I wrote a post a while back singling out the teams I projected to have the best odds to win the NCAA Tournament next year, with Kentucky sitting atop that list after winning it this year.
2012 Men’s NCAA Championship Betting Linesfavor Indiana to win the trophy at 7/1, followed by Louisville at 8/1 reigning champions Kentucky at 10/1.
Indiana has five titles to it’s name, but hasn’t won the tournament since 1987.
It’s a little surprising considering the wealth of talent across the board, and the fact that Indiana hasn’t been relevant in a long time. Plus, they kind of came out of nowhere to grab a four seed in the 2012 tournament and reach the Sweet Sixteen. I could live with the face they have momentum and have a decent shot at winning, but overall favorite?
It seems to be more a product of timing, when many of last year’s heavyweights are losing almost all of their top players. The Wildcats lost all of their starting five, the North Carolina Tar Heels were gutted and Kansas, which lost to Kentucky in the final, parted ways with Tyshon Taylor and Thomas Robinson. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are returning a lot of their core guys and Tom Crean has had a good track record in the past.
But if John Calipari has shown us anything, is dude can coach ’em up in about a week. He won it this year with essentially all freshman and has another loaded class this year. Experience doesn’t mean what it used to.
Speaking of, Louisville seems to be a decent option, too, returning a lot of their front line after reaching the Final Four for the first time under Rick Pitino. The Cardinals have two titles, but haven’t won since 1986.