The college basketball season is not that far off, so it'd be in our best interest to start our research now. Let's check out the updated futures odds and see if there are any overvalued teams.
Kentucky Wildcats (+850 to Win National Championship)
We know the Wildcats have become notorious for their one-and-done philosophy; they bring in the best prospects from around the world and then most move on to the NBA after one year in college. It's been working wonders for John Calipari, and as usual, he's got another extremely talented group coming to Lexington for the 2015/16 season.
That being said, it's going to be tough for Calipari to have his team not skip a beat after losing Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker and Dakari Johnson. That's seven immensely talented players that have left town, meaning it'll be a total new project for Calipari. That may be just the way he likes it, but that lack of experience and cohesiveness could come back and haunt them come March. That's why we're taking a cautious approach with this household name in Kentucky
Duke Blue Devils (+900)
Yes, the top two teams on the board appear to be overvalued in our eyes. We all know what the Blue Devils were able to accomplish on their way to the title last season, but it's mighty difficult to envision them repeating. We've rarely seen repeat champs in college basketball, and that fact alone makes this +900 price look a little too low.
When you add in the fact Duke lost their three biggest contributors in Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, you can see why we're not all that high on this team's chances for the coming season, at least when it comes winning it all. We have no doubt Coach K is going to have this team playing great basketball down the line, and they have guys like Grayson Allen that are ready to step in and immediately contribute, but it's certainly going to take some time for them to gel, and they have to replace a ton of talent, just like Kentucky. There are better values out there.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (+2500)
The Bulldogs are going to be a good team in 2015. They'll be very good. But, we simply don't think they have what it takes to be the national champions.
Similar to the team we'll talk about below, Gonzaga is stacked inside but has some serious question marks now out on the perimeter. Kevin Pangos has graduated, as have both Byron Wesley and Gary Bell, who were the team's best there guards last season. That's going to be tough to replace, even with that loaded frontcourt that's led by Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis and Przemek Karnowski.
As such, we feel fine about adding the Bulldogs to this list.
Iowa State Cyclones (+2500)
This selection has more to do with the departure of head coach Fred Hoiberg than anything else. He made this program relevant but has now moved on to the NBA, with Steve Prohm set to take over now.
Prohm has plenty of talent to work with, there's no doubt about that, but we're concerned about the coaching change and want to see how the team takes to the new leadership first before entrusting them when making our NCAA Basketball Picks. The lost of Dustin Hogue hurts as well, although we're expecting big things out of the likes of Georges Niang, Jameel McKay and Monte Morris this coming season. We just don't see them emerging as national champions, or being worth this kind of price.
Purdue Boilermakers (+4000)
While the Boilermakers aren't priced up in the elite tier, they're still ahead of some big-time programs like Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse on the college basketball futures odds list, and we're not sold on that being deserved.
Purdue is getting a lot of hype because of how strong their frontcourt looks heading into the new season. A.J. Hammons tore it up last year and should be a huge contributor again, while Isaac Hayes and new face Caleb Swanigan are also in the mix. That interior is going to do a lot of damage, but we're not too confident in the rest of the roster. And, when you add in the fact Purdue will be competing in one of the toughest conferences out there, it's easy to fade them.