NCAA Men’s Tournament: can Miami or FAU win national championship?

FILE – Duke players celebrate on the court after their 68-63 victory over Wisconsin at Lucas Oil Stadium in the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament championship game in Indianapolis, in this April 6, 2015, file photo. Lucas Oil Stadium is one of six venues hosting NCAA Tournament games later this week.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Then, there were four.

And if any of you actually have the four teams left in the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, please get in touch with me via my Twitter account (@TheProdigalSean): I am in desperate need of next week’s lottery numbers.

For residents of South Florida, this week is going to continue the party, as both Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami are still standing. In fact, those two teams have a chance to meet in the championship game on Monday, April 3 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas; although, if that is that final, it might as well be moved to the Miami-Dade Arena.

So, will that be the final?

Both Florida teams were installed as underdogs in their respective Final Four games. Florida Atlantic is a slight underdog against another shock regional champion, San Diego State, while the Hurricanes are a slightly bigger dog against the team most people now perceive as the best left in the field.

But we have been here every round, and the “best” teams left have all fallen by the wayside at every hurdle.

According to the experts at Basketball Insiders, there might be a decent chance we see at least one of the Florida teams playing Monday night.

“Obviously, UConn is the favorite to win the national championship right now after the Huskies rampaged through the West bracket,” a spokesperson for said. “They won every game by at least 23 points, and have the best odds to win the title. But Miami was very impressive coming from behind against a very good Texas team in the second half of its Elite Eight Midwest Region victory, and also blew out a very good Houston team that was number one for a lot of the year.

“The craziest thing about the Hurricanes is, they were toast in the First Round against Drake, until the 12-seed collapsed late. Miami used that to power its run to the Final Four. Remember as well, the Hurricanes won the ACC regular season title, and will not be afraid of this UConn team. I think Miami will go in with a little chip on its shoulder, as a near six-point underdog as of Monday.”

What about the team with the most wins in all of Division 1 this season?

“Look, this Florida Atlantic team was clearly underseeded after a great regular season,” the Basketball Insiders spokesperson said. “But it ended up working out for the Owls. Now, they get a San Diego State team that plays very good defense, but can sometimes struggle to score. To be honest, I don’t think FAU could have asked for a better matchup in a Final Four game.

“This is a toss-up contest, and the odds by the time the game tips off just after 6 p.m. Eastern on Saturday might show that as well. We have this as a tight contest, and think the Owls have a legitimate shot to win the title.”

Here are the odds for both games, as well as the futures to win the 2023 title.

Saturday, April 1

Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State (-2)

Miami vs. UConn (-5.5)

Odds to win Men’s NCAA title

UConn -134

Miami +400

San Diego State +400

Florida Atlantic +600