What will be the biggest and baddest conferences in college basketball for the 2012/13 season? Find out what sportsbooks and us at SBRForum think of the matter.
Kentucky blitzed through the competition last year and was a
team on a mission. After the Wildcats had lost to Vanderbilt in the SEC title
game, you knew they had learned their lesson and would come out with reckless
abandon in the NCAA tournament.
Is there a clear NCAA Basketball odds favorite to win it all this season? And
which conference will rule the roost?
Over the past few years the Big Ten has stormed to the front
of the pack in terms of conference competitiveness.
This season should be even crazier. Indiana is the current
favorite to win and is listed at +750 to become the national champion at year's
end. The Hoosiers have Cody Zeller returning and a host of other key
contributors coming back as well.
NCAA Basketball odds also list Ohio State (+1750), Michigan (+2500), and
Michigan State (+2800) that will be frequenting the Top 25 and making noise in
the NCAA tournament.
Forget football, the Big East has become notorious for being
a powerhouse in college hoops and nothing will change this coming season.
Leading the pack is Louisville, who made a terrific run last
season and will return a lot of their best guys, including guard Peyton Siva.
The Cardinals can be found at +850 in the college basketball odds to win the
national title, making them the third-ranked team in that category behind Kentucky
The Big East will also be well-represented by teams like
Syracuse (+2000), Georgetown (+6000), Cincinnati (+6000) and then other solid
programs such as Marquette and Notre Dame.
North Carolina (+1000) and Duke (+2000) are always floating
near the top of the conference and that will stay the same in 2012. The only
difference is they've been caught up by two other outstanding teams.
After making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen last year,
North Carolina State returns a hefty portion of its starting lineup, starting
of course with C.J. Leslie. The Wolfpack should be right back in contention
this season and oddsmakers agree, listing them at +2500 to finish as national
Then there's Florida State, who despite losing some important
pieces should still be in the mix. The Seminoles are at +2500 as well and will
be aiming to repeat as ACC tournament champions.
SEC / Big 12 / Pac 12
These three conferences certainly have talented programs,
but on the whole aren't quite as strong as those that were previously
In the SEC, you've got Kentucky, the overall favorite to win
the title at +600. Then there's Florida (+2500) and newcomers Missouri (+4300)
before a big dropoff in the odds.
The Big 12 is led by Kansas, with Bill Self's team trading
at +2000 at sportsbooks. The Jayhawks will definitely miss Thomas Robinson and
Tyshawn Taylor, but Self has made something out of nothing many times before.
Elsewhere in the conference there's Texas (+6000) and Baylor (+7000) who should
be near the top.
Finally there's the Pac 12,
headlined by a re-tooled UCLA squad that's listed at +1200 to take home the
title. This conference also features strong teams like Arizona (+2500) and