This is the time. The leaves change colors. There is a sharp cold in the air. if you listen closely, you can almost hear the soft sound of sneakers squeaking on a hardwood nearby.
That’s right. College basketball is officially back!
We are past the not-so-secret “secret melees” and the elders complaining about the transfer portal. Instead, now is the time to focus on real basketball – and, overreacting on social media, poking fun at memes of sweaty coaches on the sidelines and standing up to the sidelines. at 1 a.m. to listen to Bill Walton’s philosophical reflections. You know, the good stuff.
With the season kicking off in a few days, now is the perfect time to take a look at the top contenders, according to Las Vegas Gaming chances provided by BetMGM.
Here are the odds for the teams expected at the end of the season:
While Gonzaga is used to failing in the NCAA tournament, his talent alone makes him a favorite for the season. The Bulldogs have one of the nation’s most productive returning players with Drew Timme and one of Chet Holmgren’s top rookies. On top of that, Gonzaga has experience in the backcourt with Andrew Nembhard who should serve as a calming force. Expect the Bulldogs to go through the regular season as always. The real test will be whether they can navigate March Madness well enough to reach the top of the mountain.
However, there are several other highly touted teams entering the season. Michigan makes Hunter Dickinson and will surely be put to the test at one of the nation’s toughest conferences in the Big Ten. UCLA will feature star Johnny Juzang, fan favorite Jaime Jaquez Jr and notable transfer Myles Johnson. The Bruins, on the other hand, should have an easier time in conference, but will certainly be bolstered by last season’s playoff success. Reliable as always, Villanova follows the same formula that has led to a decade of success with a focus on showcasing experienced upper classes in the efficient Wildcat system.
Purdue, Kansas and Texas are arguably the most talented teams in the country. But, it can be a blessing and a curse. Each of these teams will have to find a way to integrate several talented players into a cohesive unit. Texas, for example, landed six of the best 31 available transfers, including Timmy Allen of Utah and Marcus Carr of Minnesota. Each of these players are used to being a major contributor to their previous team. So the question becomes – now that Texas has 10 quality spinning pieces, who will be willing to sacrifice and will they be able to freeze enough to compete for a title? The Boilermakers and the Jayhawks face similar issues.
Finally, Duke, Kentucky and Memphis are all full of young talent and their future will largely depend on how quickly they adapt to college football. Each team will also likely have a lottery pick in Paolo Banchero, TyTy Washington and Jalen Duren.
Here are a few teams that could prove to be good snipers:
Ohio State +2000
North Carolina +3000
Michigan State +3500
Of this group, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Indiana seem most likely to surprise. UNC, Oklahoma and IU have re-energized their programs with new coaches and a great mix of experience and youth. Additionally, North Carolina’s Caleb Love and Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis are both potential contenders for Player of the Year. Finally, Illinois has gained momentum in recent years and will be motivated to make up for the disappointing tournament performances from last season.
Featured Photo: IU Athletics