The college basketball season is roughly five and a half weeks from Selection Sunday. There’s a lot of basketball to be played even before the conference tournaments, let alone the NCAA tournament itself. Yet, which teams give the indication that they can win it all right now and cash on the college basketball betting futures? Here are the four teams in the lead:
1. Michigan State Spartans
A college basketball season is built on luck, and to this point in the season, the Michigan State Spartans have lacked it. However, this team has still forged a great record despite suffering injuries to several players. If the Spartans can get healthy a week before the NCAA tournament begins, they can come together as a team and play the kind of basketball they’re capable of. Moreover, the reality of seeing multiple players get injured means that if those injured players do fully recover in time for the tournament, they will have fresher legs as a result of sitting down for several weeks. This team, if whole, would be the favorite to win it all. Getting some extra rest would enable this team to win it all. It’s all about getting healthy and staying healthy.
2. Wichita State Shockers
Another team that could very easily win it all is Wichita State. The Shockers made the Final Four last year as a number nine seed. They’re going to get a top-two seeding in this year’s tournament, unless they completely unravel in the next four weeks, something that’s not very likely to happen. Wichita State can endure tough games and offensive struggles because it defends and rebounds so well. When any team can take care of halfcourt defense and the backboard, it can overcome its weaknesses and limitations. Coach Gregg Marshall regularly has this team prepared. It is fully able to get back to the Final Four and win it.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
Plenty of college basketball observers are aware that this is a very young team, but pundits are also acutely aware of the fact that this team has grown up a lot since the start of the season. The Jayhawks’ guards needed a lot of time to develop, but they’ve finally begun to figure things out in Big 12 competition. It bears mentioning that the Big 12 is one of the best conferences in the country, if not the best league in Division I. It’s deep and will have at least six NCAA tournament teams (Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State) with a chance for seven (Baylor). Kansas’ ability to thrive in the Big 12 speaks well of this team’s ability to go deep in March and cash on the betting lines.
4. Syracuse Orange
If any team is set up to make a run solely in terms of geography, it’s Syracuse. The Orange are in line for a top seed in the East Region, where they would not have to leave New York State in the NCAA tournament. The opening two rounds (on the first weekend of the tournament) would be in Buffalo, and the East Regional will be held in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Syracuse could stay very close to home and benefit from vocal, supportive home crowds. Syracuse won its sole college basketball national championship in 2003. During that NCAA tournament run, Syracuse played the regionals (Sweet 16 and Elite Eight) in Albany, N.Y. There is something of a precedent for the Orange, who also played the regionals in nearby New Jersey when they went to the national championship game in the 1987 NCAA Tournament.