Who wins the 2015 CBB Title?
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - After UCONN shocked the nation and cut down the nets in the National Championship Game, I would like to look ahead to 2015 at two teams that will I see as potential Championship contenders in 2015.
North Carolina will have a lot of returning talent and a heavy load of top recruits as Roy Williams should have his best team in years. Nate Britt will be more ready to handle the point guard position along with Joel Berry who is one of the big UNC recruits. Berry is a 5-star recruit and won Mr. Basketball three times in the state of Florida. This will allow Marcus Paige to play more at the shooting guard position and I look for Paige to win ACC Player of the Year, hands down.
As McAdoo is declaring for the NBA Draft, this still gives the Tar Heels 4 returning starters and they will once again be long and athletic in the paint with Tokoto, Johnson, and Joel James. The Tar Heels have also signed two more 5-star recruits, including Justin Jackson who is a 6'7" small forward who has an excellent mid-range game and can straight up play ball. I look for Jackson to enter the starting lineup and possibly move Tokoto to the power forward as I expect him to pick up some muscle in the weight room this off-season. The other highly touted recruit is Theo Pinson who is a local product from Greensboro, NC. Pinson is an elite level athlete that is an excellent defender. He can shoot from the perimeter and can slash to the basket as well. Overall, this will be a dangerous Tarheel team that will be running and gunning and will be a serious threat when it comes Tournament time. Can Marcus Paige lead his team to a 'Shabazz Napier' type of performance in 2015? I think it is very well possible and I will be making a 'futures wager' that the Tar Heels win the NCAAB Championship in 2015. UNC is currently listed with 15/1 odds.
The Wisconsin Badgers could have very well have been playing in the National Championship Game, but suffered a tough loss vs. Kentucky in the Final Four. They will be returning 3 seniors, 1 junior, and Big 10 Freshman of the Year Nigel Hayes for 2015.
I look for Traevon Jackson to have a chip on his shoulder after going 2-for-3 from the foul line in the closing seconds vs. Kentucky and then missing what would have been the game-winning jump shot at the buzzer. Frank Kaminsky is the best center in college basketball with an all-around game that is a difficult matchup for any team in the country. He has great footwork around the basket and can knock down the jump shot around the perimeter as well.
After seeing Bronson Koenig play in the Final Four, this kid will have an impact for Wisconsin this year and will give the Badgers the depth at the guard position with Ben Brust graduating. The Badgers have signed two recruits that I can also see have an impact on their Championship run in 2015. Ethan Happ is a 6'8" small forward who has a smooth game. The kid is a typical Wisconsin recruit that can shoot the three ball and also handle the ball and create on his own. The Badgers are led by head coach Bo Ryan who is one of the best coaches in the nation. The Badgers only turned the ball over 8 times a game last year. They play fundamental basketball and shoot a high percentage from the free throw line. I look for the Badgers to turn up the defensive intensity in 2015 and to have a great shot at cutting down the nets in 2015 for a National Championship. The Badgers are also listed with 12/1 odds.