NCAAB Picks: Arizona Wildcats Futures Odds

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:07 PM GMT

Despite garnering a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament a season ago, the Wildcats flamed out of the tourney in the Elite Eight. This season, Arizona is just one of the teams that is favored heavily in the NCAAB Odds to win the championship.

Cats take a hit, Dorsey decommits
No one can tell who started this breakup, but in the end, the Wildcats are out one of their recruits in Tyler Dorsey. Dorsey is ranked in the ESPN Top 100 recruits for the 2015 season, and even though he wouldn’t have helped the Wildcats for this season’s upcoming tournament run, it is still a blow to the long-term dominance of Arizona.

The Wildcats will have two seniors graduating on this roster, as well as three to four that might try to jump to the NBA Draft early after only one or two seasons. This kind of roster turnover is not good for teams trying to make a run at the tournament championship this season.

The Cats of course are losing Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson from last year’s team. Gordon is projected to be a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft, while Johnson will likely fall to the second round. These of course were the top two scorers from last season’s team, so unless Arizona finds about 30 points per game in their returning players or incoming freshman, this team will likely not hold up to the hype this offseason.

However, the NCAAB Odds still have them as solid favorites in the futures, as they sit at +1200 to win the title. This is of course behind the huge favorite Kentucky, who is +500 at Bovada. Other than Duke who is also slated in at +1200, there are no other teams priced above or the same as Arizona this season from Bovada.

Even after losing their top two scorers, the Cats have three Top 100 recruits coming in to fill the shoes that Gordon and Johnson left behind. One of them may prove to be the best freshman small forward in the NCAA next season. Stanley Johnson has been compared to Ron Artest, and even though he isn’t as tall as Mr. Metta World Peace, he still possesses some of the same attributes. Johnson is going to make up for some of the scoring vacated by Gordon and Nick Johnson, however he might only stick around for this season. Johnson is the #1 SF recruit for 2014 according to ESPN.


The Sharp Pick
Even though Kentucky is likely going to be led by an elite group of freshmen, I don’t think the Wildcats out in Arizona are going to be able to best them. If it came down to Arizona against Kentucky, I hate to say it but Kentucky is going to win that matchup seven or eight times out of ten. I’m not sure if anyone is going to stop the Wildcats from Lexington this season, and it is for this reason I cannot recommend Arizona at +1200 as one of your NCAAB preseason picks.

They were picked as one of the four top seeds last season, and although it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see them get another #1 seed in 2014-2015, there are a lot of holes left from last season, with very young shoes to fill them.