The 2017 NCAA March Madness tournament is upon us, and we’re here to prepare you for what’s to come. At Heritage not only do we have tips and updated odds, but we have Millions to give away with the March millions free bracket contest.
The goal for every sports bettor is to be as accurate as possible, while knowing you cannot come close to being perfect. It’s kind of like life in that way. To strike this balance, you need to play the trends, many of which will be valuable in the long run.
Take the reigning Villanova Wildcats for example. Only two teams have repeated as NCAA title-toters since 1973—the Florida Gators and Duke Bluedevils. While it’s possible Villanova, which remains a top seed in this year’s tournament, wins another championship, it’s beyond unlikely. And yet sportsbooks will treat them as a heavyweight favorite, because they have to.
So, essentially, betting on Villanova is like betting on a long shot, minus the otherworldly return in the unlikely event your wager proves successful. It’s smarter to steer clear of them altogether entering this year’s big dance. You can live knowing you played the real-life odds if they end up winning; you’ll most likely be kicking yourself harder if you place a sizable bet that whiffs hard.
Speaking of No. 1 seeds, it’s also imperative you don’t get caught up in the hype surrounding teams who earn that venerated placement.
Yes, seven of the last 10 NCAA Champions have been first-place squads. But you’re dealing with four No. 1 seeds per tournament. Going chalk assumes all four make the Final Four, which just doesn’t happen. It also, by extension, presumes the championship bout will be between two first-place outfits, another seldom occurrence.
Another highlight of March Madness is that it is made for spectacular upsets. It seems that at least once per year we witness some unheralded program nobody has ever heard of knock off a perennial powerhouse.
Whether it’s Northwestern State coming back from a 17-point deficit to beat Iowa in 2006, VCU cruising past top-ranked Kansas in 2011 or Lehigh beating Duke in what was basically a road game in 2012, nothing is more exciting and profitable than the underdog story.
That got us to thinking, what were the biggest upsets in March Madness history according to the listed spreads. We go back until the 1996 season, a tournament that features such legendary players as Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan and Marcus Camby. We dug through the hundreds of games and found the biggest betting upsets in the past 21 years of the NCAAB Tournament.
The biggest upset belongs to the 2012 Norfolk State Spartans. The 2012 MEAC champions toppled the Mizzou Tigers, who owned the sixth-ranked scoring offense in the nation, 86-84 despite closing as 21-point dogs. As Norfolk State’s star player, Kyle O’Quinn, said after the game, “We messed up some brackets!”
The most recent upset to make the list came just last season, as the No. 15 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders toppled the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State was a trendy pick to win the national championship in 2016, but a terrible afternoon from Denzel Valentine ultimately doomed the 16.5-point favorites. Follow the March madness trends at Heritagesports.eu.