Kentucky odds drop, Hoosiers faves to win March Madness

Jun 26, 2012 |
Kentucky odds drop, Hoosiers faves to win March Madness
Cody Zeller was seasoned against some of the best bigs in the game last year.
Cody Zeller was seasoned against some of the best bigs in the game last year.
When Tom Crean inherited the Indiana Hoosiers program in 2008, he knew he was stepping into possibly the toughest job in all of college basketball.

Not only was Crean taking the head coaching position at one of the most storied schools in NCAA history – one that will always be under the volatile shadow of former coach Bobby Knight – but he was also in charge of breathing life back into a program that was led astray by Kelvin Sampson and his numerous recruiting violations.

Fast forward four years later and Crean has Indiana back on top of the college hoops world for the first time in 10 years. The Hoosiers are coming off a breakout season in 2011-12, defeating No. 1 Kentucky at home in December and advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since making the national title game in 2002.

Oddsmakers have Indiana as the overall favorite to win the 2012-13 National Championship, priced at +700. The Hoosiers return plenty of talent, including sophomore center Cody Zeller and UK game-winner Christian Watford, who averaged 12.6 points last year. Indiana also brings back its other three starters Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey, and Jordan Hulls as well as the No. 5 recruiting class, highlighted by five-star point guard Kevin Ferrell.
Following IU in the championship odds is Louisville, at +800. Much like Crean, Rick Pitino has plenty of returning parts from a team that advanced to the Final Four.

Starters Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva, and Chane Behanan are back along with super subs Russ Smith and Wayne Blackshear, who should blossom after being slowed by injury last year. George Mason transfer Luke Hancock and the returning Mike Marra add to the slew of experience and toughness at Pitino’s disposal this fall.

The defending national champs, the Kentucky Wildcats, opened as +600 favorites to repeat this March but have dropped to +1,200 at some books thanks to the mass exodus of talent to the NBA. The Wildcats’ six top players are going pro, leaving just Kyle Wiltjer and Jon Hood, who missed all last year with a torn ACL, as returnees.

However, we’re talking Jon Calipari, who is a sixth-degree black belt at replacing good players with great ones. Kentucky once again boasts the best recruiting class in the land with future NBA stars in big man Nerlens Noel, power forward Alex Poythress, shooting guard Archie Goodwin, and seven-footer Willie Cauley.

Calipari convinced his individual stars to play as a team last year, making UK possibly the best value bet on the NCAA futures boards.

Here’s a look at the rest of the NCAA Championship odds:

Syracuse Orange +1500
Ohio State Buckeyes +1500
Kansas Jayhawks +1500
Michigan State Spartans +1500
Duke Blue Devils +2000
Missouri Tigers +2000
North Carolina Tar Heels +2000
UCLA Bruins +2000
Florida Gators +2500
Arizona Wildcats +3000
Michigan Wolverines +3000
UNLV Rebels +4000
North Carolina State Wolfpack +4000
Memphis Tigers +4000
Texas Longhorns +6000
Pittsburgh Panthers +6000
Gonzaga Bulldogs +6000
Cincinnati Bearcats +6000
Georgetown Hoyas +6000
Vanderbilt Commodores +7500
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +7500
Wisconsin Badgers +7500
Kansas State Wildcats +10000
Florida State Seminoles +10000
Saint Louis Billikens +10000
San Diego State Aztecs +10000
Creighton Bluejays +10000
Tennessee Volunteers +10000
Alabama Crimson Tide +10000
California-Berkeley Golden Bears +10000
Virginia Commonwealth Rams +10000
Minnesota Golden Gophers +10000
Virginia Cavaliers +10000
Marquette Golden Eagles +10000
Washington Huskies +10000
Seton Hall Pirates +10000
Iowa State Cyclones +10000
St. John's Red Storm +10000
West Virginia Mountaineers +10000
Villanova Wildcats +10000
Illinois Fighting Illini +10000
Saint Joseph's Hawks +10000
Stanford Cardinal +10000
Wichita State Shockers +10000
Brigham Young Cougars +10000
Drexel Dragons +10000
Butler Bulldogs +10000
Providence Friars +10000
Davidson Wildcats +10000
Ohio Bobcats +10000
Texas A&M Aggies +10000
Xavier Musketeers +10000
Arkansas Razorbacks +10000
Iowa Hawkeyes +10000
Baylor Bears +10000
Oregon Ducks +20000
Temple Owls +20000
Northern Iowa Panthers +20000
Mississippi State Bulldogs +20000
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles +20000
Miami Hurricanes +20000
Saint Mary's Cal Gaels +20000
New Mexico Lobos +20000
Oregon State Beavers +20000
Murray State Racers +20000
South Florida Bulls +20000
Maryland Terrapins +20000
Purdue Boilermakers +20000
Clemson Tigers +20000
Oklahoma State Cowboys +20000
Oklahoma Sooners +20000
Marshall Thundering Herd +30000
LSU Tigers +30000
La Salle Explorers +30000
Massachusetts Minutemen +30000
Northwestern Wildcats +30000
Long Beach State 49ers +30000
Ole Miss Rebels +30000
Belmont Bruins +30000
Dayton Flyers +30000
Colorado Buffaloes +30000
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +30000
USC Trojans +30000
Utah State Aggies +30000
George Mason Patriots +30000
Georgia Bulldogs +30000
Virginia Tech Hokies +30000
UFC Knights +30000
Colorado State Rams +30000
DePaul Blue Demons +30000
Richmond Spiders +30000
Nevada-Reno Wolfpack +30000
Harvard Crimson +50000
South Carolina Gamecocks +50000
St. Bonaventure Bonnies +50000
Rutgers Scarlet Knights +50000
Field (Any Other Team) +10000

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