Which teams do we believe that NCAA Basketball odds makers are giving too much credit?
Not long ago, the Kentucky Wildcats stormed through
all the competition and won the national title, John Calipari’s first as a
coach. It was a deserved win for a deserved champion.
Alongside the Wildcats, there are quite a few
schools that NCAA basketball odds makers are expecting to be right back in the hunt in 2012/13.
Who won’t, though?
Well, let’s narrow down the list and go through some
of the perennial powerhouses and top 25 favorites first.
The Wildcats have lost their top six players from
last season, yet Calipari is bringing in the nation’s best recruiting class yet
again, led by top dog Nerlens Noel. He also has Kyle Wiltjer ready to step in
and feature more prominently.
of 2012/13 hopefuls
So, the Kentucky Wildcats most definitely belong. So too do
Indiana and Louisville.
The Hoosiers have Cody Zeller and Christian Watford
coming back, meaning the team returns its top five scorers from last season’s
squad. They will be the favorites to win the Big Ten and should also contend
for the national title.
Louisville’s right there too, with Peyton Siva and
Wayne Blackshear expected to lead a loaded team.
Who else belongs? Of course there’s Ohio State,
Michigan State, Syracuse, UNC, Duke, Florida, Baylor and the list goes on and
on. These are always big-time programs in college basketball and that’s going
to consistently bring solid recruiting classes to these schools.
Michigan is loving the fact Trey Burke will be back.
He’ll pair with Tim Hardaway Jr. to make the Wolverines strong once again in
Also, expect big things from UCLA, Arizona and NC
State, especially the Wolfpack, who had an excellent run in the NCAA tournament
and return practically their entire team next season.
One team we’re a bit wary on though? Marquette.
Not only will the Golden Eagles be competing in the
toughest conference in the nation, they’ll have to do so without their top
players from last season, Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.
Marquette opens with a game against Ohio State and
will also be competing in the Maui Invitational alongside schools like UNC,
Texas and Butler. The Golden Eagles also play Wisconsin and Florida in addition
to their Big East schedule.
Now, there is still talent here. Buzz Williams has
guys like Davante Gardner, Junior Cadougan, Jamil Wilson and Vander Blue who
could all make a difference. But will this young bunch be able to survive such
a tough schedule?
We’re more worried for Kansas State.
The Wildcats lost highly respected coach Frank
Martin and decided to go with Bruce Weber as his replacement. Weber was let go
by Illinois after failing to make the Sweet 16 since 2005. He’s not a good
recruiter but luckily for him Martin has left a pretty damn good roster behind.
Rodney McGruder, Will Spradling, Angel Rodriguez,
Jordan Henriquez and Adrian Diaz remain. However, we’re just not sold that
Weber is the right fit in Manhattan.
Martin built this program into a legitimate power in
college basketball and we think Weber’s going to have a lot of trouble keeping
We’ll go one step further though and give you a
team, ranked in many preseason top fives, that we think may be a bit overrated
heading into the season: the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks lost Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn
Taylor. Those two were the heart and soul of this team and pretty much carried
KU on their backs on their way to the championship game.
They have seven-footer Jeff Withey and prized
recruit Perry Ellis, as well as Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford, returning,
but is that really enough of a reason to rank them so high? We know Bill Self
has done some amazing things in Lawrence, but this team lacks true go-to guys
like they’ve had in the past.
Withey was primarily a defensive stopper and really
has to develop his game offensively if the Jayhawks are to make another deep run.
That’s not all. Many other things have to fall into place for Self’s team and
we’re not entirely convinced that will happen.