Long Shots to Win NCAA College Basketball Tournament

WISCONSIN BADGERS: Wisconsin made it back to the Sweet 16 with a three-point win over Xavier.

Doug Upstone

Sunday, July 24, 2016 2:40 PM GMT

Sunday, Jul. 24, 2016 2:40 PM GMT

Though college basketball is still a ways off, that does not mean it is ever to early to place bets on futures. The new season will be here before we know and you can never be too prepared to make money.

We could go down the list and talk about perennial contenders against the NCAAB odds like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and now Villanova, but what fun would that be. We know they are going to be in the mix and there odds will be short by comparison. Instead, let's focus on some teams that are not on everyone's radar, but are in power conferences and might have the right mix to deliver a superb payout next April.

 

Xavier Can Reach Final Four
We were as shocked as anyone when Xavier did not put away Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA tournament and lost on buzzer beater. However, the Musketeers only lose one starter from last season and Trevon Bluiett is presumed favorite for Big East Player of the Year. If the maturity of players adds to a few more points, the defense is in place for a team that is +2800 choice for college basketball picks to win it all.

 

Connecticut Has the Pedigree
It is not quite the same since Jim Calhoun retired as coach with potential NBA players doting the roster year after year. But Kevin Ollie has kept up the high expectations in Stoors. After a relatively disappointing campaign (6th in AAC), Ollie brought in Top 5 recruiting class to go along with Amida Brimah, Rodney Purvis and Jalen Adams. At +5000, the Huskies are down the list, but given how young players can perform these days, if Ollie can have the veterans lead by example, UConn should at least be worth a look.

 

Seton Hall Has the Experience to Match the Talent
Coach Kevin Willard put himself on the line with a group of five sophomores a year ago. They jelled late in the season and won Big East Conference title for the first time in 22 years last March. Though they lost point guard Isaiah Whitehead to the NBA draft, the remaining players plus new recruits could be poised for even bigger things and with a much more veteran club back, the Pirates could makes sportsbooks nervous in late March at +10000 college basketball futures odds.

 

UCLA and Florida State Will Have the Talent
For the most part, talent is never an issue at UCLA (+10000 at Bovada) and Florida State (+18000). The problem has been the coaches being able to make the pieces fit into a cohesive unit. Both Steve Alford and Leonard Hamilton have been known as recruiters whose teams played well in the regular season, but lacked the continuity and frankly the coaching acumen to advance to next level. Nevertheless, as we have seen, stranger things do happen and if one or both could put the right talent together and the players and coach get "in the zone", based on talent ability, the Bruins and Seminoles have what every coach knows is the most important factor, players that can play.

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