College basketball has suffered from an undeniable decline in popularity over the past decade. The great irony of that is that college basketball has nobody to blame but itself. College basketball's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is so popular that it has rendered the regular season meaningless to most fans. Indeed, March Madness is the only college hoops season for millions of fans and gamblers. And that leads to the unique significance of the national championship game.
March Madness begins with a 68-team field. It seems as if all of North America is filling out brackets for various pools and contests. But when the national championship game commences, it is played between the final two survivors of that 68-team field. And all of a sudden, the Mardi Gras atmosphere of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament becomes more serious and respectful.
Through the years, the college basketball national championship game has given us some incredible moments and memories. From Villanova's last-second shot to win the 2016 national championship to a remarkable comeback by Kansas over Memphis in 2008, the highlights could fill several pages and videos.
It is best not to get caught up in the national championship game's hype from a gambling perspective. While the game is the most important of the year for the sport and the teams involved, it is just another game for a serious gambler. Like the Super Bowl, the college basketball national championship game is not an excuse to become loose with your bankroll. The principles of odds, money management, and wagering value don't change because a game is for all the marbles.
Types of Wagers for the College Basketball National Championship Game
There are plenty of wagering options for the college basketball national championship game. Those options include pointspread sides, over/under totals, the money line, first or second half wagering, live-in-game betting, props, parlays, and teasers. Due to the national championship game's unique nature, most gamblers will choose several of those options.
College Basketball National Championship Game History and Lesson
The UCLA Bruins have the all-time record for most national championship game appearances with 13 and 11 national championships. However, that success was mostly built from the mid to late 1960s through 1975 with legendary Hall of Fame coach John Wooden. In fact, the last time that UCLA won the national championship was in 1996.
The Kentucky Wildcats have 12 national championship game appearances with eight championships. The North Carolina Tar Heels have six national titles and 11 national championship game appearances. And the Duke Blue Devils have five national championships with 11 title game appearances. Also ranking high in college basketball's historical context are the Indiana Hoosiers, Connecticut Huskies, Kansas Jayhawks, Louisville Cardinals, and Villanova Wildcats.
In recent years, college basketball's blue blood nature has consistently maintained itself for the national championship game. Indeed, the Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Duke Blue Devils have fulfilled their historical role in the sport.
Although there will be an upstart program that occasionally makes or even wins the national championship game, that is the exception rather than the rule.
In 2019 the Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 85-77 to win the national championship. That was the rare title game in which both schools were not in the blue blood class. In fact, it was the first time that either school made it to the national championship game.
Before Virginia's championship, the blue blood class ruled with an iron fist. Villanova was the national champion in 2016 and 2018. So too did North Carolina take the titles in 2009 and 2017. While Duke was the winner in 2010 and 2015. Connecticut won the natty in 2011 and 2014, Louisville in 2013, and Kentucky in 2012.
An Unusual 2021 Set Up
It would come as no surprise that the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament would have a different twist. COVID-19 has flipped everything upside down, including sports.
Gonzaga was the favorite as the season progressed, even though the Bulldogs have one national championship game appearance in their history. Baylor also has only one appearance in the championship game. But the Bears were the second pick to win it all in 2021.
What was most interesting of all is that only Villanova was favored among the elite class of the sport in 2021.