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Another college basketball week in the books and we saw much of the same; Gonzaga and Baylor continuing to dominate the college basketball world while newly crowned darling, Alabama, saw their hype train get derailed by a shorthanded Oklahoma squad. With the Zags and the Bears solidifying their rankings, let’s take a look at a few squads who are worthy of discussion.
Villanova – ranked #3, the Wildcats are a quiet team that is capable of beating anyone at any time. They’ve got a resume that boasts a win over 5th ranked Texas in addition to throttling the Big East, which is one of the most underrated basketball conferences on an annual basis. Led by arguably the greatest current coach in college basketball, Jay Wright, this team will make some noise in March. You can currently find them at +900 to win the title at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Michigan – Juwan Howard’s 4th ranked Wolverines come into 2021 already exceeding expectations. Sitting at 13-1 record on the season, and currently +1100 to win the title at FanDuel Sportsbook, they’ve destroyed pretty much everyone they’ve faced off against with the exception of an 18 point loss at Minnesota. Led by Hunter Dickinson and Isaiah Livers, this is a very deep unit that could give teams trouble in March, however, they’re still a tier below the top teams.
Iowa – an early-season darling for many, the Hawkeyes are starting to show cracks and weaknesses as they come off back to back losses for the first time this season, at Illinois and at home against Indiana. The Hawkeyes seem to have a common thread in 3 of their 4 losses this year, giving the games away in the second half. When they get hot they can shoot you out of the gym, and at times Luka Garza is unstoppable, but can Iowa find their rhythm again? They’ve proven they can hang around with the best, giving Gonzaga possibly their toughest test of the season, but can they beat the teams they’re supposed to beat on a consistent basis? Only time will tell. Iowa has the highest ceiling out of the teams mentioned in this article, but they also have a lower floor. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the Elite Eight this year, but I also wouldn’t be caught off guard if they lost in the first round, and that’s a bad sign if you’re in search of consistency. Find the Hawkeyes at +1300 to win it all at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Texas – sitting at +1400 to win the NCAA Tournament, the Longhorns are FINALLY living up to expectations that were thrust upon them when they hired Shaka Smart, better late than never right? With solid out of conference wins against Davidson, UNC, and Indiana, the Horns could be a tough out for anyone in March.
Alabama – one of the best shooting teams when they’re hot, Nate Oats and his Tide can really smoke you out of the building when their threes are dropping as we saw last week when they destroyed LSU in Baton Rouge by 30 points. This took their odds from 40-1, to currently 20-1 at FanDuel Sportsbook to win the NCAA Tournament. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Tide backers as Bama went into Norman and got pounded by a Sooner squad who was missing two of their best players due to Covid protocols. Don’t let that game fool you though, this team is deep and experienced and can give anyone a run for their money when they’re playing at maximum efficiency. Who knows, with a few more recruits and some more weeks inside the top 10 we could start to see Alabama basketball players driving around T-Town in Dodge Challengers too….
Here are a few pretenders that I advise you to not waste your money on in March to win it all; Wisconsin, Virginia, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio State. Trust me, just don’t do it!