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No. 1 Xavier getting no respect
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Looking Wild in the West?

The Maddest time of the sporting year is back with a bang with all eyes on the race to the NCAAB National Championship crown.

This year’s West Region could well be the most difficult to pick – a fact echoed in the fact that the number 1 seed is not really enjoying the bookies’ favour before tip-off.

Big East champion Xavier (28-5) has been handed the honor this year, but the bookies at have the Musketeers priced at 9/2 behind North Carolina, Gonzaga and Michigan in the race to book a Final Four ticket. Was that Big East tournament loss to Providence a true guide to Xavier’s strength or will it just provide a fortunate odds-boost for a team that has looked good all season? Time will tell.

The Intertops bookies have made the defending national champion Tar Heels their 11/4 favorite in the Region despite N.C.’s inconsistency over the course the hoops year. There is, however, no doubt that experience can play a crucial role when the Madness is at its most frenetic and so a third straight trip to the national semifinal could well be on the cards.

Gonzaga (7/2) and Michigan (15/4) have both regularly shown that they are Final Four-quality over the course of the season and have also been given the nod over Xavier at Intertops.

And what about a Cinderella story to make it really wild in the West?

Early wagering has indicated that Providence is being fancied to spring a surprise. The Friars’ 21-13 record might not auger well for a title challenge, but a strong performance in taking Villanova to OT in the Big East Tournament final underlined that they could be a force to be reckoned with and odds of 33/1 are more than tempting.

To Win The NCAAB West Region - per Intertops
North Carolina 11/4
Gonzaga 7/2
Michigan 15/4
Xavier 9/2
Ohio State 10/1
Houston 12/1
Texas A&M 14/1
Missouri 14/1
Florida State 25/1
Providence 33/1
San Diego State 50/1
South Dakota State 66/1
NC-Greensboro 100/1
Montana 100/1
Liscomb 100/1
NC Central 200/1
Texas Southern 200/1

To Win The NCAAB National Championship - per Intertops
Villanova 5/1
Virginia 11/2
Duke 15/2
Michigan State 10/1
Kansas 12/1
Purdue 12/1
North Carolina 14/1
Michigan 14/1

Cincinnati 14/1
Arizona 16/1
Xavier 20/1
Gonzaga 22/1

Kentucky 25/1
West Virginia 33/1
Providence 100/1
Odds subject to change – Updated 3.14.18

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