No. 1 Bears Not Getting Much Respect On NCAAB Futures

The 2019-2020 college basketball season has been crazy. Five different teams have been No. 1 in the rankings and then lost a game as the No. 1 team. However, the Baylor Bears are currently in the top spot in the AP Top 25 poll but they’re not getting much respect. Even on an 18-game winning streak with the best ranking in college basketball, they’re not in the top four in terms of the odds to win it all. Let’s take a look at the Bears and some of the other teams who are among the favorites to win it all:

BAYLOR BEARS
ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: +1200

The Kansas Jayhawks have continued to push the Bears, but Baylor has a road win over Kansas and should therefore be seen as the top team in the Big 12 Conference. Baylor continues to answer various challenges posed by the opposition, the latest being wins over TCU, Iowa State and Florida. They play fiercely rugged defense and what’s more is that it shows up on film. What you see with Baylor is what you get. The Bears routinely play with high energy; they don’t get caught on a bad night with their guard down. This is a team which can go all the way because its defense is so good.

DUKE BLUE DEVILS
ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: +800

The Blue Devils have not been dominant in the ACC as they’ve lost a pair of games. They will need Louisville to lose a few games in order to catch the Cardinals in the conference standings. However, the Blue Devils have watched Florida State lose at Virginia and watched Michigan State lose to Indiana a week ago. In the ACC and on a national level, Duke is still in good position to do well. Other teams just aren’t pulling away from them and separating themselves from the pack.

The Blue Devils could still win the regular-season ACC championship and if they do that, they would probably get a No. 2 seed when the selection show arrives and the brackets are announced. Duke has a relatively manageable ACC schedule in the next six weeks. The ability to get a high seed in the NCAA Tournament is not questioned as far as Duke is concerned.

GONZAGA BULLDOGS
ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: +900

The Zags have a very good chance of being a No. 1 seed in the West Region for the NCAA Tournament. If that happens, Gonzaga will be very happy but if it doesn’t happen, Gonzaga could still get a No. 1 seed in another region. Given how much various conferences (such as the ACC) are struggling to put teams in the tournament, let alone at the top of the bracket, Gonzaga could be a product of the parity sweeping through college basketball right now. The big problem, though, for the Zags is that big man Killian Tillie suffered an ankle injury earlier this week. On one hand, Gonzaga might lose in his absence. On the plus side, Gonzaga could prove it can hold the fort even without Tillie.

LOUISVILLE CARDINAL
ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: +900

The Cardinals won at Duke in late January and are leading the Atlantic Coast Conference. If you can do those two things, you are in the hunt for a top-two NCAA Tournament seed. That makes the Cardinals’ position as a title contender relatively strong. Louisville has bounced back from a bitter loss to Kentucky on December 28. If this team remains resilient, it could be the toughest “out” in the field.

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
ODDS TO WIN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: +1600

The Spartans have to show they can win regularly, not just sometimes, on the road. Until they do, they will rightly be doubted, and asked to prove it again. This could be a great team, but right now, it is merely a good and inconsistent team. Michigan State has not yet faced a defining moment in its season. The Spartans need to enter March with some kind of animating plan, but who knows if it will actually happen?

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