March Madness: Undefeated South Carolina is the overwhelming NCAA women’s tournament favorite

South Carolina a better-than-even-money favorite to win the NCAA women’s tournament. Again.

Just like a season ago, the Gamecocks entered March Madness as the prohibitive national title favorites after an undefeated regular season.

South Carolina is 32-0 after cruising through conference play, getting a buzzer-beater to beat Tennessee in the semifinals of the SEC tournament and surviving a testy matchup with defending national champion LSU a day later in the title game.

South Carolina is -120 to win the tournament this season. A season ago, the Gamecocks were even bigger favorites at -145. But bettors never got a chance to cash in on those low odds as South Carolina lost to Iowa and Caitlin Clark in the Final Four.

GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 10: South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley finishes cutting down the net during the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament Championship Game between the LSU Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks March 10, 2024 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This season, South Carolina has a draw that guarantees it won’t face the Hawkeyes or Tigers until the national championship. Both Iowa and LSU are on the opposite side of the bracket and are in the same region. Just one will get to the Final Four.

The Gamecocks will open the tournament without star player Kamilla Cardoso after she was ejected in that win over LSU. However, they shouldn’t need her against either Sacred Heart or Presbyterian.

Iowa and LSU are the next-biggest favorites to win the tournament after their epic title game matchup a season ago. Clark’s Hawkeyes are +400 to win the title — and are the most-bet team to win the title so far — while LSU is at +650. They could meet each other in the Elite Eight.

Stanford is the No. 4 favorite at +1500 after missing out on the final No. 1 seed to Texas. The Cardinal are the No. 2 seed in the Longhorns’ region. Texas is at +2500.

UConn is between the Cardinal and Longhorns at +2000.

The Huskies are the No. 3 seed in a region that contains USC and Ohio State ahead of them. If UConn can get past the Buckeyes, we could get a matchup between Paige Bueckers and USC phenom JuJu Watkins in the Elite Eight.

Women’s NCAA tournament favorites

South Carolina (-120)

Iowa (+400)

LSU (+650)

Stanford (+1500)

UConn (+2000)

Texas (+2500)

Ohio State (+2500)

UCLA (+3000)

USC (+3000)

NC State (+4000)

Notre Dame (+5000)

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