Kansas favored to take hoop title

By: Michael Robinson | Friday, November 13, 2009

Kansas is a 4/1 favorite to capture the college hoop title.

The college basketball landscape dramatically changes every year because of graduation, early NBA departures and recruiting classes. Find out how this year’s shakeup has affected the 2009-2010 championship odds by reading Michael Robinson’s latest column.

Kansas Jayhawks (2008-2009 records below)

27-8 straight-up
20-8-1 against the spread (11-2-1 H, 7-3 A, 2-3 N)
13-16 ‘over/under’ (7-7 H, 4-6 A, 2-3 N)

The Kansas Jayhawks (4/1) were the top-ranked team the minute guard Sherron Collins and center Cole Aldrich decided to return for another season. The dynamic duo combined to average almost 33 PPG last year. The Jayhawks are still looking for a consistent third scoring option and it could be top recruit Xavier Henry.

Despite its obvious talent, this team has some problems. Guard Brady Morningstar was suspended for the first semester after a DUI. Plus, talented guard Tyshawn Taylor was slightly injured after a fight with the school’s football team.

Kentucky Wildcats

22-14 straight-up
15-15-1 against the spread (7-8 H, 6-6 A, 2-1-1 N)
14-17 ‘over/under’ (7-8 H, 6-6 A, 1-3 N)

The ‘Coach Cal’ era has begun in Kentucky (6/1) with much fanfare, and why not? John Calipari has won at every stop with the exception of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. The nation’s top recruiting class includes point guard John Wall and big men DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton. They should jell quickly with junior forward Patrick Patterson and be ready to dominate right out of the gate.

Michigan State’s magical run during March Madness came to a crashing halt in the championship game against North Carolina. However, the Spartans restored some glory to the much maligned Big Ten and they’re one of the favorites (10/1) again. The Spartans have a hole in the middle with center Goran Suton gone, but five of the top six scorers return including exciting guard Kalin Lucas.

Texas Longhorns

23-12 straight-up
13-18-1 against the spread (5-8 H, 3-7 A, 5-3-1 N)
16-16 ‘over/under’ (6-7 H, 6-4 A, 4-5 N)

The pressure is on Texas Longhorns’ (10/1) coach Rick Barnes. His teams routinely underachieve during March Madness, and fans may not accept another early exit. This may be Barnes’ most talented team ever. Damion Jones, Dexter Pittman and Gary Johnson return up front, while guard Avery Bradley and small forward Jordan Hamilton are two of the top-10 recruits in the country. There is also plenty of depth at every position. Can Barnes finally deliver a national title?

North Carolina Tar Heels

34-4 straight-up
17-19 against the spread (4-10 H, 5-7 A, 8-2 N)
20-16 ‘over/under’ (9-5 H, 7-5 A, 4-6 N)

The defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels are getting plenty of respect at 12/1 despite losing four starters. The biggest loss could be point guard Ty Lawson, who will be replaced by Larry Drew II. Deon Thompson, the lone returning starter, will be part of a huge frontline rotation that includes Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller and freshman sensation John Henson. Throw in senior guard Marcus Ginyard, and their usual collection of McDonald’s All-Americans, and this is a top-5 team again.

Louisville Cardinals

31-6 straight-up
22-15 against the spread (10-8 H, 8-1 A, 4-6 N)
17-18 ‘over/under’ (9-8 H, 5-4 A, 3-6 N)

The shine is off the Louisville program, although it is still one of the favorites at 15/1. There is no determining how Coach Rick Pitino’s offseason sex scandal will affect the program. He still must answer for losing to Michigan State in the Elite Eight last year as 6 ½-point favorites. The Cardinals lost NBA first-round selections in Terrence Williams and Earl Clark, but sophomore Samardo Samuels is back up front and the backcourt is deep and talented.

Villanova (18/1), Duke (20/1) and Purdue (25/1) are mainstays in most preseason top-10 polls. ‘Nova looks to be the most talented of that threesome with Scotty Reynolds, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes among the veteran cast.

 

ODDS TO WIN THE 2009-2010 NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Team Open Current
Kansas 4/1   
Michigan State 6/1   
Texas 7/1   
Kentucky 8/1   
North Carolina 10/1   
Purdue 12/1   
Villanova 14/1   
West Virginia 15/1   
Duke 16/1   
California 18/1   
Louisville 20/1   
FIELD (ALL OTHERS) 25/1   
Syracuse 25/1   
Oklahoma 28/1   
UCLA 30/1   
Connecticut 30/1   
Xavier 30/1   
Clemson 35/1   
Tennessee 35/1   
Ohio State 40/1   
Butler 40/1   
Maryland 40/1   
Michigan 40/1   
Illinois 40/1   
Washington 40/1   
Dayton 45/1   
Pittsburgh 50/1   
Minnesota 50/1   
Florida 50/1   
Georgetown 60/1   
Texas A&M 60/1   
Wake Forest 75/1   
Missouri 75/1   
Notre Dame 75/1   
Georgia Tech 75/1   
Boston College 75/1   
Tulsa 80/1   
Gonzaga 100/1   
Mississippi 100/1   
Mississippi State 100/1   
Kansas State 125/1   
Oklahoma State 125/1   
Siena College 125/1   
Wisconsin 150/1   
Virginia Tech 150/1   
Arkansas 150/1   
Baylor 250/1   
Florida State 250/1   
South Carolina 250/1   
Oregon 250/1   
Miami-Florida 250/1   
Northern Iowa 300/1   
Cincinnati 300/1   
Memphis 300/1   
Alabama 400/1   
Vanderbilt 400/1   
UNLV 500/1   
Nevada 500/1   
Louisiana State 500/1   
Iowa State 500/1   
Marquette 600/1   
Arizona State 600/1   
Brigham Young 600/1   
Creighton 600/1   
Penn State 600/1   
Stanford 750/1   
San Diego State 750/1   
Utah 750/1   
Utah State 1000/1   
Temple 1000/1   
 
 
 
 
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