2024 March Madness Betting Odds: Three potential NCAA Tournament Cinderella teams

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Mar 14, 2024

NCAA Basketball: James Madison at Southern Mississippi

Which teams are poised to be bracket busters at the 2024 NCAA Tournament?

The NCAA Tournament’s March Madness is all about the upsets, so we’re taking a look at three under-the-radar teams that we feel provide the best betting value as tournament underdogs.

Before (or after) we dive into the Cinderella teams, make sure to check out our complete list of NCAAB game odds and NCAAB futures.

2024 NCAA Tournament odds

James Madison Dukes

James Madison has already punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over a decade after blowing out Arkansas State by 20 points in the championship game of the Sun Belt tournament. This will be just the sixth tournament appearance for the Dukes at the top level, but keep in mind they have won games in four of the previous five tournaments.

This team has gone on dominant stretches over the year. They currently have the nation’s longest active win streak at 13 games and they even began the season on a 14-game heater. Their 31 total wins set a new Sun Belt single season record and they’re a top-10 scoring team in the nation, averaging 84.4 points per game.

Look for the veteran duo of Terrance Edwards and T.J. Bickerstaff to potentially lead the Dukes on a long at the Big Dance.

Princeton Tigers

After a tough fight with Cornell and Yale, Princeton led the Ivy League division with a 12-2 record in the regular season and they are entering the Ivy League tournament on a nine-game win streak. The Tigers went on a run in the NCAA Tournament last year, upsetting No. 2 Arizona in the first round and advancing as far as the Sweet 16 as a 15-seed.

Princeton has a top-35 offence in the nation, according to KenPom, averaging 76.9 ppg while shooting 36.2 per cent from three as a team. Xavier Lee and Caden Pierce have both terrorized opponents this season. Lee leads the team in points (17.7) and assists (3.7), while Pierce is second on the team with 16.3 ppg and he leads in rebounds (9.3), steals (1.1) and blocks (0.5).

If the Tigers win the Ivy League championship and earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament, this is a well coached team that could go far for a second straight year.

Samford Bulldogs

It looked bad for Samford early this season after they dropped their first two games at Purdue and at VCU, but since then they ripped off 22 wins over their next 23 games and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament by winning the SoCon championship. The Bulldogs’ only previous national championship appearances were in 1999 and 2000, losing in the first round both years.

Samford is a bit of a risk because they are a terrible defensive team, but their electric offence is hard to overlook. They’re the fifth highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 86.0 ppg, and their 39.3 shooting percentage from beyond three is top-10. The Bulldogs have four players averaging double digit points per game while Achor Achor, Jaden Campbell and Jermaine Marshall are all shooting above 50 per cent from the field.

There’s an argument to be made that Samford is the scariest team that isn’t a traditional powerhouse or from a Power-6 conference.