Gambling chips are seen at the Casino Gran Madrid

Vegas Sportsbook releases college hoops odds

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I don’t gamble all that much, because when I do gamble, I’m normally left without any money rather quickly. When you’re simply giving money to the house time and time again, it’s really easy to make the decision to, you know, stop just giving away those hard-earned greenbacks.

But the good folks over at William Hill Race & Sports Books know a thing or two about gambling, and earlier this week they released odds on who will win the national title. Generally speaking, Vegas is just about as good of an indicator as the preseason top 25 when trying to figure out who the best teams in the country are. And, as you can see, their top three are no surprise.

I’ll post the complete list of the odds at the bottom, but before I do, I’ll give you a couple of picks I like, picks which my gambling record may make you want to avoid.

– Missouri at 30:1 is a steal. I think the Tigers are one of the most complete teams in the country and will end up earning another top two seed. I also think that Syracuse at 20:1 odds is a worthwhile bet, and while I think that Syracuse will end up contending for the Big East title with Louisville, it’s a bit more of a risky bet.

– The top of the ACC is interesting here. Duke and North Carolina are both getting 20:1 odds, while NC State is getting 22:1 odds. A lot of people believe the Wolfpack are the best team in that conference.

– You hear it every year, but Gonzaga is very good this season and, at 60:1 odds, are worth the bet. The same can be said for San Diego State at 50:1.

– Butler, Minnesota, Kansas State and Marquette are all teams that will spend much of the season in and around the top 25 and are getting 100:1 odds on winning the national title.

– I’d stay away from UCLA at 15-1 odds until it’s clear if Shabazz Muhammad will be eligible this year. I also think it’s a risky bet even if he does play.

Indiana: 6-1
Kentucky: 7-1
Louisville: 8-1
Michigan State: 15-1
UCLA: 15-1
Kansas: 15-1
FIELD: 15-1
Ohio State: 18-1
Duke: 20-1
Syracuse: 20-1
Michigan: 20-1
North Carolina: 20-1
NC State: 22-1
Missouri: 30-1
Florida: 30-1
Arizona: 30-1
UNLV: 30-1
Pittsburgh: 45-1
Memphis: 45-1
San Diego State: 50-1
Georgetown: 50-1
Cincinnati: 60-1
Gonzaga: 60-1
Texas: 60-1
Notre Dame: 75-1
Baylor: 75-1
Creighton: 80-1
Vanderbilt: 80-1
Wisconsin: 90-1
Alabama: 90-1
California: 100-1
St. John’s: 100-1
Texas A&M: 100-1
Villanova: 100-1
Butler: 100-1
Minnesota: 100-1
Kansas State: 100-1
Marquette: 100-1
Arkansas: 100-1
Florida State: 100-1
West Virginia: 100-1
Illinois: 100-1
Providence: 100-1
Davidson: 100-1
Ohio: 100-1
Seton Hall: 100-1
Stanford: 100-1
Iowa State: 100-1
BYU: 125-1
Nevada: 300-1

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

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.


AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.