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With the “blue bloods”, Kentucky, UNC, and Duke being left out of the AP Top 25 for their first time in 60 years, it’s time to take a look at the new bloods, the two (by far) most dominant teams in college basketball up to this point, Gonzaga and Baylor.
Gonzaga – the Zags are 14-0 on the season with an average margin of victory above 22 ppg, they’re the #1 highest scoring squad in the country at 95 ppg. They don’t just beat you, they destroy you. Yes, they are in the West Coast Conference, but this isn’t football, and the WCC is one of the more seasoned conferences in the country aside from the big boys. Against ranked teams, the Zags are 4-0 with an average margin of victory of over 12 ppg. Since the season began Mark Few’s Bulldogs have destroyed teams like Kansas, Auburn, Iowa, and most impressively, they beat the brakes off one of the best defensive teams in the country (and technically defending National Champion) Virginia, scoring 98 points in the process. This isn’t your first round and out Gonzaga team, this is the best team in the country and their odds reflect it (+300 to win the National Championship at FanDuel Sportsbook). Led by Joel Ayayi, Corey Kispert, and superstar freshman Jalen Suggs, the greatest and most experienced Zags team ever will be a problem for anyone in March and into April.
Baylor – led by Macio Teague and Jared Butler, the Bears are 13-0 on the season with an average margin of victory of nearly 25 ppg, good enough for #1 in the country. Like the Zags, this is a team that has dominated. Traditionally, the Bears have a great defense and struggle offensively to get going (similar to Virginia the last few years), but not this year as they feature the 5th ranked offensive unit in the country. It seems as they’ve finally figured it out in Waco, that you need to score points to win games. While they haven’t beaten the teams that Gonzaga has, their resume is also impressive with decisive wins over Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas. In my eyes they are the clear #2 team in the country and could easily challenge the Zags for the top spot, which was supposed to happen in December, but was postponed on gameday due to Covid. Hopefully March Madness will pair these two again, who knows, maybe for a National Championship? If you’re interested in that, the Bears are currently +600 at FanDuel Sportsbook, and you may want to jump on that soon because the more they keep winning, the faster those odds will drop.
Who else has a shot at taking down these behemoths this season? According to FanDuel Sportsbook, this is their best competition:
- Villanova +900
- Michigan +1000
- Iowa +1300
- Tennessee +1300
- Texas +1400
- Illinois +1500
- Creigton +1700
- Wisconsin +1700
Personally, I don’t think that anyone outside of Baylor can beat Gonzaga, not this year, both teams have had their successes and failures in the past but 2021 is a new year, a new time, and I look forward to both squads making a deep title run in March. No more blue bloods, it’s time for the new bloods.
Let’s talk about tonight, you can catch one of the low key, best matchups of the season, Alabama @ LSU. The Crimson Tide are red hot on offense and LSU loves to push the pace, play OVER the total of 164 points in this one. Good luck!