As we head into the final week of the regular season, it’s time to start thinking about who you think might win the national championship this season. While some bettors like to wait until after Selection Sunday so they can get a look at the bracket, other like to get in a little bit early so that they can take advantage of the best possible March Madness odds for the team that they like.
One team that is getting a lot of hype right now are the Virginia Cavaliers and for very good reason. They are currently ranked as the #2 team in the nation and look like a very good bet to take the ACC regular season title, which is no easy feat. The question now is whether they are a good betting pick to win the 2019 NCAAB Championship.
Is #2 Virginia a Winning Pick for the 2019 March Madness Tournament?
https://t.co/2b6NbIz5Tx pic.twitter.com/XfQoII1rLx— Virginia Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) 5 de marzo de 2019
Defense wins championshipsThis is a phrase that we often here in every sport once the playoffs get close. The reason that this phrase is so commonly thrown around is that it very often proves to be true. If that theory does hold up this season, then you really need to take a serious look at the Cavaliers. They are in possession of the best defense in the country right now, surrendering just 54.1 PPG.
That stat is all the more astonishing when you consider that they are playing in what is arguably the best conference in college basketball. There are other teams who score more than Virginia, does, but when you have a defensive wall that solid, it tends to eliminate the offenses of other teams.
The Duke Factor
One of the reasons why people may be taking a wait and see approach with the Cavaliers is because of their record against the Duke Blue Devils this season. The Cavaliers have only lost 2 games this season, with both of those defeats coming at the hands of Duke.
Now, if the Cavaliers land on the same side of the bracket as the Blue Devils, that may cause some to second guess taking Virginia to win it all. Let’s not forget, though, that we are not entirely sure how effective Zion Williamson will be after returning from a knee injury, so perhaps that swings things in the favor of the Cavaliers in any future match-up.
While the Cavaliers have won the NIT twice, they have never won a national championship. That is not to suggest that they cannot win it this year, but you also need to look at the fact that they have only ever been to the Final Four twice, with both of those appearances coming back in the ’80s.
Their best appearance in recent seasons came in 2016 when they made it to the Elite Eight. You can certainly argue that this version of the Cavaliers is better than the 2016 squad, and with so many changes made every season, it really is tough to look at the history in the tournament as being an indicator of how things will go this season.
With the defensive prowess of this team, they certainly need to be considered a serious threat. If Zion Williamson returns and struggles for Duke, the door may just open up for the Cavaliers and their hopes of a national title.