Now that the 68-team field is known, Las Vegas has adjusted its national championship odds with top overall seed Florida the favorite to win it all. Billy Donovan’s team has been installed as an 11/2 favorite to win the national title by Vegas Insider, and that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Following the Gators is Kansas, which has 6/1 odds to win the national title despite the health of Joel Embiid.
Rounding out the top six are Arizona (15/2), Wichita State (8/1), Duke and Michigan State with the Blue Devils and Spartans both having 10/1 odds. The fourth one-seed, Virginia, has 20/1 odds at present time. Louisville, a four-seed in the Midwest, could be an interesting pick to bettors due to the combination of their recent play and the 18/1 odds to win the national title.
Kentucky and North Carolina are both receiving 40/1 odds, and Iowa State at 45/1 is another possible selection worth taking a shot at given the ability of the Cyclones’ three best players (DeAndre Kane, Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang). Oklahoma State, led by Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, is also receiving 45/1 odds.
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.