Can Villanova repeat as champs?
After winning two championships in three years, does Villanova have what it takes to create a dynasty and win a third NCAA Tournament in four years?
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, Villanova is currently listed with 15/1 odds to win it all this year. Duke is the current favorite with 5/1 odds while Kentucky has 11/2 odds and Gonzaga is listed at 15/2.
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Villanova claimed the championship in 2018 and also won it in 2016. As an overall program, the Wildcats have three national championships. The last program to repeat as national champions was Florida, which claimed the title in 2006 and 2007. The last two win three in four years was UCLA, which won eight in nine years from 1967-75.
Last year’s team was definitely one of the dominant teams throughout the year, finishing with a 36-4 record for the season. In the NCAA Tournament, Nova won all of its games by at least 12 points, including a 17-point win over Michigan in the National Championship.
The Wildcats lost a lot from last year’s team, with four players moving on to the NBA Draft and three graduating. They tried to alleviate some of that by adding in Albany grad-transfer Joe Cremo. Cremo put up 17.8 points per game last season. Their freshman class is also strong, with one 5-star and three four-start players coming in. Jahvon Quinerly is the gem of the class, a 6-1 guard.
Of the returning players, Eric Paschall is the leader. He averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season. The 6-9, 255-pound forward will be their force in the paint. Senior guard Phil Booth and sophomore guard Collin Gillespie are also back. They combined for about 32 minutes per game each. Booth averaged double figures in scoring.