Kentucky and MSU Atop 2018 Madness Odds
- Updated: April 17, 2017
The Kentucky Wildcats fell to defeat in the Elite Eight at the 2017 NCAA Tournament, while the Michigan State Spartans didn’t manage to make it past the Round of 32 at the event. Those schools, however, headline the board on the odds to win the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky went 32-6 this past season, winning the SEC Tournament and entering the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the South Region. From there the Wildcats knocked out Northern Kentucky, Wichita State, and UCLA in the first three rounds, but they came up just short in a 75-73 loss to eventual-champion North Carolina when they met in the regional final.
And while the Wildcats will lose Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo to the NBA next season, the program is notorious for being able to attract high-profile recruits. For the 2017/18 season that includes shooting guard Hamidou Diallo plus forward Jarred Vanderbilt.
Michigan State, meanwhile went just 20-15 overall and 10-8 in Big Ten play this past season, falling in the quarterfinals in their conference tournament and getting the No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the Midwest Region. The Spartans won their March Madness opener against Miami, but got blasted 90-70 against top-seeded Kansas in their Round of 32 game.
The Spartans’ chances for 2017/18, though, got a boost this past week with the news that forward Miles Bridges would return to school instead of entering the NBA Draft this spring. Bridges was a potential NBA lottery pick, and led the Spartans with 16.9 points per game. Michigan State also signed forward Jaren Jackson, a five-star recruit, for the season ahead.
North Carolina, Duke, Louisville Follow Leaders
The Tar Heels topped Gonzaga 71-65 in the championship game at the 2017 NCAA Tournament, and they sit tied with the Duke Blue Devils and the Louisville Cardinals at +1200 to come out on top at March Madness in 2018. North Carolina will lose each of Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks, and Justin Jackson from their championship roster for next season, but are likely to return Final Four MOP Joel Berry along with Luke Maye and top recruit Jalek Felton.
The Blue Devils will be looking for a bounceback after they were upset 88-81 by South Carolina in the Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the East. The Cards also lost in the Round of 32 as a No. 2 seed, falling 73-69 to Michigan in the Midwest.
Gonzaga, which made the Final Four this past season for the first time, is at +1400 on the odds to win the 2018 NCAA Tournament along with Kansas and Villanova, with Arizona at +1600. Michigan, Indiana, Wichita State, Florida, and UCLA hold down early odds of +2500.
*Odds as of April 17, 2017