It turns out the South Region was the only one of the four regions to advance all of its top seeds to the Sweet 16. Here are their current odds to win four more games and become NCAA basketball champions.
No. 1 Seed North Carolina +500
The Tar Heels and Kansas have the lowest college basketball odds to be crowned champions at +500 on the evening of April 3. North Carolina barely survived Arkansas on Sunday and was clearly bothered by the Hogs' defensive pressure. Looking ahead, Butler is the most fundamentally sound team in the region and plays tremendously well together. Nevertheless, Roy Williams' squad is the most talented team remaining in the field and while that guarantees them nothing, having the best collection of players helps your chances. Unless an injury were to occur to the Tar Heels, they will be favored in every contest the rest of the way and deserve to be the odds-on favorites.
No. 2 Kentucky +1200
Though Kentucky was hardly impressive to its two victories against Northern Kentucky and Wichita State, the Wildcats proved they have made the adjustment of being forced to play at a slower pace and finding ways to win games. Kentucky is tied with SEC partner Florida as the fifth choice to win it all for college basketball picks. At present, their road includes UCLA, North Carolina, Gonzaga or Arizona and Kansas. Honestly, not sure who would survive that road of any of the remaining teams in the field. John Calipari's club has exceptional ability in spots but seems a real long shot to win four times starting from this spot.
No. 3 UCLA +1400
Though the Bruins' journey is no less challenging than Kentucky's, they do have qualities that could place them in more favorable position than Wildcats. Coach Steve Alford's stars are very young yet he also has senior Bryce Alford and junior Thomas Welch, who offer greater maturity which is a big plus. No question T.J. Leaf and Lonzo Ball have a different level of maturity beyond freshmen, but having an older player or two helps with team leadership. In UCLA's favor is it has a style that is unique, and having multiple scorers in different positions who have put in the work to improve defensively gives the Bruins a chance at greatness and a real opportunity to reach the Final Four, where anything can happen.
No. 4 Butler +5000
Only Xavier has longer odds to cut down the nets in Glendale, Ariz. I will come clean: I thought Butler was overseeded at No. 4, but the Bulldogs proved me wrong with two impressive performances against Winthrop and Middle Tennessee, taking those teams' best players out of their normal flow. However, the level of competition really picks up starting Friday, and while the Bulldogs style and tenaciousness might allow them to cover vs. North Carolina, it seems next to impossible to think Butler has four more victories in its arsenal.