Perhaps one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament is always must-watch entertainment each March. In the 2022 edition of the tournament at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, the Kansas Jayhawks were able to pull away in the final seconds with a thrilling victory over North Carolina, 72-69. This tournament ended with Kansas’ fourth overall championship and head coach Bill Self’s second national title. Though fall has only just begun, SBS has you covered with a futures preview of who will be the next championship team after Kansas in men’s college basketball. There are a couple of notable squads on this list, especially from last year’s Final Four.
For this breakdown, SBS will go over what to look for from each squad, who will win the national championship in 2023, and also some other thoughts about collegiate basketball wagering.
|Odds to Win NCAAB Men's National Championship
After one of the most successful seasons in school history, Mark Few’s Bulldogs are angling again for their first-ever NCAA championship. During the 2021-22 campaign, Gonzaga was ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation at one point and were able to put together a stout campaign at 28-4 on the season. Posting a 13-1 record in West Coast Conference play, the Zags stormed into the NCAA Tournament with the hopes that this would finally be their year. Alas, it was not meant to be as Gonzaga advanced to the Sweet Sixteen where they were upended by Eric Musselman and his Arkansas Razorbacks. Though the team lost center Chet Holmgren to the NBA Draft, they still have a tremendous roster that includes potential national player of the year Drew Timme at forward.
Runner-ups in last year’s NCAA Tournament, the Tar Heels again field a talented roster for head coach Hubert Davis in his second season. Headlined by NCAA Championship darling, center Armando Bacot, North Carolina has a roster that potentially includes multiplied NBA first-round draft picks. In addition to Bacot, the Tar Heels also will receive significant minutes from guards Leaky Black, Caleb Love, and R.J. Davis. Indeed if the Tar Heels can make a big jump in year two for coach Davis, they will be holding the national championship trophy in Houston.
Coming off a 26-8 season in the SEC, head coach John Calipari is looking for an even bigger splash this season following a disappointing first-round exit in last year’s NCAA Tournament. In what would be a history-making performance, but not in favor of the Wildcats, No. 2 seed Kentucky fell to No. 15-seeded Saint Peter’s, 85-79 in overtime. Though Kentucky fans were certainly dismayed by this result, they still will return a talented roster in 2022, including the additions of two five-star recruits in Chris Livingston and Cason Wallace. Sophomore Daimion Collins will be looking to take on a bigger role for the Wildcats this season as well.
Fresh off a double American Athletic Conference (AAC) championship season in 2022, the Cougars a special dark horse team that could make some noise in March. Ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation last season, Houston has a lot of firepower for head coach Kelvin Sampson to make a strong run this year. Guard Marcus Sasser will be the featured player for the Cougars’ attack and should also make a strong push for a high draft pick in next year’s NBA Draft as well. With this being Houston’s last season in the AAC, the Cougars will certainly be looking to end their tenure on a high note.
Prediction: The Zags are overdue for a championship and Drew Timme is perhaps the most reliable college star since Christian Laettner. Take Gonzaga to finally get over the hump here.
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