The ink is dry on the 2023 NCAA Tournament Brackets.
Your Big 10 Regular Season and Big 10 Tournament winners, the Purdue freakin’ Boilermakers, look to rewrite history with a run to the Final 4 through a wide open tournament with no clear favorite (in terms of on-court play).
Opening DraftKings Championship Odds in the East Region
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
#1 Seed - Purdue - +1000
Regular season champs. Conference tourney champs. Star player is likely the Wooden Award winner.
The expectations are now quite high for a Boilermakers squad that somehow started off the season unranked. Purdue continues to stick out games late, and the gauntlet of the full court press they’ve seen since it was pointed out as a weakness has slowly gotten a bit better handled through battle testing.
This is a fundamentally sound, well-oiled machine that really never allows games to get too out-of-hand even when trailing. The Boilers’ slew of talented guards and forwards alongside Edey have stayed healthy; in tournament play, rotating capable fresh legs when opponents may be dealing with a key injury or two (alongside the fatigue resultant from a smaller bench) gives advantage to Purdue.
#2 Seed - Marquette - +2200
Shaka Smart has done a wonderful job in his second season at Marquette in his native Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles won the Big East regular season and tournament titles and enter the tournament with a record of 28-6. One of those six came at the hands of Purdue early on in the season. Smart has engineered one of the most efficient offenses in the country and his team is so flexible offensively that they’re a tough matchup for top tier defenses.
#3 Seed - Kansas State - +4000
Kansas State features two of the most exciting players in the nation in Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson. The Wildcats will go as far as their diminutive play-maker (Nowell) and explosive wing finisher (Johnson) will take them.
#4 Tennessee - +3500
The Volunteers come into the big dance reeling after losing their point guard Zakai Zeigler to an ACL tear and losing to Missouri in their second game of the SEC tournament. One of the best defensive teams in men’s hoops, they’ve failed to coalesce offensively in the majority of their losses while the defense does what it’s supposed to do. If the Vols can get a string of games together in which they get hot from outside, because it’s March Madness so why not, they’re a threat against anyone.
Other Number 1 Seeds
Houston - +500
Alabama - +700
Kansas - +800