Odds to win the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament: As expected, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels will be opening the 2011-12 college basketball campaign ranked preseason No. 1 in both major polls (AP and USA-Today/Coaches), and along with its top ranking, is the betting favorite getting +325 College Basketball Odds (BetOnline.com) to be cutting down the nets next April at the Final Four in New Orleans as NCAA men's basketball champions.
Of course every favorite needs a challenger and there are plenty of those from around the country, but especially in Lexington, Kentucky where the 2nd ranked University of Kentucky Wildcats are highly regarded, getting at +425. Ohio State is lined third best at +600 followed by Duke getting +700. Syracuse and Connecticut, ranked 4th and 5th in the polls, are listed getting +1000 odds on the college basketball futures board.
The Tar Heels return all its starters from 2010 including ACC preseason player of the year Harrison Barnes. Also returning are Naismith Award nominees Tyler Zeller, Kendall Marshall and John Henson. North Carolina begins its season Friday, Nov. 11 when they play Michigan State in the inaugural Carrier Classic to be played on the deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson ported in San Diego.
Like the Tar Heels, Kentucky returns the majority of its team that went 29-9 last season. The Wildcats made it to the 2011 Final Four in Houston after defeating North Carolina in the round of Elite Eight. Kentucky lost to Connecticut in Final Four.
No one player makes a team but the guy to watch at Carolina is Harrison Barnes. Selected as a pre-season All-American, Barnes averaged 21.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament. He posted the fifth-highest scoring average ever by a UNC freshman. Terrence Jones is the big man of Kentucky's returning starters who is expected to have a big impact on the Wildcats' championship hopes. Jones started 35 of 38 games last season averaging 15.7 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game. Jared Sullinger is back for another year at Ohio State, the Wooden and Naismith Award finalist is near the 1,000 career points mark, needing to average 16 points per game to achieve that honor.
The 2011-12 college hoops season got off to a great start Monday (Nov. 7) with the 2K Classic Coaches vs. Cancer. Underdogs coverd ATS in 2-of-3 games while the OVER cashed in 2-of-3 as well. St John's defeated William & Mary by 15 points (74-59) on its home court, easily covering the -8 chalk line while the 133 total slipped under the posted 136. Eastern Kentucky covered +17 with Mississippi State, but ended up losing 76-66. No. 16 Arizona held off a stubborn Valparaiso team winning by nine, and covering as +13 1/2 dogs. Combined point game totals went OVER 136 1/2 with 137 on the Arizona/Valpo board and OVER 133 1/2 when EKU and MSU put up 142.
College Basketball Odds : Futures favorites to win the 2012 NCAA Tournament in New Orleans (BetOnline.com)
North Carolina +325
Ohio State +600
St. Johns +2500
Michigan State +2600