There’s still about seven weeks until Selection Sunday but conference play is in full swing and we are starting to get good looks at teams.
The team to beat this season has been Houston. While there have been plenty of quality squads, the Cougars have been head and shoulders above the rest. However, that doesn’t mean they are unbeatable. They lost at home to Temple on Sunday afternoon as 20-point favorites.
That result highlights what could be a wild NCAA Tournament, evident in the odds, as Houston is the favorite, but not a clear cut one whatsoever. There’s little separation amongst teams at the top, so let’s take a look and see what else stands out besides the parity.
National Championship Odds
Houston has the shortest odds, No. 1 in KenPom’s rating before Monday’s games with the second best defensive rating and the 14th highest offensive rating. However, we saw some flaws with the Cougars when they struggled in the half court against Alabama earlier this season and also dropped their game to Temple over the weekend. This is an elite group, but not as unstoppable as title favorites in the past.
There are some high major teams in the mix for the top team though, namely Alabama, who has scorched teams on both ends and have kept up their elite play in SEC play, 7-0 thus far while compiling a 17-2 record. The team is top 15 on both sides of the ball while playing at the fourth fastest pace. They have a future top 10 pick in Brandon Miller as a bucket getting wing and are in the mix for a No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday.
The Big 12 has plenty of teams within shouting distance of the top because they are full of quality teams. Top to bottom this conference is delivering high level games with seven teams in KenPom’s top 30 and the worst team (Texas Tech) No. 64.
Kansas is the team with the shortest odds. The defending National Champions are +850 to win the National Championship, but given their difficult schedule they can be knocked off their perch as a No. 1 seed and make their odds wider to win the title. However, this team, as will all Big 12 teams, will be battle tested come tournament time.
Take a look at the full list of odds as there are sure to be some long shots make some noise come March given the parity at the top, but get ahead of the market by keeping tabs on conference play and pounce on teams while their odds are still long.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.