March Madness basketball is almost here and the Jayhawks are making a pretty good case to be considered the favorite.
By: Shane Lambert
The Kansas Jayhawks are among the teams that are currently considered to be the favorites for the 2016 NCAA basketball championship. For instance, Kansas are currently 10 to 1 to win the championship with William Hill, the same odds that are available with North Carolina and Oklahoma. On Tuesday night, the Jayhawks won a big game in their regular season schedule as they defeated Baylor in a road game.
The final score in the game was 66-60 as Kansas defeated Baylor in what was largely a well-contested game throughout. The win puts the Jayhawks that much closer to a Big 12 title and they are clearly heading toward a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
At 24-4, Kansas have two wins over Oklahoma which suggest that the Cowboys are over-rated at the same betting odds as Kansas. Furthermore North Carolina are a team that are currently ranked outside of the Top 5 in both the Coaches Poll and the AP Poll. That does imply a No. 2 seeding for the Tar Heels, something that could give them tricky games in the tournament starting in the round of 32.
Kansas entered this week ranked behind Villanova in the official polls. However, Jay Wright, the coach of the Wildcats, has a history of both regular season success and post-season flops. We’ve seen his teams looking as scary as anyone at this time of the year before only to see their ambitions curtailed in the playoffs. As a bettor, I like to go with the coaches that have more proven track records as I believe that coaching is vital at the college level where the athletes are non-professional and inexperienced.
On that note, Bill Self, the coach of the Jayhawks, is a proven winner. In a relatively short time in Kansas he has both a championship and a runnerup finish. I don’t see his Jayhawks suffering an early-round loss in the tournament and I don’t feel the same way about Villanova based on what has happened in the past, including the recent past.
Sticking with coaching, I am also starting to re-like Tom Izzo’s Michigan State following their 19-point road win at Ohio State on Tuesday. I think the Spartans, a former No. 1 this season, have a chance at a No. 1 seed still as well. Their odds of 12 to 1 are starting to look flirty too.
With Oklahoma and North Carolina, I would want longer odds than what’s available at the moment. However, Kansas’ odds may be shortening soon following the road-win over a tough Baylor team. Texas Tech and Texas are both up next for the Jayhawks, two games that I think KU will win. Their last game of the regular season is a tricky one against Iowa State but they do have them at home. Therefore, I have Kansas entering the post-season at 27-4 and I feel confident that they will get a No. 1 seed regardless of how the Big 12 tournament goes.
2-pt bet on Kansas at 10 to 1 with William Hill to win the NCAAB championship straight up
1-pt bet on Michigan State each way with William Hill at 12 to 1