March Madness: Despite In-State Ban, You Can Bet On These Virginians

Posted on March 16, 2022 - Last Updated on August 3, 2022

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket was revealed on Sunday, and neither Maryland nor Washington, DC, is represented in the field of 68.

Virginia, however, has four schools as part of the March Madness tournament:

  • University of Richmond
  • Longwood University
  • Norfolk State
  • Virginia Tech

Of course, you can’t actually bet on those VA schools from within Virginia.

The Virginia General Assembly tabled the most recent attempt to lift the ban preventing you from betting on in-state college teams. However, though you can’t bet on Virginia schools, you can bet on some Virginians.

In this year’s NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the commonwealth is represented well by a slew of Virginia natives.

Bet on Virginians with FanDuel VA’s 30-1 promo

Still want to bet on a Virginia college or university? You’ll need to drive to West Virginia, Tennessee, DC or another jurisdiction to legally place your bet from within their borders.

As of Thursday, these are the futures odds for those Virginia schools to win the tournament, courtesy of FanDuel:

  • Virginia Tech Hokies: +17000 (170-1)
  • Richmond Spiders: +50000 (500-1)
  • Longwood Lancers: +50000 (500-1)
  • Norfolk State Spartans: +50000 (500-1)

But if you want to stay close to home, you’ll need to pick a non-Virginia school to support. Thankfully, Virginians can be found on rosters of schools from all over the country.

And thanks to the new FanDuel Virginia March Madness promo, you can bet $5 and win $150 on your team – no matter what.

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If you’re a first-time depositor at FanDuel, Virginia’s largest sportsbook, you get 30-1 odds (+3000) on your chosen team, with a max bet of $5. Best of all? Win or lose, you get your payoff of up to $150 in site credit from FanDuel.

Just click the link above (if you’re on the desktop version of the site, you’ll be prompted to download the FanDuel VA app).

Then, the only thing left is to pick your team for the tourney’s opening round. And if you want one with some local flavor, check out these March Madness schools with Virginians on their roster.

Out-of-state Virginians in March Madness

Despite the in-state college betting ban, there are still ways to root for Virginia – or at least find another reason to convince ourselves which matchups we want to tail or fade.

There are 20 Virginians playing in the tournament for 16 out-of-state schools in this year’s tourney field.

Let’s take a look at the lineup of locals.

In-conference rivals include Duke duo from VA

If you have an appetite to bet on ACC rivals, Jeremy Roach from Leesburg and Mark Williams from Virginia Beach combine for 20 points per game for Duke University.

Jordan Miller, who’s from Middleburg, plays for the University of Miami.

And the University of North Carolina rosters the largest number of Virginians. Both Jackson Watkins and Armando Bacot come from Richmond, and Anthony Harris is from Woodbridge, though he has not played since January.

They will play former Virginia Commonwealth University coach Shaka Smart and his Marquette Golden Eagles in Fort Worth.

Here are the latest lines:

  • Duke (-18.5) vs. Cal State Fullerton
  • Miami (+1.5) vs. USC
  • UNC (-3.5) vs. Marquette

Nearly all top seeds have Virginians

For people looking for a safe pick with a top seed, the overall No. 1 Gonzaga University will have Rasir Bolton, a Petersburg native, against Georgia State. And Kansas University, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest bracket, has David McCormack from Norfolk taking on Texas Southern.

The other winner of the No. 16 seeds (Wright State vs. Bryant) will play No. 1 Arizona with guard Justin Kier, who’s from Grottoes. Baylor, the only remaining No. 1, is the only top seed without help from the commonwealth of Virginia on the floor.

  • Gonzaga (-23.5) vs. Georgia State
  • Kansas (-22.5) vs. Texas Southern

For those who root for George Mason, Arizona’s Kier and Duke’s Miller were teammates for the Patriots from 2018-2020 before transferring out.

Virginia natives look for upsets as underdogs

March Madness is known for incredible upsets, especially in the opening days. How about a few underdogs to consider?

Chattanooga has Jaden Frazier from Pulaski while New Mexico State has Marchelus Avery from Richmond.

Chattanooga and NMSU are high double-digit seeds (No. 13 and No. 12 respectively). But remember: VCU and George Mason were No. 11 seeds during their Final Four runs. And No. 4 Virginia lost to No. 13 Ohio just last year.

Also playing a handful of games this season for Boise State, Burke Smith from Glen Allen will hopefully get some floor time against Memphis in their matchup.

Here are the lines for those games:

  • Chattanooga (+8) vs. Illinois
  • New Mexico State (+6.5) vs. Uconn
  • Boise State (+3) vs. Memphis

Head-to-head matchup with VA reps

In the only head-to-head game with Virginians, Delaware and Villanova have three locals:

  • Wes Peterson from Arlington
  • Angelo Brizzi from Warrenton
  • Brandon Slater from Centreville

Only Slater plays meaningful minutes for his team, Villanova. But here’s hoping for a high-scoring game so everyone here gets some touches.

  • Delaware vs. Villanova: over/under 133.5

Most minutes: Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson

The one player with the most screen time is Hunter Dickinson, from Alexandria, who plays for the University of Michigan. Dickinson, who can be seen celebrating in the lead photo, is on the court for 32 minutes a game, the highest from this group.

No. 11 Michigan is playing No. 6 Colorado State but is still favored in their game.

  • Michigan (-1) vs. Colorado State

Midwest bracket chock-full of Virginians

The remaining four teams play in the Midwest bracket. Indiana University’s Xavier Johnson (12 points per game), who’s from Woodbridge, will take takes on St. Mary’s after beating Wyoming in a play-in game.

Efton Reid (6 ppg), from Richmond, plays for LSU against Iowa State. South Dakota State takes on Nate Watson (14 ppg) and the Providence Friars on Thursday. And though he doesn’t play any minutes, Max Wilson will suit up for San Diego State against Creighton.

  • Indiana (+2.5) vs St. Mary’s
  • LSU (-4) vs Iowa State
  • Providence (-2) vs South Dakota State
  • San Diego State (-2) vs. Creighton
Photo by AP / Duane Burleson
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Ethan Matthew

Ethan Feinstein was born and raised in the DMV, formerly in Arlington, and has written articles for George Washington University's HNN. He also researched and wrote content for museum exhibits in both Boston and Washington, DC.

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