The 353 schools that open the NCAA 2019-20 men’s basketball season will be trimmed down to 68 on selection Sunday come March 2020. Then the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, more popularly known as March Madness, begins on March 17, 2020. The 82nd edition of March Madness will come to a close with the championship game which is scheduled for April 6, 2020, at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Last season, the Virginia Cavaliers outlasted the Texas Tech Raiders 85-77 in overtime to win the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball title. It was vindication for Virginia who, in the previous tournament in 2017, became the first ever #1 seed to be upset by a 16th ranked team. As for Texas Tech, they were making their first-ever Final Four appearance. With two new first time finalists, the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball finals ensured that the league would have a first-time champion for the first time since 2006.
With the Cavaliers suffering key losses during the offseason, the oddsmakers have installed the Kentucky Wildcats as the current preseason favorites to win the NCAA tournament in 2020.
Check out the odds to win the 2020 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship. Odds are from MyBookie.ag as of 7/10/19:
Who Are The Favorites?
Kentucky is dealing with losses from last year’s squad including their Top 4 scorers from the 2018-19 NCAA season. Despite that, the Wildcats will be bringing back starting point guard Ashton Hagans and will also retain the services of frontcourt players EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards. With 247sports’ #2 ranked recruiting class headed to Lexington, Kentucky should be one of the top teams in the nation again this coming season and they are also the top NCAA betting favorites to win the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Michigan State came within two wins away from winning the national title last season and with head coach Tom Izzo bringing back his top four scorers from the 2018-19 season including the current Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston, there is plenty to be excited about if you’re a Spartans fan. Junior guard Joshua Langford will be back after missing games due to a stress injury on his left foot. Forward Aaron Henry is expected to improve in his second year and 4-star recruit Rocket Watts should help the Spartans this season.
Virginia finished the 2018-19 season with a 35-3 record and won it all last season. The reigning National champions lost their top three scorers including De’Andre Hunter who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers ( traded to the New Orleans Pelicans ) with the 4th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Despite their losses, the Cavaliers still have key players like Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite, Jay Huff and Kihei Clark. We’ve seen coach Tony Bennett make the best of what he’s had before. I guess he’ll have to do the same this year especially with their draft class rated just 29th in the nation by 247Sports.
Duke had three fabulous freshmen last season but the Blue Devils lost all three to the NBA in the recent 2019 NBA Draft. The Blue Devils were 32-6 last season and want to finish better than the Elite Eight as they did the last time out. The return of point guard Tre Jones is a big boost but the likes of Alex O’Connell, Jack White, Javin DeLaurier, Jordan Goldwire and Joey Baker must pick up the slack. The nation’s #3 ranked recruiting class led by 5-star Vernon Carey, is also headed to Durhan.
Memphis‘ head coach Penny Hardaway still has his star power. Proof of that was Hardaway taking the best recruiting class of 2019 to his alma mater. The nation’s top-rated freshman James Wiseman will lead seven top commits in the Tigers’ roster this coming season. The jury is still out whether Hardaway is good a coach as he was a player. But we’re about to find out given the talent he has on his 2018-19 squad.
North Carolina‘s 2018-19 season ended in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. But with the ACC’s top-rated freshman choosing the Chapel Hill road instead of going to Duke, the Tar Heels should be in their usual place near the top of the conference standings. UNC lost Luke Maye, Cam Johnson, Kenny Williams, Coby White, and Nas Little. But with a pair of elite grad transfers coming in plus the #1 freshman in Cole Anthony, the Tar Heels should be just fine.
Villanova dropped out of the second round of the 2018 NCAA tournament and after losing Phil Booth and Eric Paschall, there are reasons to be worried. But then with another year under their belt, the likes of Collin Gillespie, Sadiq Bey, Jermaine Samuels, and Dhamir Cosby-Rountree should be better this season. Add the fact that Jay Wright will have a couple of five-star recruits in Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine who could easily be starters, the Wildcats are going to be very competitive.
Kentucky has the second most national championships won at eight but the Wildcats have won just once since the turn of the century despite having one of the best recruiting classes year after year. The Wildcats had the top-ranked recruiting class from 2008-2013 but only won the national championship in 2012. That’s why I’m not so interested in this team being ranked very high because of their current recruiting class.
On the other hand, I like how Tom Izzo has Cassius Winston and his top scorers from last season back. They were two wins away from winning it all last season and with another year of experience under their belts, I expect them to be much, much better. Of course, the season has yet to start and who knows if there are one or more freshmen out there who are going to make a difference for some teams. But with what we know and what we have, I like what Tom Izzo has in Michigan State. Prediction: Michigan State