March Madness Betting: The best NCAA basketball teams in states - N

By Andrew D

November 23, 2022

NCAA March Madness North Carolina Michael Jordan 23 Jersey

Here are what we consider to be the best NCAA teams from states beginning with N

A quick word about rankings

The Associated Press has been ranking the top basketball teams since 1948. The top 25 teams in Division I are ranked using the ballots of 65 sports journalists from across the country. The ranking has no official say in the March Madness tournament selection process. Even a No. 1 ranking in the AP poll does not guarantee any team a place.

The coaches' poll uses the exact same premise. This time, the votes are cast by head coaches representing each of the 32 Division 1 Conferences.

View the latest AP & Coaches Poll rankings here

NCAA Creighton Bluejays Logo


Creighton Bluejays

AP ranking: 10

Coaches’ ranking: 9

March Madness odds progression: @ 31.00

There seems to be a feeling in the ether about the Creighton Bluejays. Their roster this season is stronger than we've seen from them before. 

Athleticism is not in question. They have enough big players to dominate and a nice balance of youthful exuberance and cold-hearted experience. 

  • Ryan Kalkbrenner (’22/’23: PTS: 16.4, TRB: 6.8, AST: 0.8, FG%: 80.6%)

Notable for a striking 80.6% field goal conversion rate. Decent enough scoring, but that’s something quite extraordinary!

The Big East Conference is going to be very challenging. Not least because they will have to deal with the Connecticut Huskies and the St. Johns Red Storm, both flying at the moment. 

In terms of being the best team in Nebraska, the Cornhuskers currently find themselves 2nd from the bottom in Big Ten. It is a very tough conference and there’s no shame in that. They still have a 3-1 winning record. 

The Omaha Mavericks are currently 1-3 in the Summit League and do not really offer much to the competition within the state. 

Bookmakers seem to agree with the Associated Press and coaches’ opinions. They have their NCAA March Madness betting odds @ 31.00

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NCAA UNLV Runnin Rebels


UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

March Madness odds progression: @ 1001.00

There are only two Division 1 NCAA basketball programs in Nevada. The Wolfpack had the bragging rights last time around, but the general consensus seems to be that the Runnin’ Rebels are set to usurp them this season.  

Both teams currently have a 100% winning record in the Mountain West Conference. Can they maintain that? Possibly. There are several ‘state’s best’ teams in the conference but probably none that will set the world on fire. 

The Rebels cannot fail to have boosted their confidence with an impressive early-season win over the 21st-ranked AP team - the Dayton Flyers. 60 - 52 it ended and took more than a few observers by surprise.

The loss of their only 2 double-figure scorers from last season, Bryce Hamilton and Donovan Williams must have hurt. But a couple of names have stepped into the breach and show genuine potential. Sophomore: 

  • Keshon Gilbert: (’22/’23: PTS: 15.8, TRB: 2.8, AST: 3.5, FG%: 51.4%)

…sees a jump in his minutes from 14.3 to 27.3 per game. He is rewarding the coach for the chance and hitting decent numbers so far. Incoming senior:

  • Elijah Harkless: (’22/’23: PTS: 14.5, TRB: 4.8, AST: 3.8, FG%: 37.8%)

…is also getting heavy minutes and scoring well. He’s doing his bit in rebounds and assists to and looks to have settled well. With 6 other new recruits, we feel that the Runnin’ Rebels are destined to be the best team from Nevada this season. 

NCAA Dartmouth Big Green

New Hampshire: 

Dartmouth Big Green

March Madness odds progression: @ 2001.00

With a record of 1-3, sitting in 7th (of 8) in the Ivy League, we do not expect Dartmouth Big Green to trouble the NCAA post-season tournament. Neither do the bookmakers, who effectively give them no chance whatsoever @ 2001.00

Still, we have to pick the best team from New Hampshire and we think that Big Green might just be it. Their only competitors are UNH (University of New Hampshire). They are faring a little better in America East at 2-2 right now. But we feel that the Big Green are stronger overall. Mainly due to the rise of junior:

  • Dusan Nescovic (’22/’23: PTS: 16.3, TRB: 4.8, AST: 1.3, FG%: 56.8%)

Nescovic has upped his minutes from just 6 per game last season to almost 21. He is scoring well with a very respectable conversion rate. He is adding to his value by claiming some rebounds too. We think that he might make the difference this season and it has swayed our decision in favour of Dartmouth.

NCAA Saint Peter's Peacocks Logo

New Jersey: 

St. Peter’s Peacocks

March Madness odds progression: @ 1001.00

Saint Peter's Peacocks made an exhilarating March Madness run in the 2021/’22 post-season tournament. As a No. 15 seed, all the way to the Elite Eight. Along the way, they beat out Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue. In fact, were it not for meeting eventual beaten finalists North Carolina, they might have gone even further. Quite remarkable. 

