National title odds: got $50 to put on Butler?

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One of my favorite things to do during college basketball’s offseason happens when a gambling website releases odds on who will win the national title.

They are currently posted over at Bovada, and no one should be surprised that Indiana is currently the favorite at 7:1. The Hoosiers are likely going to end up being the No. 1 team in the official preseason polls as they return basically their entire roster, including potential Player of the Year Cody Zeller. I am interested in whether or not Louisville (who is getting 8:1 odds) has had the addition of Montrezl Harrell factored in yet. If he is as good as some have said, the Cardinals may be the best team in the country.

Kentucky comes in third at 10:1, followed by UCLA at 12:1 and Duke, UNC and Florida at 15:1.

Those are all fairly obvious picks, however. You want some help making money? Here are a few of the picks I like:

– Michigan 20:1: The Wolverines returned Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. while adding a loaded recruiting class to a team that won a share of the Big Ten regular season title last year. They are a borderline top five team.

– Missouri 35:1: I know I’ve been hyping the Tigers all spring, but I’m enamored with this team.

– UNLV 35:1: The Runnin’ Rebels have one of the most talented and deep front courts in the country and a veteran point guard in Anthony Marshall. Playing in a tough Mountain West, they’ll be tested come March.

– Gonzaga 60:1: Kevin Pangos is the next great Gonzaga guard, and he may not even be the most talented player on the Zags’ perimeter when he shares the floor with Gary Bell. Should I mention Sam Dower and Elias Harris, too?

– Butler 65:1: Brad Stevens returns quite a bit of young talent, and while losing Ronald Nored will hurt, he’ll be replaced by Kellen Dunham and Rotnei Clarke, arguably the best shooter in the country.

Other picks: VCU (75:1), Minnesota (75:1), Harvard (100:1)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan:

VIDEO: Kentucky’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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A day after Grayson Allen threw an alley-oop to Trevon Duval for Duke’s entry into the #DriveByDunkChallenge, Kentucky’s team of freshmen decided to do one of their own:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/889947577734574085

That would be, in order, Johnny David, Jarrod Vanderbilt, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Kevin Knox abusing some poor sap’s rim somewhere in Lexington.

But was that better than John Calipari’s attempt?