While still many unbeaten remain on top of the AP Top 25 Rankings in NCAA College Basketball, it’s the Arizona Wildcats that go into the Christmas Break as the convincing number 1 team in the land. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Michigan State +400
According to many sportsbooks, the Spartans are still the favorites to win it all. Head coach Tom Izzo wanted a difficult schedule early and it’s payed off as the Spartans managed to get past Kentucky in an early season game of the top two teams in the country at the time.
Michigan State’s only loss of the season was suffered at the hands of the inconsistent North Carolina Tarheels.; it’s called the Roy Williams Curse. In all of his years at Michigan State, Izzo has never been able to beat Williams at UNC and the Tarheels once again defeated Michigan State, 79-65.
Look out for this team after the break. They have many veterans with talent in Adriean Payne (18.1 ppg., 8 rpg), Gary Harris (17.8 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg), and Keith Appling (14.9 ppg. 4.7 apg).
Talk about no respect; the Wildcats are the unanimous top ranked team in the nation and are the 2nd favorite to win the National Championship behind the 5th ranked Spartans. Arizona has wins over powerhouses such as Duke and Michigan and have a nice mix of upperclassmen and freshman. Aaron Gordon gets all of the press and has lived up to the hype thus far. (12.5 ppg., 7.6 rpg). This is a team with great depth and great energy. It also helps that they play in an inferior conference in the Pac-12 (in comparison to the ACC), but make no mistake about it, this team has the talent to win it all.
Freshman Getting Unjustified Respect
Next in line to win the National Championship are the Kentucky Wildcats +500 and the Kansas Jayhawks +700. The Wildcats and Jayhawks have both already lost 3 times this season. These teams are currently ranked 16thand 18th in the nation. At the beginning of the season, Kentucky was #1 until Michigan State defeated them. The reason why these teams are expected to win it all are freshman sensations such as Andrew Wiggins for Kansas and double-double machine, Julius Randle, for the Wildcats. Although nobody can deny that these players will go on to be superstars in the NBA, both of their teams don’t deserved to be ranked this high; experience matters.
Duke and North Carolina are both in a dead heat at +1200 and both teams seem to always be there at the end of the Big Dance. These are two well coached schools with amazing recruiting each season. In my estimation, Duke is the front runner with Jabari Parker and transfer, Rodney Hood, but one can never count Roy Williams and Carolina out of the picture. The Tarheels are a bit inconsistent, but have the ability to play well against the best teams in the country. This will be a dogfight all season with Duke as top dog.
What About Syracuse?
The Orange always seem to go deep into the post-season, are undefeated and ranked 2nd in the nation, and are only listed at +2500. This doesn’t make sense, but if you look up and down each university’s roster, Syracuse might not be able to measure up to the favorites. Senior, C.J. Fair, leads the Orange and it will be interesting to see how they “fare” in the rough and tough ACC Conference. Syracuse is not a team that you can count out and at these odds, might be worth a shot for your college basketball picks.
Ohio State +1600
Defense wins ball games and if you saw OSU hold Marquette to under 40 points earlier this season, you would think that the Buckeyes have as good a shot as any team to win it all.
Aaron Craft gets the press on this team, but Lenzelle Smith Jr. has been coming on strong as of late and the undefeated Buckeyes have victories over Marquette, Notre Dame, and Maryland already. On defense alone, this is a team to be reckoned with where the NCAA Championship is concerned and the college basketball odds are appealing.
We’ve taken a look at some of the frontrunners and there are many other teams such as Oklahoma State and Louisville who have a shot at the title. 2013-2014 is one of the more competitive and talent-filled class of players.
Stay tuned as SBR brings you up to date coverage on NCAA Basketball as the future odds change during the season.