The early odds for the 2011 NCAA tournament champion favor – as expected – Duke, Michigan State and Purdue, the three teams atop most way too early Top 25s.
According to Sportsbook.com, the Devils are the team to beat (6-1), while the Spartans (10-1) and Boilermakers (12-1) are right behind.
Behind those three are four usual suspects: Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State and Villanova are all 20-1. After that, it’s a mix of traditional powers, elite mid-majors and a couple of re-building programs. Butler, Florida, Illinois, Kansas State, Memphis, North Carolina, Pitt and Syracuse.
And then, it got strange.
West Virginia is 30-1. Texas is 40-1, along with Baylor, Georgetown, Louisville, UConn, Wisconsin and Xavier. Gotta agree with Jeff Eisenberg: What are the Huskies and Cardinals doing at 40-1?
The best value on the whole list? UNLV at 100-1. Now those are odds worth putting $10 on. Not that I’m suggesting you do so. Our lawyers wouldn’t like that.
Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: