2016 National Champion Odds - Men's NCAA Basketball Futures
BetOnline has recently updated its futures odds to win the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship and while the usual suspects such as Kentucky and last year's champ Duke are near the top of the list, there are a couple other programs ready to join the mix as one of the top favorites in the nation.
It is hard to argue against Kentucky being at the top of this year's futures list. If not for a stunning loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four, it would have completed a perfect season with just one more win. With John Calipari at the helm, you know that this program will once again be loaded with talent even with a high rate of turnover from one year to the next.
The Wildcats lost seven players from last year's run, but backed by another top recruiting class, they will have the added edge of playing with a chip on its shoulder with a high sense of unfinished business given what happened last season. Two of the top players to watch this season will be center Skal Labissiere and point guard Isaiah Briscoe. Both are the top-ranked players in the nation at their position.
Expectations are running high for the Terrapins coming into a new season placing No. 16 in the final 2015 USA Today Coaches Poll. Their 2014/2015 season came to an abrupt end in the third round of the NCAA Tournament with 10-point loss to West Virginia. However, they are set for a much deeper run this year with the return of Melo Trimble, who many experts had jumping to the NBA after a stellar freshman campaign. Maryland will also have Jake Layman back for his senior year.
With a solid nucleus of experience backed by the addition of a strong recruiting class that features Diamond Stone, Maryland is positioned well to capture the Big Ten title and a possible No. 1 seed for the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
The Blue Devils are probably a bit overvalued at these odds given all the talent they lost from last season's championship roster. Not only is it tough to reload with enough quality players to make another run to the top, it is just plain hard to win back-to-back titles. The last time that happened was in 2007 when Florida took home its second-straight national title. The good news is Duke was the last team to pull-off this feat before that with consecutive titles in 1991 and 1992.
This is still one of the elite programs in the nation coached by one of the best of all times so you can never count out Duke when it comes to winning titles. The pressure will be dialed-up on the top recruiting class in the nation led by small forward Brandon Ingram.
North Carolina +900
The Tar Heels have been living in Duke's tall shadow in the ACC the past few seasons, but they are in a great position to take over the reins in that power conference with a ton of talent back from last season. That squad carried North Carolina to the Sweet 16 before falling to Wisconsin.
Marcus Paige is back and healthy after suffering through a foot injury at the tail-end of last season and the front court remains intact with Kennedy Meeks and Justin Jackson back in the fold. Many basketball experts feel that this is the most talent that head coach Roy Williams has had in Chapel Hill since the Tar Heels last won it all in 2009.
Best of the Rest
Once you get past these top four teams the odds start to drop rather quickly with the Big 12's Kansas Jayhawks listed as +1400 fifth-favorites to win their first national title since 2008. Next on the list at +1800 are the ACC's Virginia Cavaliers and Big 12's Iowa State Cyclones. The group at +2000 includes Michigan State and Villanova, while California and Indiana round-out the Top 10 at betting odds of +2200 win it all.