The college football national champion has been crowned and now college basketball takes center stage. The field for the NCAA basketball championship has opened up as favorites have started to stumble during the ongoing conference schedules.
Kentucky the No. 1 team in the preseason and through Monday of this week has started to shown some vulnerability.
The Wildcats are struggling in their opening games of the SEC. Kentucky is nevertheless 2-0 SU, but 2-0 ATS and has played three overtimes in its first two conference games.
Duke was the No. 2 team in the country with most observers believing the Blue Devils were one team that could defeat Kentucky. However, Duke lost to North Carolina State in an ACC showdown.
Despite the best efforts of the media and fans, a national champion will not be crowned in college basketball in January or February.
While Kentucky sitting at 10 to 11 and Duke at 8 to 1 are still the two favorites to be cutting the nets down in early April, it is far too early to write off a number of other legitimate contenders.
Included in those is Virginia at 8 to 1 and Wisconsin at 10 to 1
Virginia is with Duke heading the list of teams just below Kentucky.
Wisconsin lost as home favorites 80-70 against Duke this past December, but neither of the Badgers two losses clouds anyone’s perception of Wisconsin being a legitimate title contender.
The Badgers have an efficient offense, experience and size, led by Frank Kaminsky the 7-footer. The Badgers also have the seventh best scoring defense in the nation, giving them the ingredients needed to win the national championship.
When it comes to defense, Virginia can boast the top scoring defense in the country and will have their shot at Duke when they play host to the Blue Devils January 31, likely entering that encounter at the top of the ACC standings with the Blue Devils.
Of course, more than half of January and all of February remain before the conference tournaments take place followed by March Madness. However, there should be shifting in the top 25 and on the national championship futures board, as teams get deeper into their respective conference schedules.
NCAA 2015 National Championship Odds
KENTUCKY WILDCATS 10 to 11
DUKE BLUE DEVILS 8 to 1
VIRGINIA CAVALIERS 8 to 1
ARIZONA WILDCATS 10 to 1
WISCONSIN BADGERS 10 to 1
GONZAGA BULLDOGS 12 to 1
LOUISVILLE CARDINALS 25 to 1
KANSAS JAYHAWKS 30 to 1
VILLANOVA WILDCATS 30 to 1
TEXAS LONGHORNS 30 to 1