March Madness Best Bets First Round Part 1 UltimateFan Basketball NCAA

MARCH MADNESS FUTURES | Three early longshots to reach the Final Four

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Our Basketball expert has dived into the world of ‘Bracketology’, plucking out three teams that could cause some upsets and make their way to Arizona in April.

With the month of March on the horizon, plenty of basketball fans are beginning to look forward to this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.

Despite the fact there is just over a week and a bit of the regular season remaining, there is still plenty to be decided ahead of March Madness.

Our basketball tipster has dived into the futures markets, picking out three schools with big prices that could go on deep runs through the tournaments – should they make it into the 68 teams to participant.

Here are the three early Longshots to reach the Final Four in the 2024 edition of March Madness.


Michigan State were tipped up by plenty of pundits before the start of the season to be a force in the Big Ten conference – but that hasn’t gone completely to plan.

They hold a 9-8 conference record, while putting up a 17-11 record overall. They are on the fringes of the NCAA bubble, and they realistically need to win once more to make sure they make the tournament via the

This is potentially why their odds are as big as they are for a deep March Madness run – they were +1500 to win the tournament overall pre-season, and now they are +1600 just to reach the Final Four.

Veteran HC Tom Izzo has guided the school to eight Final Four games in the past, and they have beaten Baylor and Illinois this season in statement victories.

Their form is their let down as they have been patchy at times, but if Izzo can get this team firing against Purdue and Northwestern then the Spartans should make the tournament – and even produce a surprise run to Arizona.

TIP: Michigan State to reach the Final Four (+1600, FanDuel)


The first of two Mountain West schools to make the cut, New Mexico could have a good run in them.

New Mexico’s strong attacking style has seen them become of the better offenses in college basketball, while they have been consistent defensively as well – allowing only 98.3 points per 100 possessions.

Their fast tempo has thrown some teams, and they have beaten two top-25 schools throughout the campaign – getting the better of last year’s March Madness runners-up San Diego State on the 13th January before beating Utah State three days later.

The consistent points scoring from the trio of Jaelen House, Donovant Dent and Jamal Mashburn Jr. has kept the offense ticking, while towering freshman JT Toppin has impressed with his rebounding and blocking ability.

Their 21-7 record is no mean feat – and they could carry that strong seasonal performance into March Madness.

TIP: New Mexico to reach the Final Four (+2800, FanDuel)


The second Mountain West school to feature, Colorado State has been punching above their weight all season long.

The Rams’ record against some of the bigger schools has been impressive – as they have beaten five top-25 teams this season, including a flagship 69-48 win on the road against Creighton.

They have experienced a bit of a blip in their form – losing three on the bounce – but they could get that under control just in time with two regular season games left to go.

Senior guard Isaiah Stevens has been a standout for CSU, averaging 16.6 points per game while producing 7.3 assists per game – a category he sits fourth in overall among playes across the country.

They have been really good at slowing down games this season, and their balanced approach on both offense and defense could help them go far in this tournament.

A Final Four appearance is a big ask, but there’s always one ‘cinderella story’ that no-one anticipated.

TIP: Colorado State to reach the Final Four (+4100, FanDuel)

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