Virginia has been dominant in the regular season for some time now. This year, they put it all together in the tournament as well. They’ve shown that they can do it and nothing gives you more confidence than success. While Hunter will almost certainly be headed to the NBA, they lose no other major contributors.
Duke Blue Devils – 8/1
Even if Zion Williamson doesn’t return to the University like he originally claimed after being eliminated from the tournament, this team is still coached by one of the best and most consistent coaches in the sport. Coach K will have his squad ready to play.
Kentucky Wildcats – 8/1
Speaking of consistent coaching, Calipari and his ragtag group nearly put it all together this season. He nearly always has a top 25 recruiting class and it shows on the court. Say what you want about his coaching philosophies, but he’s talented and if I had to pick one coach to get to the sweet 16, he’s gotta be a frontrunner as a favorite, especially if Tyler Herro decides to return for another year after testing the waters in the draft process.
Gonzaga Bulldogs – 10/1
The Zags were flat out dominant this season and they just seemed to run out of gas come tournament time. Another year under their belts will do them good. They reached the Elite 8 this season after going 33-4. That alone shows their talent.
Michigan State Spartans – 12/1
Coach Izzo is another elite coach with talent. He will have all starters coming back for next year after an elite 8 appearance. I like this team and I love this coach.
Louisville Cardinals – 15/1
Forget about the Cardinals (16-16-2 ATS) blowing a 23-point lead at home against Duke. Leading scorer Jordan Nwora (17.0 ppg) should be back in the mix after entering the NBA draft process without an agent, along with four of their other top-six scorers from this season. After boasting a top-30 finish in both Adjusted Offense and Adjusted Defense, respectively, Chris Mack’s bunch will produce even superior results.
Michigan Wolverines – 20/1
The Wolverines (21-16 ATS) will return at least three starters. Their leading scorer, the 6-foot-7 Ignas Brazdeikis (14.8 ppg), should also jump back into the fold following the NBA draft process. Even without wing Charles Matthews, who will likely get drafted, their second-ranked AdjD (86.2 opponents’ points per 100 possessions) will remain a force to go along with a more consistent offense.
Texas Tech Red Raiders – 30/1
Texas Tech will have one major contributor jump ship to the NBA, but other than that, they will see little turnover. I like the talent and I love their energy.
Houston Cougars – 40/1
Kelvin Sampson had the chance to jump ship to Arkansas, but instead, he took a long term deal with Houston. He sees potential, both short term and long. Again, he got his team to the Sweet 16 and will see very little turnover.