’s Final Four. The Duke Blue Devils — whom OSU beat earlier this season — have the next second best odds behind Gonzaga and B1G squads Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State, and Wisconsin are also ahead of the Buckeyes.
Similarly, Chris Holtmann’s teams comes in at +4500 to win the national championship behind the same squads in a slightly jumbled order. Given the bad luck that the Buckeyes have had this season when it comes to injuries and games being canceled, the fact that all of the wheels have yet to fall off is a really impressive feat.
The question remains though whether they will be fully prepared for the postseason given that the returns of Justice Sueing and Seth Towns seem to become less likely to happen this season with every passing day and that the Buckeyes lead the B1G in games canceled this season.
Will make up games against Nebraska and Iowa happen before the end of the regular season? Will jamming in two games amongst the already jam-packed end of the season lead to tired legs in the tournament?
Who knows, but at +1000, putting a little bit of money on Ohio State to make the Final Four could be very lucrative if Holtmann and his team can get hot and get the monkey off of their collective backs.