The college basketball season is quickly coming to a close. As March begins, schools only have a few games remaining on their schedules before the start of conference tournaments.
While Texas sports betting doesn’t exist, residents have some time before March Madness begins to get to a state to place some bets.
Those in East Texas can venture to Louisiana, which features several online sports betting apps.
The Lone Star State includes a couple of great basketball programs and teams that have a real chance at making this year’s Final Four.
This starts with the defending champion Baylor Bears, who are in a good position to do some damage again this season.
Then there’s also Texas Tech and Texas, two more from the Big 12 Conference that appear ready to receive a quality seed in this month’s NCAA Tournament.
March Madness futures odds
Baylor, Texas, and Tech make up three of the top 16 teams in college basketball according to the odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Baylor sits in the eighth spot overall with odds of +1500 to repeat as champions. The Red Raiders are 12th, at +3000, while the Longhorns are listed at +5000.
Unlike some others displayed at the online sportsbook, it seems that these three already secured their postseason positions.
In the most updated projections by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, both Baylor and Tech are posted on the No. 2 line. Texas is looking like a No. 5 seed at the moment.
Of course, seeding isn’t everything, but getting yourself into a place to succeed is helpful come tournament time.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the three Texas colleges heading into the final stretch of the year.
No. 10 Baylor Bears
It’s once again clear that the team from Waco is one of the elite in the country. The Bears won their first 15 contests on the schedule and found themselves as the top ranked team in the nation.
Baylor hasn’t been bad since early January, but it has lost a total of five times. Two of those defeats came at the hands of in-state foe, Texas Tech.
The Bears hold a 23-5 record right now, with an 11-4 mark in the conference. They’re tied with Tech in the Big 12 standings, both a game and a half behind Kansas.
The Jayhawks appear in line to claim another regular-season conference title with just a few games left. They’re 12-2 in the conference and 23-4 altogether.
The good news for Baylor is that it controls the ability to make up some ground on Kansas. The two met on Saturday night at the Ferrell Center.
Even if the Bears struggle in this one or get bounced from the conference tourney early, they’ll be fine with their seed.
DraftKings shows a realistic chance for Baylor to make it back to the Final Four. It gives the Bears odds of +300, which is actually the exact same as Kansas.
They may not be as good as a year ago, but they’re certainly talented. The Bears’ roster consists of three players who each average at least 13 points per game.
Junior guard Adam Flagler leads this group with 13.7 points per contest on an efficient 45% shooting. He’s tops on the team in three pointers made with 63, while also hitting a solid amount of these attempts. Flagler is connecting on over 40% of his threes, as well.
Time will tell if Baylor can survive another crazy March and reach New Orleans for the Final Four.
No. 9 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech is also a capable threat to make a deep tournament run. Despite losing in the second round by just two points to Arkansas last March, it qualified for at least the Elite Eight in two straight years prior to that.
In 2019, Tech lost to Virginia in the National Championship.
Both of those tournaments began with the Red Raiders as the No. 3 seed. It’s possible they improve upon that this year.
As mentioned, they’re currently a No. 2 in projections and have several games in front of them.
Texas Tech doesn’t have a very eventful finish, as its last three tilts all come against teams with losing records in the Big 12. It closes with TCU on Saturday, followed by Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
It looks more likely than not that the Red Raiders complete the regular season with a record of 25-6. They were 26-6 before their incredible postseason in 2019.
Even though they lost to Virginia in a tight battle that needed overtime, Tech defeated two No. 2 seeds and the West’s No. 1 in Gonzaga that year.
This team is hoping to have some of the same magic. At DraftKings, Tech is shown at +600 to earn a bid to the Final Four again.
Similar to the Bears, Tech includes multiple players who can score every night. Five total guys are essentially averaging at least 10 points, with senior forward Bryson Williams at 13.6.
If the Red Raiders can knock off KSU in their last home game, they’ll finish the season with a perfect 18-0 record in Lubbock.
No. 20 Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns are behind both of their Texas rivals, but it’s good company to be with in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball.
In spite of not competing for the Big 12 title, Texas is a solid team. It’s 19-8 overall and 8-6 in the conference with four games remaining.
The Longhorns face two winnable mathchups with TCU and WVU, then close with Baylor and KU.
Since the other two sides mentioned already solidified great records, these last few games mean more for Texas. They will determine how difficult a path the Longhorns will have to get through in the Big Dance.
Unfortunately, a No. 3 seed wasn’t good enough to advance last year, as UT went down to Abilene Christian in the first round.
The Longhorns were ranked as high as No. 14 in the beginning part of January. They feature some impressive victories, but a couple of bad losses, too.
As far as the odds go, Texas is surprisingly tied with Tech at +600 to earn a trip to the Final Four.
If it’s going to make it to the second weekend, it will need a great showing from senior forward Timmy Allen. He leads the Longhorns in both points per game and rebounding.
Allen’s scoring is inconsistent, though. In the month of February, he’s averaging just over six points per game during losses, compared to almost 17 points in winning efforts.
Hopefully for the sake of Texas backers, Allen’s got a few more monster performances left in the tank.