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Should Duke Be Favored to Win the 2022 NCAA Tournament Over Kentucky and Texas?

Should Duke Be Favored to Win the 2022 NCAA Tournament Over Kentucky and Texas?
Jeremy Roach #3 of the Duke Blue Devils. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

College basketball has seen plenty of craziness over the past few years, but there have been some constants. One of those has been the Duke Blue Devils. Duke has been a lock to make the NCAA Tournament almost every year since Coach K turned the program around, and they have won plenty of championships in that time as well.

This is Duke’s last year with Coach K in charge, and they want to win a title to end his career on a high note. They have a great recruiting class with plenty of potentials, but there are still question marks in Durham. Duke failed to make the NCAA Tournament last year, and they might not have enough roster turnover to thrive in 2021-22.

There are some teams that are clearly better than the Blue Devils, but some belong in the same category. This group includes Kentucky and Texas, two teams looking to turn things around this season. Is Duke a better team?

NCAAB odds have Duke listed at +1500 to win a ring. Should they be above Kentucky and Texas? Let’s look at each team.

The Case for Duke

Duke probably has the best storyline in college basketball. They have the best head coach in the history of the sport, and everyone knows that it is his last season in charge. This kind of moment is rare, and it would be amazing to see Coach K’s career end with a national championship.

However, few teams go from outside of the NCAA Tournament pool to the championship game. The good news is that Duke has plenty of talent on the roster thanks to a great recruiting class. Coach K is going to have to get the squat up to speed early, but he has done that before.

This coaching staff is proven, and the potential is there. That’s all you can ask for at this point in the offseason. However, that does not make you the best team in college basketball.

They will need proven depth. Their returning players will have to step up if they want to keep their roles. All of this is questionable, but there is a path to victory here for the Blue Devils. We’ll just have to see if it happens this season.

The Case for Kentucky

Kentucky has not won a national championship since Anthony Davis was in school, but they have consistently been in the conversation. It is because they recruit better than almost anyone and consistently put players in the NBA. However, they have struggled to control the SEC in recent years.

This year will be a challenge as well. Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas all have solid squads, so Kentucky will not have a cakewalk. That being said, they will also get a chance to prove that they are a solid team. Once March rolls around, there will be no questioning how good the Wildcats are.