The 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket is right around the corner as March Madness heats up. Before you fill out those brackets, it’s time to take a closer look at the top college basketball teams that can win the national title. 

Last year, Connecticut went all the way as a No. 4 seed in the bracket and the Huskies are again among the elite CBB squads. Can Purdue or Arizona bounce back from first-round losses a year ago en route to a championship? Or will Houston or Tennessee ride their elite defenses to the title? 

We’ll answer all of those questions and more in this March Madness preview of the top favorites in college basketball for the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The title odds listed for each team below are via BetMGM Sportsbook at the time of this writing. 




March Madness Bracket Preview: 2024 NCAA Tournament Title Favorites

Connecticut Huskies (+500 To Win Title)

The reigning NCAA Tournament champs are back among the favorites to win it all in 2024. Connecticut has been one of the best teams all year, with just three regular-season losses and an 18-2 record in the Big East. 

The Huskies boast a top-5 offense and a top-15 defense in the country with 21 of their 28 wins coming by double-digits. The Huskies are deserving betting favorites to win the title as they attempt to become the first repeat champions since Florida in 2006-07. 

UConn hasn't missed a beat despite losing three key pieces from last year’s title team. Big East Player of the Year Tristen Newton is a do-it-all point guard who averages 15.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. Center Donovan Clingan and wing Alex Karaban are other key holdovers from last season. 

Transfer Cam Spencer, a lights-out three-point shooter, and stud freshman Stephon Castle, a likely NBA Draft lottery pick, were two big additions in the offseason. This roster is balanced and elite on both ends of the court while not relying too heavily on one or two scorers offensively. 

Houston Cougars (+600)

Head coach Kelvin Sampson has a top-tier college basketball team at Houston yet again. The Cougars have come close recently with losses in the Final Four, Elite Eight, and Sweet 16 in the past three seasons. Could this finally be the year that Houston breaks through and proves its elite advanced metrics rankings? 

The Cougars only lost three times during the regular season with the No. 1 defense in the sport, per KenPom, and a top-15 offense as well. What’s even more impressive is that they did it as new members of the Big 12 and had no problem rolling through the gauntlet of a conference schedule. 

Senior Jamal Shead is one of the best two-way point guards in the country and took home Big 12 Player of the Year and Defensive POY honors. Shead and talented shooting guard LJ Cryer play well off each other to make up one of the top backcourts in the country. 

The only worry is Houston’s lack of depth with a few season-ending injuries to role players, forcing Shead and Cryer to be more consistent game-to-game. The Cougars have proven themselves in March over the past half-decade, though, reaching at least the Sweet 16 in four straight tournaments. 




Purdue Boilermakers (+700)

Remember when Purdue infamously lost in the first round to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson last year? It was only the second time ever that a No. 1 seed lost to a No. 16 in the history of the NCAA Tournament as Purdue instantly became the laughingstock of the sport. 

The Boilermakers will now try to avenge last season’s disappointing finish as they are among the favorites to take the title. Don’t forget Virginia did this exact thing back in 2019 after losing to 16-seed UMBC the year prior.

Zach Edey is the strong favorite to win back-to-back National Player of the Year awards after averaging 24.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. The 7-foot-4 center is virtually unstoppable around the rim as he anchors Purdue’s top-ranked offense in the country, per KenPom. 

Sophomore point guard Braden Smith gives the Boilermakers a trusted ball-handler and was an All-Big Ten First Team honoree. Purdue only lost three games in the regular season and boasts impressive non-conference wins over Tennessee, Arizona, Gonzaga, Marquette, and Alabama. If head coach Matt Painter can get his team over the hump of recent early-round exits, then Purdue can ride Edey to a national championship. 




Arizona Wildcats (+1100)

A year ago, 15-seed Princeton busted brackets everywhere with a first-round upset of Arizona. Similar to Purdue, this year’s Wildcats team has a real chance of going all the way and avenging that embarrassing loss. Head coach Tommy Lloyd again has one of the top offenses in the sport. Arizona averaged 89.5 PPG this season with a fast-paced attack and talented scorers at each position. 

North Carolina transfer Caleb Love was the Pac-12 Player of the Year as he put up 20 PPG in conference play. Arizona also boasts a dominant center in Oumar Ballo and key role players in Pelle Larsson and Kylan Boswell. 

Then there’s Keshad Johnson, who helps sure up the defense and adds valuable Final Four experience from last year’s San Diego State run. Arizona tends to force opponents to match its potent scoring, which few teams in the country can do game-to-game. It makes Tommy Lloyd’s team very dangerous as a legit national title contender. 

Tennessee Volunteers (+1200)

After a Sweet 16 run last year, Tennessee is poised to go much deeper in the NCAA Tournament this season. Any conversation with the Volunteers begins and ends with stud scorer Dalton Knecht. 

The Northern Colorado transfer had no problem acclimating to tougher competition this season and took home SEC Player of the Year honors after averaging 25.5 PPG in conference play. Knecht is a walking bucket and adds a different offensive dimension to a Vols team that’s lacked a reliable scorer in recent seasons. 

Head coach Rick Barnes again has an elite defensive team (3rd-best in college basketball, per KenPom) that regularly suffocates opposing offenses. Zakai Zeigler is one of the best shutdown defenders in the backcourt and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year. The defense doesn’t stop with him, though. 

Center Jonas Aidoo protects the rim at a high level while the Vols boast physicality and defensive intensity at every other position. Barnes’ teams have a poor history of early exits in the Tournament, but this year’s squad feels different when you add a dynamic scorer like Knecht to a top-notch defense.