College Basketball Futures
BY MATT DE SARLE
Like you, I am always curious to know the future odds for teams winning a national championship. My curiosity spikes right before the season begins. That’s when I am convinced that past performance dictates future results. And, as the disclaimers at the end of financial services commercials say, that cause-effect is never guaranteed.
However, the past performance from these 5 teams has me intrigued. If you’re reading this blog for the first time, welcome to the College Basketball Eye Test. As always, I am going to discuss characteristics that I see. A team’s personality dictates its winning potential. Yes, KenPom.com is outstanding at tracking metrics. Here, we track warning signs that are visible. You can see when a team is selfish, timid, lacking leadership, soft. On the contrary, it’s so enjoyable to watch a team that navigates adversity well, shows aggression, and doesn’t flinch when pushed. Here are my five times to consider putting a small wager on for a huge payout.
South Florida Bulls Basketball
5. Odds 750/1 in Preseason
The Bulls return nearly everyone from the 2018-2019 campaign. Alexis Yetna was on a lot of people’s radar as a possible breakout star. But he suffered a season ending injury as this season begun. As devastating of news as that is, the Bulls still have a lot of potential. And now they have a cause to rally around, and Yetna is still a young player with a bright future.
This team popped on my radar as it ran Memphis out of its gym last season. The Bulls got off to a 20 point lead by ripping the ball away, running the fast break, and banging threes with no conscience. Coach Brian Gregory has an impressive resume that includes leading a competitive George Tech team in the ACC and serving as an assistant to Tom Izzo at Michigan State. This team has the talent, identity, and leadership necessary to still make the tournament without Yetna. If they make the tournament and you have a 750-to-1 ticket (a $5 bet would pay $3,750) in your pocket, be sure to hedge your bet by taking its opponent as well. You will likely have a dangerous team heading into the field of 32.
Ohio State Basketball Future Odds
4. 60/1 in the preseason
Headlined by brothers Kaleb and Andre Wesson, this team is very interesting under the leadership of coach Chris Holtmann. Holtmann had immediate success at Ohio State, after also ushering a transitional era after Brad Stevens departure from Butler. There is a solid core here with a lot of guards who will compete for playing time and relevance. Holtmann should be trusted to pull the strings successfully. In a conference that hasn’t won a championship since 2000, and that program in Michigan State prepped to get all the attention, Ohio State may just slip under the radar until a Sweet 16 berth.
Wichita State Basketball Future Odds
3. 400/1 in the preseason
Give me Gregg Marshall and 400-to-1 odds any year.
Colorado Buffs Basketball futures
2. Odds 250/1 in the preseason
Tad Boyle is one of college basketball’s most under-appreciated coaches. Boyle has made 7 of 8 postseasons in his Colorado tenure. He has also supported the development of future pros, sending rotation-ready guys like Spencer Dinwiddie into the league. Last year was the first time in Boyle’s tenure that Colorado did not make the CBI, NIT, or NCAA tournament. However, a roster laced with underclassmen developed, and you could see it during the PAC-12 tournament. They advanced to the semifinals and gave #1 seed Washington a run for their money. Tyler Bey is a Shawn Marion in the making. The Colorado Buffs can run the floor, clog you up, and play any discipline they want. They’ve been surging in the PAC-12 while their peers like Arizona, UCLA and USC are amidst major changes (even some identity crisis). This is a conference where it was recently Utah’s turn for a tournament bid, Arizona State’s turn, and now it’s the Buffs turn. When the Buffs come to eat in the tourney, they’re arriving hungry.
Seton Hall Basketball Futures Odds
- 50/1 in the preseason
Seton Hall might be the sexiest of all sexy picks, so I won’t dwell too much. The bottom line is that Myles Powell may be the nation’s player of the year. If he does that, it should be in the fashion of a Jimmer Fredette or a Buddy Hield. He is a score-first guard but can distribute well. Sophomore wing Jared Rhoden showed flashes last year as a freshmen. If he and Myles Cale can be the complimentary swingmen they’re capable of, this roster has no shortage of dogs who can defend and rebound down low. Head coach Kevin Willard was rumored to take on jobs like UCLA and Virginia Tech this offseason, but doubled down on his pirates by declaring himself disinterested in those (perhaps) higher profile jobs. Willard will serve a two game suspension to start this season for transfer tampering. All in all, I am shocked that this team is a nebulous 50-1 wager headed into the season.