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BETTING

3 Storylines to Follow When You Bet March Madness 2024

Julian Larry Indiana State Sycamores Indiana
Julian Larry #1 of the Indiana State Sycamores shoots the ball against Basheer Jihad #11 of the Ball State Cardinals during the first half in the Indy Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 16, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP

The wait is almost over! The March Madness Tournament is almost here. Here are three storylines to follow before you make a bet in the 2024 Tournament at top-rated sportsbooks.


UConn Huskies Looking for Back-to-Back Titles


At first, it was an afterthought. Last year, the UConn Huskies won the NCAA Tournament with one of the most stacked teams in the NCAA.

However, after winning the whole thing, the Huskies watched Andre Jackson Jr., Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins leave for professional basketball. The Huskies had to revamp the roster that had just won a national title. Nobody truly knew what to expect.

However, the Huskies finished the regular season 28-3 and are ranked No. 2 in the nation. UConn is expected to win the Big East and then become a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

This team might be better than last year’s team.

Fresh Faces, Fresh Hopes

The Huskies brought in Cam Spencer from Rutgers, who has scored 14.7 points per game. Not only has he scored almost 15 points per game, but he’s fit right in with the UConn culture. He’s ultimately a Dan Hurley clone. That’s a good thing for UConn. They got out his passion and emotion and that’s made him play better.

He showed flashes of this style of play with Rutgers, but UConn is the ultimate fit for Spencer, and it shows. Meanwhile, Tristan Newton, the team’s point guard, has developed with another year at UConn, and other players like Donovan Clingan and Alex Karaban have put together terrific seasons.

Add the freshman, Stephen Castle, and the Huskies look unbeatable again. Let’s see if the Huskies can earn back-to-back titles. That would be an incredible feat, especially with completely different teams over the last two years.


Big Ten Champion Hasn’t Gotten Out of First Weekend


The Big Ten Champion hasn’t made it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2019. In 2021, the Illinois Fighting Illini fell to the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, 71-58. Illinois lost to the No. 8 seeded Ramblers as a No. 1 seed over the first weekend.

The Fighting Illini were shocked and humiliated after that loss. Many people had them going all the way to the Championship game.

In 2022, the Iowa Hawkeyes didn’t even win one game after winning the Big Ten Tournament. No 5. Iowa lost to No. 12 Richmond, 67-63, in a massive surprise upset. There was some controversy in that game, as Kris Murray was fouled on a three-point shot, but it wasn’t called. Either way, Iowa should’ve never let that game be as close as it was and the Hawkeyes paid the price.

Finally, in 2023, the Purdue Boilermakers were upset by Fairleigh Dickinson. FDU became the second No. 16 seed to ever win a tournament game against a No. 1 seed. FDU didn’t have the bodies to match up with Zach Edey and the Purdue Boilermakers, but they outworked them and actually won the NCAA Tournament game over Purdue.

So what will happen in 2024? Will the next Big Ten Champion collapse or will Purdue put together a season like Virginia’s after the Cavaliers lost to UMBC in the first round the season prior?

That’s an interesting storyline to pay attention to.


This Year’s Cinderellas


Before filling out March Madness brackets, people will do research the NCAAB odds to find the Cinderella of this year’s March Madness Tournament.

There are many that fit the criteria, but only one or two will actually get the job done.

Indiana State won’t get an automatic bid after losing the MVC Championship to Drake. However, the Sycamores still have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament after a season with plenty of wins and a solid NET rating. Indiana State has been in the Top 25 at times this year and has a fun player in Robbie Avila, who will make plenty of fans along the way.

Shifting Tides

There’s also McNeese State, which has Will Wade as head coach. Wade had been a terrific coach for the LSU Tigers until he was involved in a pay-to-play scandal. But now, with NIL, he doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s got McNeese State looking like a Power 5 team this year.

Princeton is another team that can put together a massive run. They did it last year and can do it again this year. They’ve got great ball movement and just an awesome flow to their game. We all remember what they did last year, moving on to the second weekend of the tournament. Don’t be fooled this year. They can do the same.

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