2019 NCAA Tournament Favorites
While the 2018-19 College Basketball Season is still a ways out, it’s never too early to start sizing up your futures bets. Which of the top teams can cash in to claim the NCAA Tournament?
I am a little surprised Duke isn’t more of a favorite. The Blue Devils have an absolutely stacked recruiting class. While it’s tough to rely on freshmen as much as they will have to, they still have Zion Williams, Cam Reddish, R.J. Barrett, Tre Jones and Joey Baker coming in. The Blue Devils lose some size in Wendell Caret and Marvin Bagley III going pro, but I think this freshmen class is as talented as there has been since the Fab Five. When you add in Coach K, I think Duke is the team to beat this season.
Villanova has the potential to create a real dynasty in college basketball as they seek their third championship in four seasons next winter. The Wildcats doe lose their top four scorers from a year ago, but they still have some returning talent that should step up and combine with a strong recruiting class. Eric Paschall averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds last season while Phil Booth put up 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest. Five-start point guard Jahvon Quinerly should also make a major impact for the Wildcats and grad transfer Joe Cremo from Albany averaged 17.8 points per game last season. Jay Wright should have another top contender on his hands next season.
North Carolina 12/1
North Carolina hasn’t been a team overly reliant on freshmen in recent years and the same can be said heading into the 2018-19 season. The Tar Heels will have double-double stud Luke Maye back to lead the team after averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Cameron Johnson (12.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Kenny Williams (11.4 ppg) are also returning to combined with a recruiting class of Nassir Little, Coby White and Rechon Black. Both Little and White are 5-start recruits. UNC was able to grab the 2017 title and I think they can give Duke some trouble this year and possible follow Villanova for a title again this season.