Which NCAA Tournament Top Seed Got Worst Travel Schedule?

Which NCAA Tournament Top Seed Got Worst Travel Schedule?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

This year’s Road to the Final Four looks to be a long one for both North Carolina and Duke. The two ACC superpowers earned a high seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, and if they make it all the way to the Final Four, they’ll also rack up a lot of frequent flyer miles.

BetCarolina.com is always looking for creative angles to give bettors an edge now that North Carolina sports betting is legal. So, we analyzed the total miles each of the top four seeds in each of the four regions would accrue if they reached the national semifinals on April 6 in Glendale, Ariz. 

Even with UNC starting out its tournament with games at Charlotte this week, the Tar Heels, by virtue of being the top seed in the West Region, would have the third-longest trek of any team among the field.

Duke, the No. 4 seed in the South, doesn’t get to play in Charlotte. However, the Blue Devils would venture less than half as far to reach their Sweet 16 destination compared to their arch-rivals down the road. Still, that trek is longer than that of 12 other high seeds.

The mileage listed in the chart below is one-way only.

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Top Four Seeds’ Travel Distance If They Make The Final Four

If travel impacts a team's performance, the information below could prove useful on North Carolina betting apps

RankTeamSeed, RegionPotential LocationsTotal Mileage (if make Final Four)
1 Arizona# 2 in WestSalt Lake City, LA, Glendale1,394 miles
2Marquette# 2 in SouthIndianapolis, Dallas, Glendale2,539 miles
3 Kentucky# 3 in SouthPittsburgh, Dallas, Glendale2,552 miles
4 Purdue# 1 in MidwestIndianapolis, Detroit, Glendale2,761 miles
5 Kansas#4 in MidwestSalt Lake City, Detroit, Glendale2,782 miles
6 UConn# 1 in EastBrooklyn, Boston, Glendale1,394 miles
7 Creighton# 3 in MidwestPittsburgh, Detroit, Glendale2,884 miles
8 Iowa State# 2 in EastOmaha, Boston, Glendale2,934 miles
9 Tennessee# 2 in MidwestCharlotte, Detroit, Glendale2,940 miles
10 Baylor# 2 in WestMemphis, LA, Glendale3,031 miles
11 Houston# 1 in SouthMemphis, Dallas, Glendale3,069 miles
12 Illinois# 3 in EastOmaha, Boston, Glendale3,240 miles
13 Duke# 4 in SouthBrooklyn, Dallas, Glendale3,031 miles
14 North Carolina# 1 in WestCharlotte, LA, Glendale4,865 miles
15 Auburn# 4 in EastSpokane, Boston, Glendale5,360 miles
16 Alabama# 4 in WestSpokane, LA, Glendale5,952 miles

🏀 MORE: How to Bet on College Basketball

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Top-Seeded UNC Not Favored To Win Region

Carolina received the No. 1 seed in the West, and while Alabama, the No. 4 seed in the region, has the longest road of them all, UNC could face either No. 5 St. Mary’s or No. 12 Grand Canyon, both of which are located far closer to Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles than Chapel Hill’s finest. Should the Tar Heels reach the Elite Eight, a possible matchup with second-seed Arizona – the team with the shortest road to hoe of any top seed – awaits.

The travel might be one reason why oddsmakers at FanDuel North Carolina made the Wildcats the favorite to win the region at +230 over the Tar Heels, who have odds of +350 to make it to the Final Four.

Sports betting launched statewide in North Carolina last week, and before the brackets were revealed, many in the state were ready to wager on the Tar Heels. According to FanDuel, wagers on North Carolina accounted for the second-highest number of bets and second-highest handle—both at 12% as of last Thursday morning. At that time, UNC had odds of +2200, but as of Tuesday morning, the Heels’ odds were +1700.

Odds on North Carolina’s first-round game will not be available until after Tuesday night’s First Four game featuring Wagner and Howard in Dayton. The winner of that game will play UNC Thursday afternoon in Charlotte.

Duke’s journey to the Final Four starts in Brooklyn, where the Blue Devils are a 12-point favorite at Fanatics versus Vermont in a Friday evening game. Fanatics has Duke odds at +600—third choice to win the region—below only top-seeded Houston (+125) and No. 2 seed Marquette (+500). If the chalk holds, Houston and Duke will face off in a Sweet 16 at American Airlines Center in Dallas on March 29. 

Oddsmakers at BetMGM North Carolina offer odds of +3000 on the Blue Devils to win their first national title since 2015.

BetCarolina.com is your source for the latest sports news and analysis regarding North Carolina sports. We also provide the latest news on North Carolina sports betting apps, including reviews and the best North Carolina sportsbook promos.

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Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for BetCarolina.com, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years.

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