The University of Kentucky is the No. 2 team in the country entering Tuesday’s big Champions Classic matchup against No. 12 Michigan State and the Wildcats also are the No. 2 team in terms of MyBookie college basketball odds to win the national title come April. UK is currently priced at +650, behind only No. 1 Duke (+300). Why can UK win it all? I’ll tell you.
3 Reasons Why To Bet On Kentucky To Win The College Basketball Title
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 14, 2016
Another Amazing Freshman Class
Since Coach John Calipari was hired in 2009, Kentucky has signed a consensus top-two recruiting class in the country every year. And Coach Cal says this class might be his best. That group is headlined by four top-15 recruits in Scout.com’s national ranking: point guard De’Aaron Fox (No. 6), center Bam Adebayo (No. 11), small forward Wenyen Gabriel (No. 12) and shooting guard Malik Monk (No. 13). Forward Sacha Killeya-Jones qualifies as the “under-the- radar recruit” in the group as a four-star prospect and Scout’s 27th-best player in the class of 2016. Calipari pitched Adebayo as a future candidate for the No.1 pick in the NBA draft during the recruiting process.
There Are Still Key Veterans
It’s tough to win a title when all your best players are freshman, but UK still has some key guys back from last year’s team, led by sophomore Isaiah Briscoe. In Sunday’s 93-69 win over Canisius, Kentucky trailed 9-2 early and then 29-23 with 5:44 to go in the first half. The Wildcats needed someone to carry them, and that’s a role Briscoe waited a year for and why he decided not to declare for the NBA draft. The former McDonald’s All-American was often overshadowed by the heroics of Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray last season, but now it’s his turn to take charge. He’s led Kentucky (2-0) in scoring each of the first two games of 2016-17, scoring 38 total points on 62.5 percent shooting. Fox had 21 points vs. Canisius, his first 20-point game as a Wildcat, including a 9-of- 9 performance at the free-throw line. He added a game-high three assists. Adebayo collected a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots.
We Will Learn More Vs. Spartans
Michigan State, preseason ranked No. 12, opened its season Friday with a last-second 65-63 loss to No. 10 Arizona in the Armed Forces Classic in Honolulu. The Spartans jumped out to a 17-2 lead but could not hold it. Freshman Miles Bridges, as touted as all those UK young guys, scored 21 points in the Arizona loss and was the only player to reach double figures in scoring. Kentucky and Michigan State have faced off four times in the NCAA Tournament and each time with a berth in the Final Four at stake. The Spartans won three times. The last meeting was in this same Champions Classic, a 78-74 win by Michigan State in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 on Nov. 12, 2013. I’d take UK on college basketball odds for this one. Michigan State is the only school in the nation to win 27 or more games in each of the last five seasons. MSU could face four Top 15 squads in November alone. The Spartans have never faced three Top 15 opponents in November, and have never played four Top 15 opponents in any month during the regular season.