Just a few days into February, we’re even closer to it being the best time of the year. College basketball fans near and far count the days down for when March gets near. When it comes, it’s a second Christmas. With nonstop, all-day action for the first four days, there is no better joy. Watching games from wake until sleep sounds like heaven on Earth.

Before we can get that far, there still needs to be predictions today. And when those get made and the day’s games come to an end, that draws us even closer to the big moment. Let’s take a look at the odds-on favorites to win the 2023 National Tournament and bring the trophy home.

4) Tennessee Volunteers (+1200)

Tennessee is having another great season under Rick Barnes. They boast an 18-4 overall mark, with a 7-2 record in SEC play. They have never made it to the promised land, falling short in the regional semifinals on a number of occasions. All it will take is a few extra wins, and they certainly have the firepower this time around.

It’s been a balanced attack for the Volunteers, with no one player averaging better than 12 points per contest. They are being paced by Santiago Vescovi (12.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Olivier Nkamhoua (11.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg), and Zakai Zeigler (11.4 ppg, 5.0 apg). All three of them have looked good and stepped up, as the team needs their play to do so.

This is a balanced bunch who will hope to finally make the noise they have aimed to in March Madness come tournament time.

3) Alabama Crimson Tide +1000

Alabama has fielded some great teams over the years, but the 2022-23 version has the chance to be the best. They’ve got a lot of NBA-ready talent leading them this season, starting the year 19-3. They have gone 9-0 in SEC play, putting them two games above Tennessee for the top spot in the conference. Please, Nate Oats, take a huge bow.

Averaging 19 points and eight rebounds per night, Brandon Miller has been nothing short of a star. Projected to be taken inside of the top 10 in next year’s draft, he is in line to be a great professional hooper. Mark Sears, his backcourt mate, has also impressed with his 14.0 ppg. The two of them have combined to make 115 threes to date.

These two, combined with the size of Charles Bediako and Noah Clowney, make them a real threat.

2) Purdue Boilermakers +800

Carsen Edwards and Robbie Hummel have got to be proud of where Purdue is today. They are atop the Big Ten with an impressive 11-1 conference mark. They went 11-0 in games played outside of their conference and have looked tough to stop. Matt Painter is now in his eighteenth season at the helm, still getting his team to play hard for him.

Former IMG Academy star Zach Edey has been feasting since the year began. He stands a towering 7-4 and is averaging 22 and 13 for the year to go along with two blocks. They have a new great big man every few years, and he’s clearly exceeded Matt Haarms. He and Fletcher Loyer (12.4 ppg) have been the two guiding the squad to their incredible performances.

The 1968-69 season marks their last appearance in the grand game. They’re hoping this is the team that can finally get them back.

Houston Cougars (+650)

Sitting pretty at 21-2, the Cougars have looked great this season. They are in first place in the AAC with a 9-1 conference mark. Coming off a campaign in which they reached the Elite 8, this is exactly what was expected of them. Under Kelvin Sampson, they have continued to build something special.

Senior Marcus Sasser is averaging 16 points per contest and has proven himself as an elite outside threat. They also have future NBA standout Jarace Walker averaging 11 points and six rebounds per contest. There is no doubt they will make a run in March. But just how far will they go?

From 1982-1984, Hakeem Olajuwon guided Houston to back-to-back appearances in the National Finals. They’re hoping to get back for the first time since and use their status as the odds-on favorite to get the job done.