Rutgers Scarlet Knights went out in the First Four. They are objectively the better team this season. Bookmakers give them March Madness betting odds of @ 251.00

But we were wowed by the Peacocks last season and are nothing if not loyal. Even if they’ve only got one player in double-figures for points thus far. Sophomore:

  • Jaylen Murray (’22/’23: PTS: 14.8, TRB: 3.0, AST: 3.3, FG%: 42.0%)

So sue us…

NCAA New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico: 

New Mexico Lobos

March Madness odds progression: @ 301.00

Currently 3-0 in Mountain West, New Mexico Lobos are looking strong this season. They have 4 players scoring in double-figures at the time of writing (21st Nov ’22) and one in particular scoring heavily:

  • Jaelen House: (’22/’23: PTS: 20.7, TRB: 2.3, AST: 6.3, FG%: 41.7%)

There’s no arguing with those numbers. Those assists are sure to be a key element of any success that the Lobos can achieve. And he’s not alone. 2 more players are scoring big:

  • Jamal Mashburn Jr. (’22/’23: PTS: 18.7, TRB: 4.0, AST: 2.3, FG%: 47.6%)

  • Morris Udeze: (’22/’23: PTS: 16.7, TRB: 5.3, AST: 1.7, FG%: 56.8%)

Check out that conversion rate too. 

The New Mexico State Aggies have had the better of things in the state for the last 8 years. We think that run is about to come to an end. 

With NCAA March Madness betting odds @ 301.00, it’s probably too soon to start seriously talking about them making a run in the postseason. But the trajectory is an upward one right now and fans cannot ask of much more. 

NCAA St Johns Red Storm

New York: 

St. John’s Red Storm

March Madness odds progression: @ 126.00

Sitting at 4-0 in the Big East Conference, St. John’s Red Storm are finally coming good. They trail only to the 2 AP-ranked teams in the conference. 

With an astonishing 22 Division 1 NCAA basketball teams in New York State, being named the best is no mean feat. 

Now, don’t get us wrong. It’s not crammed with conference-topping teams that challenge for the NCAA title every season. But that’s still a lot more competition than most of the states on this list. 

It’s been 22 years since the Red Storm troubled the NCAA March Madness tournament.

And the chances are they won’t this season either. But we give them a better chance than normal. They already have 4 players hitting double-figures in scoring. Top among those being:

  • David Jones: (’22/’23: PTS: 17.8, TRB: 8.0, AST: 2.5, FG%: 46.6%)

Rock-solid scoring backed up by excellent rebound-snatching. Speaking of which:

  • Joel Soriano: (’22/’23: PTS: 12.8, TRB: 11.0, AST: 0.8, FG%: 63.6%)

Smashing it for rebounds. And would you look at that field goal conversion rate? Jeepers

With some good assists coming from Posh Alexander and Andre Curbelo, the Red Storm really look in decent shape moving forwards. 

NCAA North Carolina Tar Heels Logo

North Carolina: 

North Carolina Tar Heels

AP ranking: 1

Coaches’ ranking: 1

March Madness odds progression: @ 9.00 — @ 12.00
For the tenth time, the most in basketball history, the North Carolina Tar Heels are the Associated Press’ number 1 ranked team for 2022/’23
Need we say more?

Ok, maybe just a little bit. 

A 2000 ESPN poll found that Americans consider the rivalry between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils to be the third most intense. Not just in college basketball. Or even in all college sports. In all North American sports, amateur, professional. All of them. 

Just think about that for a moment. 

A college basketball rivalry is the third most keenly felt in the nation. That’s actually rather remarkable is it not?

In a matchup for the ages, the Tar Heels met their state arch-rivals Duke at the Final Four semi-final stage of the NCAA March Madness tournament last season. 

Despite leading by 3 at halftime, the Blue Devils could not hang on and conceded 47 points to their 40 in the second half. Costing them the game and their head coach Mike Krzyzewski his job.

The betting markets agree with us and have:

Duke Blue Devils: March Madness odds progression: @ 19.00 — @ 21.00

Averaging 34.2 minutes played in 39 games last season, a key player for the Tar Heels is surely:

  • Caleb Love (*PTS: 15.9, TRB: 3.4, AST: 3.6, FG%: 37.1%)

His field goal successes leave a fair bit to be desired. But who can discount almost 16 points per game and 3.6 assists? He has improved on those points at the beginning of the ’22/’23 season so let’s see what heights he can reach. 

  • Armando Bacot (*PTS: 16.3, TRB: 13.1, AST: 1.5, FG%: 56.9%)

Now then. Would you look at that? Over 16 points with a success rate of 56.9%? 13.1 rebounds! Those are game-changing stats right there and Armando Bacot achieved them in an average of 31.6 minutes across 39 games last season. Truly impressive. 

And they are not alone. UNC has a talented roster to choose from and we feel it will see them achieve great things again this season. Once again eclipsing Duke…

NCAA North Dakota State Bison

North Dakota: 

North Dakota State Bison

March Madness odds progression: @ 5001.00

North Dakota only boasts 2 Division 1 NCAA basketball teams so this was a fairly easy choice to make. Especially with the likes of:

  • Grant Nelson (*PTS: 11.6, TRB: 4.9, AST: 1.1, FG%: 50.8%) 

The 6’11 (.0m) 235lb (kg) college junior has started the new season with a bang too. 17 points in just 21 minutes of the first game. With 6 rebounds as a nice little sweetener. It seems that he will be a key player for the Bison. 

The Fargo-based team look set to tough it out alongside their state-mates the Fighting Hawks in the Summit League again. They should have the better time of it we feel.
Head coach Dave Richman has overseen a team that won 19 or more of its games in six of the eight seasons he has been with them. We have no doubt this trend will continue.

*M = minutes

PTS = points

TRB = total rebounds

AST = assists

FG% = field goal percentage

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