Final Four: Gonzaga heavily favored in NCAA championship odds
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have made light work of every opponent on their way to the Final Four and are now the -250 favorite to cut down the nets.
However, there are still three other teams that will have something to say about that. UCLA has gone from the First Four to the Final Four with an upset-minded mentality. Baylor and Houston have also impressed all season long, and would love a shot at Gonzaga for the title, as well.
NCAAB Championship 2020/2021
Tue, April 6 2021, 12:58 AM
Can anyone beat the Zags?
The Bulldogs are just two wins away from a perfect season. They are 30-0 and only one game did not end in a double-digit margin of victory. That game was back in December, against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
However, Gonzaga has not played one of the top 16 teams in the nation (top four seeds of each region) since a Dec. 26 victory over Virginia. The toughest team the Zags have had to play in the tournament was No. 5 seed Creighton, and now they get No. 11 UCLA in the Final Four.
The odds changed drastically, after Gonzaga easily took apart USC and UCLA upset Michigan on Tuesday night. The Zags went from +135 to -250 to win it all. Gonzaga may not have a “tough” opponent until the title game, but this team has all the pieces to complete the undefeated season.
If Gonzaga completes a perfect season, are they in the discussion for the greatest college basketball team of all time?
UCLA's magical run
The Bruins have made a run for the ages in this tournament. They join the 2011 VCU Rams as the only two teams to make the Final Four from the First Four. UCLA is also the only double-digit seed to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 seed from the same region since LSU in 1986.
The Bruins are about to run into the juggernaut, though, which is why their odds only moved from +3300 to +2500 after their upset win against Michigan. Nonetheless, the Bruins have a history of taking out the Zags in the NCAA Tournament.
Houston is back in the Final Four
The Cougars are back in the Final Four for the first time since the days of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. Houston only has three losses this season and has something to prove against its former Southwest Conference rival.
The big question surrounding Houston is how it will fare against a top team. In the regular season, the Cougars only faced two tournament teams (Texas Tech and Wichita State). In the tournament, they have yet to face a single-digit seed. If Houston defeats Baylor, it will gain much-needed respect, as the Cougars sit at +700 to win it all.
Don't hibernate on the Bears
Baylor is the one team whose odds did not take a big swing after Tuesday night. The Bears went from +200 to +250.
They have been consistently the next-best team, behind Gonzaga, all season long. Baylor only has two losses, despite a tough Big 12 conference schedule and Illinois in non-conference play.
Baylor also has had a tough road to the Final Four, with victories over No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 5 Villanova, and No. 3 Arkansas, and the Bears have won all of their tournament games by double digits.
Baylor was scheduled to play Gonzaga in December, but the game was cancelled because of COVID-19 issues. I hope we will get to see the dream matchup Monday night.