Four Teams Now Co-Favored To Win 2021 March Madness

The 2020-21 college basketball season isn’t the first thing everyone is thinking about right now in the sports world. Most people are focused on the NBA season first of all, then baseball season and then football season. While everything is clouded in uncertainty, the college basketball season is also part of the process of sports restarting in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. If college basketball can get going this upcoming winter, there are odds for the various teams, and there is also an evolving sense of which team is in the best position to win the 2021 national championship. That team is Virginia, which has risen to the top of the odds list.



The Virginia Cavaliers struggled for most of last season, largely because they had to play without the cornerstone of their No. 1-seeded teams from the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Tournaments. The Hoos were forced to work without lottery pick DeAndre Hunter, shooter Kyle Guy, and point guard Ty Jerome. The 2019 national champions predictably took a step back, and everyone could see it. This was not a surprise.

This was always going to be the case. There was a long period of time in the middle of the season, from late December through early February, when Virginia played poorly, and lost several games. The Cavs weren’t blown out most of the time, but they genuinely unraveled and seemed to be at a loss as to how they could move forward.

Yet, they didn’t give up. The Cavaliers remained strong on defense and found just enough offense to get by, a familiar formula for a team which prides itself on hard work shutting down the opposing team’s elite talent. UVA placed second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and was going to easily make the NCAA Tournament. In the coming season, big man Mamadi Diakite will be gone, but point guard Kihei Clark will be back, and the roster should be bolstered by the arrival of transfer Sam Hauser from Marquette. Virginia will be well positioned to win the ACC, and if the Cavaliers come anywhere close to preseason expectations in their regular season journey, they will be in the mix for a high seed and a trip to the Final Four. They are a sound choice to lead the odds list at this moment.



The Bulldogs were a No. 1 seed this past season and will be bringing back nearly all their important starters this season. Gonzaga’s rise as a college basketball powerhouse was built on graduate transfers coming into the program and meshing with homegrown players to create a mixture of natural talent and developed cohesion. This next season, Gonzaga won’t need the outside transfers because the cohesion and talent within the lineup are already going to be so noticeably advanced. Gonzaga is a very good bet for a No. 1 seed, especially with San Diego State – a contender for a No. 1 seed in the West Region last season – losing its most important players to the NBA.



The Villanova Wildcats won the national title in 2016. They lost relatively early in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats won the NCAA Tournament in 2018. Then they lost players from that championship team and had a tougher time competing in 2019 and 2020. This upcoming season, the Wildcats bring back most of their roster. This is a young team which had little experience, especially in the frontcourt. The Wildcats, after taking a step back, should be reloaded and ready to make a run at a third title in six seasons.



The Jayhawks entered the 2020 NCAA Tournament – had it been played – as the majority pick to win it all. KU would have been expected to beat any of the other three No. 1 seeds in the tournament had the bracket been revealed: Baylor, Gonzaga, and Dayton were the likely top seeds. Kansas stood a cut above them all. The Jayhawks will bring most of their roster back this season. They subdued the Big 12 after finally losing the conference title the year before in 2019. Everything is restored again in Kansas… unless the NCAA hands a postseason ban in connection with an investigation of the school. Look for more developments in that case later on this year.

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