Familiar faces expected at Final Four
November 07, 2018 3:00 AM
by Jim Feist
College basketball is here and that means it’s not too early to look at teams that I think have the best chance at making the NCAA Tournament and Final Four.
Below are the early odds of the top-10 teams to make it to this year’s Final Four (per Sportsbook.ag).
My thoughts on some of these teams: There is no question the experts like this group to reach the finals in April 2019. How can one argue with Kansas, Duke, Gonzaga, Kentucky and the usual suspects. It’s not too difficult to know which teams get the highest-rated prospects each year.
Where the challenge comes in, is knowing which dapper dandy will be ready for prime time. So many times over the years we see more experienced teams with solid coaches step up and cut down the nets.
Personally, I like Kansas over teams that feature a lot of youth. That is why I am also looking closely at Nevada and Gonzaga to cause some noise all season and down to the wire in March and April.
There are other teams that are in the top 20 currently that have interesting stories to tell. Virginia for one is the first team that as a No. 1 seed, lost to a 16 seed in last year’s tourney. They will be strong again this year and bring their slow, deliberate style and tough defense to each game. Tony Bennett is an excellent coach and the Cavs will be good again.
Tennessee is again relevant, because Rick Barnes has managed plenty of turmoil. They have Grant Williams and almost everyone back from their 26-win season in 2018. Auburn still has life after Bruce Pearl seemed to be on life support when assistant coach Chuck Person was caught up in the FBI investigation. Auburn managed to win 26 games last season and they have a few suspended players that are now eligible to return this season.
We can’t totally rule out defending champion Villanova. Jay Wright is an excellent coach and he brings some key players back this year. I don’t believe they will be there, but it’s hard to disregard a team that has that has won two of the last three championships.
Last year, I finished March Madness like a Lion, going 35-16 (69 percent) with my last 51 releases for a profit of $1,859 for $100 bettors. College basketball is an exciting time of year and I can’t wait for another great March!