COLLEGE BASKETBALL NATIONAL TITLE ODDS
The college basketball futures market had some changes during the week after losses to top-ranked teams. As a continuing trend this season, the AP rankings have flipped over frequently at the top as there appears to be a weak top tier of teams this season.
Here is the outlook for some of the top teams in college basketball, along with their National Title odds.
Houston: The Cougars have been near the top of the March Madness futures odds board all season. They’ve advanced to a regional final in each of the last two campaigns, including a trip to the 2021 Final Four. But in order to reach that stage — or even further — Kelvin Sampson’s group will need to improve defensively. Over the previous month, Houston’s adjusted defensive efficiency (AdjD) ranks No. 22 across D-I (per Bart Torvik).
Alabama: Despite covering four of the last six games, Nate Oats has dealt with some heat in regards to five-star freshman Brandon Miller. The Crimson Tide still own a top-20 adjusted efficiency at both ends, including the fifth-rated AdjD. But if there’s one area of concern, it’s their defensive “luck.” Alabama’s SEC opponents have shot just 24.6% from deep despite generating their fair share of open looks. Its next true test comes against Auburn on Tuesday.
Kansas: The defending champs have tallied eight outright wins in their last nine games. Their win at TCU on Monday stands out the most, considering All-American Jalen Wilson was held to just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. Kansas is alone atop the Big 12 standings, but Bill Self’s crew has a tricky matchup against Texas Tech on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Austin, Texas against the Longhorns on Saturday.
Purdue: Despite the Boilermakers ranking No. 5 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, they’ve dropped four of their last six contests straight up, including a home loss to the red-hot Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday. Read more about their potential March Madness concerns here. Purdue travels to Wisconsin, which is fighting for its NCAA tournament hopes, on Thursday.
UCLA: The Bruins are on a eight-game winning streak after losing to both Arizona and USC in late January. However, none of their recent victories have come against formidable competition, which is par for the course in the PAC-12. They won’t be tested until early March, where they’re projected to be a seven-point home favorite versus Arizona.
Arizona: Speaking of the Wildcats, Tommy Lloyd’s bunch was upset at the final horn by in-state rival Arizona State on Saturday. Arizona’s defense was concerning in that one, surrendering 1.17 PPP. Nevertheless, sophomore forward Azuolas Tubelis represents an elite rim runner, and he’s improved his perimeter shooting (34.6%) as well.
Baylor: Scott Drew’s unit bounced back from consecutive losses with a double-digit win over Texas. The Bears are driven by their top-ranked 3-point clip (37.5%) in Big 12 play. Their defense isn’t nearly as formidable as the 2021 national championship team, though, ranking dead-last in AdjD during their conference slate.
Tennessee: Rick Barnes’ squad rebounded from losing four of its last five games with a blitzkrieg of South Carolina. The Vols need to find a way to boost their scoring productivity, as they showcase the 107th-rated adjusted offensive efficiency over the last month.
Texas: The Longhorns have won three of their last five games, and their defensive rating has risen considerably of late. It’s a positive sign after losing Chris Beard. They’re presented with a huge two-game set to wrap up their regular season, traveling to TCU before facing Kansas.
Indiana: Mike Woodson’s alma mater completed its first regular season sweep of Purdue since 2013 on Saturday. More impressively, it accomplished that feat with All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis scoring just 10 points. The Hoosiers have yet to reach their peak, either, since point guard Xavier Johnson will return from a foot injury sooner than later.