What a difference a month can make.

Michigan State was trending in the wrong direction heading into the middle part of February. Already inconsistent, the Spartans were limping along, losing three straight games.

At that point, Sports Betting Dime had the Spartans at +2500 to win it all. To get even more specific, for real-time college basketball odds, go here. That will be updated as action is in-play throughout March Madness.

Then, staring at a fourth consecutive loss, the Spartans left Illinois with a one-point victory on Feb. 11.

Since that time, Michigan State has lost just one game, avenging losses to Maryland and Penn State along the way.

Now, entering the Big 10 Tournament, Michigan State is now +1000 to win the NCAA tournament, owning the third-best odds to win it all. With this year’s tournament looking like it may be one of the most wide-open March Madness tournaments in recent history, here’s two teams that should garner your attention.

Louisville should make some noise in March. Flickr

Louisville Cardinals, +1175

The Cardinals are sitting in a nice position. They’re not completely off the radar, but not many are talking about the Cardinals.

Louisville is a top-40 defense in efficiency and is ranked 19th in offensive efficiency. They can play multiple different ways, which is essential to move on in the NCAA tournament. Jordan Nwora can carry this team on the offensive end and the Cardinals have enough depth to make a deep run.

The only pause I have with Louisville is if they get matched up with an especially strong defensive team. The Cardinals have struggled in those games this season, but teams like Virginia, which recently beat Louisville, are few and far between.

Maryland Terrapins, +1200

Here’s another team that has been able to weather the storm this season.

The Terrapins have been up-and-down at times in the toughest conference in the nation. But what I love most about Maryland is their ability to be balanced and play multiple styles. Jalen Smith is a beast on the boards and averages 15 points per game.

Five players score eight points or more per game and the defense is the calling card for Maryland. They’ve played a brutal schedule, so I’m expecting Maryland to be battle-tested to advance in March.

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