With Virginia being declared the 2019 champions following last night’s OT win over Texas Tech, it is time we look ahead to the teams with the best chances to do it next year!
1) Virginia (5/1)
This is not a school where players go for one year and declare for the NBA Draft. UVA was tremendous this year and will be hoping to bring most of their guys back for another run at the title next season. When you go from losing in the opening round as a #1 seed, doing what no team has ever done before, and then follow it up by becoming champions the next year, you will NEVER be forgotten in the realms of history.
2) Duke (8/1)
With all of the tremendous recruits they have coming in next year, it is no surprise to see them so high on this list. And while Reddish, Barrett, and Zion will almost certainly declare for the draft, PG Tre Jones just announced he is coming back for his sophomore year. His ability to impact the game on the defensive end does not go unnoticed, and he will play a huge part in the success, in addition to the new guys and DeLaurier.
3) Kentucky (8/1)
Every year, a new wave of freshmen come through this school to try and help the team to the title. After this year’s guys have now come and gone, it seems they will be in good hands next season. The Wildcats were able to secure THREE five-star prospects. Kahlil Whitney (Roselle, NJ(), Matthew Hurt (Rochester, MN), and Tyrese Maxey (Garland, TX). All three of these guys will be terrific here next season and will be guys that John Calipari comes to really enjoy. Watch out!
4) Gonzaga (10/1)
They stand as it is now, to lose a number of key cogs to this past year’s March Madness run. The Zags could be in some trouble for next year. Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura are both likely to declare for the draft, while Josh Perkins is all out of eligibility. Zach Norvell Jr. should be back to provide sharp-shooting next year, but they will be losing a lot. With the heavy number of freshmen from last year, they have to hope that some of them can blossom into great players. Drew Timme and Anton Watson, a pair of four-star prospects hope to come in and contribute immediately.
5) Michigan State (12/1)
Fresh off a trip to the Final Four, they hope to take it a bit further next season. With Tom Izzo at the helm, good things always happen to the Spartans. They should be getting star PG Cassius Winston back for another year, and that is HUGE. They failed to land any five-star commits, but Malik Hall (Wichita, KA), should be able to come in and help the front-court with the guys they will be losing. Don’t sleep on the Spartans!