The Wildcats were deserved winners in 2012, but why not look ahead now to next year? Who will be the best teams to back in college basketball sports betting? With so many going to the NBA draft, is the door open for a new contender?
Another thrilling ride in the NCAA tournament has come to an end, with Kentucky the last one standing. In the title game the Wildcats ended up covering as favorites in the college basketball odds, winning 69-61.
It was John Calipari’s first national title and I don’t think anyone would argue he didn’t earn it. He assembled some terrific talent through his famous recruiting tactics and then molded them into an unbeatable team.
As we look towards the 2013 tournament, there are again some familiar faces who should contend, but there are also some under-the-radar squads that I’m certainly keeping my eye out for.
Final Four followups
Even with the Kentucky Wildcats losing most, if not all of their starting five to the NBA draft, Calipari is so good at recruiting that he may just have another contending team. Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley are three freshmen that you will be hearing a lot about in the near future.
Kansas, who will likely lose Thomas Robinson in addition to senior Tyshawn Taylor, should also be in the mix again with another stellar recruiting class on the way to Lawrence. Considering few though the Jayhawks would be so good this season, you can’t really dismiss Bill Self and the work he’s been able to do.
The two other Final Four teams should also return with style next season. Louisville gets Peyton Siva back and their young guys such as Chane Behanan, Gorgui Dieng and Wayne Blackshear all picked up some vital postseason experience too. This past season Louisville was also one of the better teams in spread betting, logging a 23-13-1 ATS mark.
The Big East, or should we say the entire country, better watch out for the Cardinals once again.
Ohio State, meanwhile, has become a perennial contender in college basketball and next season should be no different. Jared Sullinger may leave for the draft, but Aaron Craft will be back, as will Lenzelle Smith Jr. and potentially even Deshaun Thomas too.
Ones to watch
Assuming Cody Zeller stays, Indiana is going to be quite a special team next season. The Hoosiers return practically their whole team and have another good class coming in. They were one of the better teams to back with your sports picks this past year but NCAA basketball odds makers aren’t going to keep undervaluing them anymore.
Florida should also be in the mix but we’ll have to see whether or not Bradley Beal stays. With a lot of nice pieces (Patric Young, Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy), the Gators will surely contend for the SEC title regardless.
I had fun watching NC State during the madness and I believe the Wolfpack could really make their mark in the ACC next year. C.J. Leslie’s status is still in question, but if he does come back to Raleigh, watch out. Mark Gottfriend has an excellent freshmen class incoming, led by Rodney Purvis.
How about Arizona too? The Wildcats were mildly disappointing this past season, failing to even make the Big Dance, but they have the number one rated recruiting class in the country and also have Solomon Hill returning.
Michigan State loses Draymond Green but you can never count out a Tom Izzo-led team. The Spartans were ranked in the top five in ATS betting, going 22-12 versus the number last season.
In-state rival Michigan could also be right there again if Trey Burke decides to stay put.
Top dogs fade out?
North Carolina and Syracuse had awesome seasons but are likely to lose a bulk of their talent. The Tar Heels have already lost Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall early to the draft and Tyler Zeller will be graduating.
The Orange lose Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, Fab Melo and Dion Waiters. Jim Boeheim’s coaching prowess is really going to be tested next season as he looks to start over anew.
Along with Duke, although the talent level may not be as high as they’re used to, all three teams are led by outstanding coaches who seem to always have their guys playing at an elite level. On a personal level you may hate these teams, but the public loves betting on them and the top college basketball betting sites are well aware.