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Ball Trails Leaders on Madness MOP Odds

Expectations are high for UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball, who led the nation with 254 assists this season and enters the Big Dance closely trailing the favorites at +1200 odds to emerge as the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Ball has raised his stock ahead of this spring’s NBA Draft, despite the fact that his play is occasionally overshadowed by the media attention given to his father, former college player LaVar Ball.

Off-court distractions have not impacted the 19-year-old, who averaged 14.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season, and will make his March Madness debut in Friday night’s matchup against Kent State at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

Luke Kennard played a pivotal role in the Duke Blue Devils’ drive to the ACC Tournament championship and subsequent rise on the national championship odds, and enters this year’s tournament as the +800 favorite to take home most outstanding player honors.

The ACC Tournament MVP broke through in his sophomore season, leading the Blue Devils with 20.1 points per game and scoring 34 or more points on three occasions.

 

Jackson, Hart Trail Favorite on Award Lines

A quintet of players closely trail Kennard at +1000, with Justin Jackson, Josh Hart, Allonzo Trier, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Frank Mason III all set at that betting line.

Jackson tallied 18.1 points per game as a junior with the North Carolina Tar Heels, while Hart enters the tournament looking to lead the Villanova Wildcats to a second straight national championship after claiming Big East Player of the Year and Big East Tournament MVP honors this season.

Trier has twice won gold with the United States national team, and earned MVP honors after leading the Arizona Wildcats to a Cinderella victory at this year’s Pac-12 Tournament.

Williams-Goss averaged 16.9 points per game in his first season with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, while Mason hopes to end his collegiate career with a national championship win after leading all Kansas Jayhawks players at 20.8 points and 5.1 assists per game.

Duke’s Grayson Allen joins Ball as a +1200 bet to cap a troubled campaign with the most outstanding player award, ahead of Kentucky Wildcats freshman guard Malik Monk at +1400.

Five players are then deadlocked at +1600 on those betting lines heading into the tournament: Duke freshman forward Jayson Tatum, Jayhawks freshman guard Josh Jackson, Tar Heels junior guard Joel Berry, Bruins big man T.J. Leaf, and Finnish sensation Lauri Markkanen of Arizona.

 

*Odds as of March 16, 2017

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