- Breaking down odds for the major college basketball conference tournaments
The top teams in the Big East, Big 12, and ACC will be getting the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of a No. 1 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament this week as they hit the hardwood in their conference tournaments.
And the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats (28-3, 15-3 Big East) seem like the biggest slam dunk to win their conference tournament as strong -130 betting favorites (bet $130 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The top-seeded Wildcats have suffered two of their three losses to the second-seeded Butler Bulldogs (23-7, 12-6) and could get the chance to avenge those defeats in the Big East title game if the two teams get there. The Bulldogs are a lock to make the Big Dance and +450 to win the Big East tournament.
However, the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (28-3, 16-2 (Big 12) might have the best shot at landing a top seed whether or not they win their conference tournament. The top-seeded Jayhawks are listed at +145 to take the Big 12 tournament after winning at least a share of the regular-season title for the 13th year in a row.
Kansas, though, has won its conference tournament just twice (2013 and 2016) in the previous five years, with the Iowa State Cyclones also winning it twice (2014 and 2015) during that stretch.
The fourth-seeded Cyclones (20-10, 12-6) are +700 to win the tournament this year behind the Jayhawks, second-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (24-7, 12-6) and third-seeded Baylor Bears (25-6, 12-6). The Mountaineers are the +190 second choice to win the Big 12 tournament while the Bears are third at +475.
The ACC looks to be the most competitive of the major conference tournaments, with the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (26-6, 14-4 ACC) the understandable favorites at +190. The Tar Heels won the ACC regular-season title for the second straight season, although the fifth-seeded Duke Blue Devils (23-8, 11-7) were supposed to challenge them.
North Carolina is the defending ACC tournament champion as well, with the Blue Devils the +450 fourth choice behind the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals (24-7, 12-6) and sixth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (21-9, 11-7), who are both listed at +400.
Meanwhile, the Big Ten has been the biggest disappointment of all the major conferences, which is why none of its teams is expected to get a top-three seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Purdue Boilermakers (25-6, 14-4 Big Ten) are clearly the class of the league, though, and justified as the +200 favorites to win the conference tournament, with the second-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (23-8, 12-6) the only other noteworthy team at +260 odds.