And just like that, March Madness is over for another year. If you watched the championship game on Monday night, you saw North Carolina and Gonzaga deliver a slugfest (and a lot of missed shots in the second half, when the pressure went sky-high). North Carolina cut down the nets for their program’s sixth national title…which means it’s time to take a look ahead and see who the books like to win it all next spring. Check out the newest college basketball odds — and don’t forget to check out our betting lines for all the major sports action this week.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Odds To Win The 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Donovan Mitchell: ‘I can’t wait to win a national championship next year’ https://t.co/rgyikxdbNp
— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) March 20, 2017
The Co-Favorites: Kentucky, Duke and Louisville (10-1)
Kentucky will lose freshman guards De’Aaron Fox (who already declared for the NBA draft) and Malik Monk (who hasn’t yet but is likely to). That means that John Calipari will have to reload and rebuild roster chemistry in order to make another deep run. He’s done it before, but it’s a yearly challenge.
Despite their early loss in the NCAA tournament, Duke remains a favorite largely because of their pedigree. After all, they are likely to lose two freshmen — Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum — as well.
Of these three, Louisville is likely to face the least turnover. Their challenge is finding a consistent mix on defense so that they can play a complete 40 minutes against elite competition.
The irony? None of these programs made it to the Final Four. Only Kentucky made it to the Sweet 16 this year.
The Next Four: North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kansas and Villanova (12-1)
Villanova stands to lose some senior leadership. The other three will all lose key pieces to the NBA draft. But Gonzaga has earned a spot at the table with NCAA royalty. How will Villanova respond to losing to Wisconsin in the second round of the tournament? Kansas is the program here with the steadiest keel — but can they ride that all the way to a title?
The Loner: Arizona (15-1)
This is kind of a mystery. Yes, the Wildcats will return phenomenal forward Lauri Markkanen. But how will they upgrade their backcourt, which coughed the ball up too many times?
Slight Underdogs: Indiana, Michigan, Wichita State, Florida and Michigan State (20-1)
Intriguing Teams: UCLA, Butler and West Virginia (25-1)
Still overrated: Virginia (30-1); Oklahoma, Florida State and Saint Mary’s (40-1); Baylor (50-1)
Scary matchups: Miami (FL) (50-1); Oregon, Seton Hall, Purdue and USC (60-1); Wisconsin, Xavier, SMU and Cincinnati (80-1)