March Madness Sleepers That Could Win the 2021 Title

By Noah Davis in March Madness
| April 6, 2020 4:59 am PDT
NCAA March Madness 2021

We are in dark times for sports fans — so much so that we didn’t even get March Madness this year.

It’s just as bad for the sports betting world, as we’re now already looking to the 2021 March Madness tournament, rather than reflecting on this year’s tourney.

That doesn’t mean we’ll enjoy next year’s bracket breakdown any less, though. Yes, there are clear favorites to win the 2021 March Madness tournament, but there are also going to be March Madness sleepers worth a look in betting circles.

Based on this year, pricing, and what they could offer in the coming college basketball season, here are the top March Madness 2021 sleepers we all need to consider.

North Carolina (+2000)

Let’s start with the Tar Heels, who some will forget about after a terrible 14-19 season. North Carolina will be losing stud point guard Cole Anthony to the 2020 NBA Draft, but they still have one of the game’s best coaches in Roy Williams.

Williams won’t be alone, either. The Tar Heels still have a talented roster, and with three recruits inside the top 20, they have one of the most stacked rosters in the nation.

Don’t be shocked if North Carolina opens next year high in the top 25, nor if these odds spike and render them among the March Madness favorites for 2021.

Dayton (+2500)

The Flyers got a raw deal this year, as they looked like one of the best teams in college basketball prior to March Sadness. Dayton went 29-2, won the Atlantic 10 with a perfect 18-0 record, and was prepared to enter the tourney with a 20-game winning streak.

Obi Toppin is headed for the pro game, but that could honestly have the Flyers looking even more appealing as a sleeper bet. They still ranked 6th in the nation in scoring and 40th defensively.

That type of balance shouldn’t be ignored, especially when the team as a whole can be so explosive (27th in three-point shooting) from outside.

Louisville (+2500)

The Cardinals survived the ACC last year, going 15-5 inside the conference and a strong 24-7 overall.

They had a chance at being one of the best March Madness sleepers going into this past year’s tourney, and you better believe they’ll make some noise again next year.

Smothering defense gave the Cardinals a shot in any setting, while they were one of the most potent three-point shooting teams in the country.

Things could change with the departure of Jordan Nwora in this year’s draft, but don’t be shocked if Louisville is still a team to be feared next season.

San Diego State (+2500)

The Aztecs were the third-best defensive team in college basketball and were about to enter the tourney as a real threat thanks to an elite 30-2 mark.

San Diego State is losing Malachi Flynn but should otherwise return most of this gritty team.

Brian Dutcher should have them focused and ready to pick up where they left off last season. The rest of college basketball should be worried about that.

Michigan (+2800)

The Wolverines took a step back from their dominant ways after head coach John Beilein bolted for the NBA, but they are set to trend upwards with a strong recruiting class coming to town.

Michigan was still pesky at 19-12 last year and had one of the best overall offenses in the nation. If the incoming class can help their defense and outside shooting improve, they could be in for a huge jump.

Oregon (+2800)

The Ducks are set to lose a big piece of their puzzle with point guard Payton Pritchard headed for the NBA Draft, but this still looks like a team to fear next season.

Oregon finished last year with a strong 24-7 record and was the second-best team in the nation at torching the nets from long range.

Will Richardson and Chris Duarte will step into even bigger offensive roles and could lift Oregon to new heights in 2021.

Houston (+4000)

I’m sure other teams will emerge as viable 2021 March Madness sleepers, but I’ll stop with the Cougars, who were a dangerous team last season.

Houston went a solid 23-8 and cracked the nation’s top 25 thanks to an elite defense. Should Houston find a way to add a big recruit and/or give their offense a lift, that suffocating defense could translate into serious tourney success.

The Cougars may only go as far as Caleb Mills takes them, of course. However, a strong freshman campaign was promising. A huge year-two leap could have Mills putting Houston deep inside the top 25.


It’s likely one of the top favorites to win March Madness will be the last team to cut down the nets, but sleepers are at the heart of college basketball’s tournament.

We crave upsets, and building out brackets just isn’t the same without predicting a few. How far you think those upsets will go in the 2021 tourney is up to you, but some of the aforementioned sleepers could be part of your process for betting on March Madness.

There is still a long way to go before we find out who wins the 2021 college basketball tournament, but early stepping-stones to unveiling the final picture are necessary.

Once you think you have a clear view, take your knowledge to the top March Madness betting sites.



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