NCAA Basketball Betting: Early 2016 Final Four Picks

The 2016 Final Four, like any Final Four which is predicted almost a year in advance, is based largely on hype and the composition of the returning roster, influenced partly by the incoming recruiting class. These are educated guesses, but they are only guesses.

Michigan State Spartans

This is a team which should be a lot better than the one which dragged itself through the regular season before coming alive in March. Tom Izzo should be able to get this team to a top-three seed in the NCAA tournament, and the Spartans could do a lot of damage from that position. Denzel Valentine is back for another year. He should have a huge season as the scoring leader for the team. Lourawls Nairn, who goes by “Tum Tum,” is an excellent ballhandler and defender. If he can develop merely a decent jump shot, this team should be very hard to defend. Gavin Schilling and Matt Costello return, giving the Spartans a lot of beefy, powerful defense in the paint. Marvin Clark and Bryn Forbes provide shooting and defense on the wings. This is a team that will have a lot of pieces, not even counting the high-impact freshmen that are expected to contribute. Tom Izzo knows how to get a team to come together. The Spartans might be the team to beat in the Big Ten.

Arizona Wildcats

It is true that Arizona will lose Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to the NBA draft, and T.J. McConnell is graduating, but the core of a Final Four team is still there. Stanley Johnson should be poised for a big season. Kaleb Tarczewski will anchor the team in the middle. Parker Jackson-Cartwright is going to fill in for McConnell at the point, and he’s much faster than McConnell. Gabe York had a great NCAA tournament and should be able to become the shooter the Wildcats will need on the wing. Next season’s team won’t be as deep as the one that just lost in the Elite Eight to Wisconsin, but Arizona will have the best team in the West once again, as Gonzaga is going to slip. The Wildcats should still win the Pac-12 and should get a high seed, probably a number two seed, in the West Region. With Wisconsin certain to tumble since Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker will be gone, Arizona will not have to deal with Wisconsin (most likely) in the NCAA tournament. That alone could get the Wildcats to the Final Four.

Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks bring some veterans back for another year. Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis are both returning, so Kansas should have a deeper and more experienced version of a team that was not yet ready in 2015. In 2016, things should come together for a group that should be able to get a No. 1 seed. It would be surprising if Kansas did not make a much better run at the Final Four this upcoming season.

Iowa State Cyclones

The return of Georges Niang, a junior who decided to put off the NBA draft for one more year, is what makes the Cyclones an attractive choice to make the Final Four. Niang can be the centerpiece of what should be a very explosive offense captained by point guard Monte Morris. With Jameel McKay at forward and Naz Long at shooting guard, this team will have ample offensive options. Opposing defenses will not be able to double-team or hedge on everyone. They’ll have to make choices, meaning the Cyclones should be able to get the shot they want throughout the 2015-2016 season.

College Basketball Odds To Win The 2015- NCAA ChampionshipArizona +2000
Arizona State +15000
Arkansas +3500
Auburn +10000
Baylor +4500
Boston College +25000
Butler +8000
BYU +15000
California +25000
Cincinnati +5000
Clemson +35000
Colorado +30000
Creighton +17500
Dayton +8000
Duke +1800
Florida +3500
Florida State +6500
Georgetown +10000
Georgia +12500
Georgia Tech +17500
Gonzaga +2000
Harvard +15000
Illinois +10000
Indiana +2000
Iowa +10000
Iowa State +1800
Kansas +1500
Kansas State +35000
Kentucky +800
Louisville +4000
LSU +5000
Marquette +30000
Maryland +1200
Memphis +17500
Miami Florida +4000
Michigan +4000
Michigan State +2000
Minnesota +17500
Missouri +35000
NC State +4000
Nebraska +35000
New Mexico +15000
North Carolina +800
Notre Dame +5000
Ohio State +6000
Oklahoma +3000
Oklahoma State +35000
Ole Miss +25000
Oregon +15000
Pittsburgh +12500
Providence +10000
Purdue +6000
San Diego State +10000
Seton Hall +10000
SMU +4000
South Carolina +15000
Stanford +12500
St Joes +15000
St Johns +25000
St Louis +15000
Syracuse +6500
Tennessee +15000
Texas +6500
Texas A&M +5000
U Conn +10000
UCLA +10000
U Mass +25000
UNLV +10000
Utah +8000
Vanderbilt +20000
Villanova +2500
Virginia +1000
Virginia Tech +15000
Wake Forest +35000
Washington +25000
West Virginia +8500
Wichita State +5000
Wisconsin +4500
Xavier +15000
Field +2000