On February 14, the day after Super Bowl 56, every pay per head agent with U.S. customers will turn their attention to the second most crucial betting event of the year, the annual NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Because the NCAA Tournament starts in less than eight weeks, bookies need to begin preparing as soon as they can. Check out our early March Madness 2022 Preview.
If someone asked what is a bookie, those answering the question might turn to mid-January to the first Monday in April every year. U.S.-based bookmakers score more profit during the NFL Playoffs, which kick off in the second week of January, to the NCAA Men’s College Basketball National Championship, which always happens on the first Monday in April, than they do at any other time during the year.
Some bookie agents make more than 80% of their profit from those two events. Horse racing, casino, live dealer casino, Major League Baseball, and NBA make up the other 20%.
But if an agent is looking for bookie tips, their first move should be to concentrate on the NFL Playoffs, Super Bowl, and the March Madness Tournament.
With that in mind, we’ll lay out the specifics regarding this year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament. Our top 10 comes from the AP Poll. The Top 10 will change the closer the tournament tips, so don’t use our word as gospel.
2022 March Madness Preview
When and where is the tournament happening?
Selection Sunday, where the committee decides on the teams that will participate and where to seed them, happens on March 13.
The tournament officially tips off on March 15 with the First Four play-in tournament. 2 of the 4 teams head to the NCAA Tournament first-round from March 17 through March 18.
Check out the schedule, starting with the First Four and ending with the 2022 NCAA Tournament National Championship.
- Selection Sunday: March 13
- First Four: March 15-16
- First round: March 17-18
- Second round: March 19-20
- Sweet 16: March 24-25
- Elite Eight: March 26-27
- Final Four: April 2
- NCAA championship game: April 4
What’s the regional breakdown?
Every year on Selection Sunday, the committee fills out the bracket. The NCAA breaks up the tournament bracket into four regions. Check out the four regions and their final regional location.
Midwest – Chicago
East – Philadelphia
West – San Francisco
South – San Antonio
The committee tries its best to reward teams that have played the best during the regular season. If Auburn wins the SEC and ends the regular season with a Top Four ranking, the Selection Committee will make Auburn the 1-seed in the South.
Although San Antonio isn’t next door to Auburn, Alabama, it’s much closer to Auburn than San Francisco, Philadelphia, or Chicago. If Villanova ends up one of the top four teams in the nation, no doubt, the committee will allow Nova to play in their hometown of Philadelphia as a 1-seed.
Arizona, UCLA, and Gonzaga are fighting for the 1-seed in the West Region while teams in the Big Ten, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Purdue hope for the top seed in the Midwest Region.
Early March Madness 2022 Top 10
** Rankings as of February 3, 2022
1. Auburn Tigers
Auburn recently handed hoops coach Bruce Pearl an 8-year extension worth around $54 million. Pearl’s Auburn squad made the Final Four in 2019. But Auburn, nor Pearl, has ever won a National Championship. So the pressure is on.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Last year’s March Madness runner-up is almost as strong this year. The Zags should make the Elite Eight if Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren remain healthy.
3. UCLA Bruins
The Bruins fell to the rival Arizona Wildcats on February 3. So don’t expect UCLA to hang on to this 1-ranking. Still, the team from Westwood is loaded. No matter where UCLA ends up playing, West Region, East Region, etc., they’ll be one of the teams to beat.
4. Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue remains the most respected team in the deep Big Ten Conference. Like Auburn, the Boilermakers have a lot to prove. The last time Purdue made the Final Four was in 1980.
5. Kentucky Wildcats
Coach John Calipari usually relies on the best freshmen class in the nation. This season, coach Cal took a different approach, convincing former West Virginia big Oscar Tshiebwe and 2020 Georgia point guard Sahvir Wheeler to transfer to Lexington. So far, it’s worked better than Calipari had hoped.
6. Houston Cougars
Coach Kelvin Sampson led the Cougars to their first Final Four since players like Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon threw down for Houston back in 1984. Sampson has Houston playing lights out defense. So the Cougars have a shot at making it back-to-back regional victories.
7. Arizona Wildcats
A perennial Big Dance contender, U-of-A fell on hard times under former head coach Sean Miller. New coach Tommy Lloyd, who came from Gonzaga, has the Cats playing the Zags’ freewheeling style. Arizona has a real chance to win the Pac-12 over UCLA and enter the 2022 March Madness Tournament no worse than a 2-seed.
8. Baylor Bears
Scott Drew sends a different team to the court from the one that cut down the nets last season. So why is Baylor again a top bookie software choice to win the title in 2022? Drew’s teams play excellent defense. So like Alabama in football, Scott Drew and Baylor reload no matter who they lost the following season.
9. Duke Blue Devils
The most successful college basketball men’s tournament HC in history not named John Wooden will coach in the tourney for the final time. Mike Krzyzewski, known as Coach K, fields a talented group. Led by possible #1 NBA Draft pick Paolo Banchero, the Devils could hand Coach K another NCAA title, this time, in his final season.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
Never count out Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Coach Bill Self has secured three Final Four appearances and a championship in 2008. This season, Self has leaned on the unstoppable Ochai Agbaji. So as long as Agbaji stays healthy, the Jayhawks will have a shot.
Set max betting limits on all 2022 March Madness Preview teams
If you haven’t yet, set max betting limits on every team offering future betting odds to win the 2022 March Madness Tournament. Expect the four 1-seeds to come from the current Top 10.
1-seeds don’t always win the tournament. Also, highly ranked teams like Arizona and UCLA offer odds approaching +2000 or more. Set max betting limits to ensure you mustn’t make huge payouts on an underdog tournament winner.
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