We’re about two months away from some more college basketball. When football begins, you know basketball is approaching.
Last year, there were so many intriguing storylines. This year won’t disappoint either. There’s been a lot of movement from schools going to different conferences, and that can play a role in the futures market.
But for now, we’re going to look at what you should keep in mind for your NCAAB picks, including five teams who can win the Championship this season.
North Carolina Tar Heels (+900)
North Carolina fell just short of a National Championship last season.
Last year’s team was excellent in the second half of the season and now most of those players will be returning for another year.
The Tar Heels won’t have Brady Manek at forward. He had to graduate last season after transferring from Oklahoma. However, we have returning players:
- Caleb Love
- R.J. Davis
- Leaky Black
- Armando Bacot
- Puff Johnson
- Dontrez Styles
- Justin McKoy
The Tar Heels also added Northwestern transfer, Pete Nance, who will basically take over where Brady Manek left off.
This team figured things out with a new head coach in the second half. Now there’s more comfort coming into this year. Ultimately, they’re unfinished business for the Tar Heels.
At +900, there’s good reason to bet on the Tar Heels to get back to the Championship game and win it this season.
Arkansas Razorbacks (+1500)
If you don’t care about experience, taking Arkansas is the best option. The Razorbacks are a completely new and young team but the talent is certainly eye-popping.
The Razorbacks brought in a bunch of transfers first and foremost. Makhi and Makhel Mitchell are joining Arkansas along with Jalen Graham at the forward spots. They’ve also added Ricky Council IV. and Trevon Brazile from other schools.
And then the freshmen class includes six new players, including Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black, who are two players that will more than likely be top 10 picks. Jordan Walsh was also signed at the small forward spot. He’s also capable of being a lottery selection.
Look at all this talent for Arkansas. Clearly, they can win the whole thing with this talent. But we’ll see if the lack of experience hurts them this season. I don’t think it will.
Duke Blue Devils (+1400)
The Duke Blue Devils will look at life without Coach K. North Carolina’s life without Coach Roy Williams wasn’t so bad.
Duke brought in a couple of older transfers between Jacob Grandison, Kale Catchings, and Ryan Young. But what stands out the most is the freshmen class. For potential first-round picks next season, we have:
- Tyrese Proctor
- Dariq Whitehead
- Kyle Filipowski
Plus, Jeremy Roach is returning along with Jaylen Blakes.
Duke has a nice mix of young talent and older talent and could give North Carolina a run for its money in the ACC.
And I know last year the ACC wasn’t all that great in the regular season. But once Match Madness came around, the ACC had a lot of success, which included random teams like the Miami Hurricanes.
After all, it looks like the ACC was just a little bit deeper and that’s why other teams were having issues on random nights in the conference.
I still think the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 are more elite conferences than the ACC in basketball. But the rich history of the ACC will help put the conference back on the map. North Carolina and Duke look to be back to their normal ways moving forward.
UCLA Bruins (+1600)
Let’s not forget that the UCLA Bruins will still have Tyger Campbell at point guard, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. at small forward.
Johnny Juzang has gone pro, but the Bruins will still have David Singleton and Jaylen Clark returning on scholarship.
On top of that, Mac Etienne is slated to be the big center for UCLA, and the Bruins also added three new additions including Amari Bailey, who figures to be a first-round pick next season.
UCLA can make a massive impact this season in the Pac-12.
Arizona Wildcats (+2000)
The Arizona Wildcats lost Bennedict Mathurin, Dalen Terry, and more to the pros. However, they added Courtney Ramey from the transfer portal along with Cedric Henderson Jr. who is coming from JUCO.
They’ll also have Kerr Kriisa returning along with Azuolas Tubelis. His brother Tautvilas will also return under scholarship.
Arizona also put together a quality freshmen class of four payers. They added two guards, a forward, and a center and have a balanced squad coming into the season.
UCLA and Arizona will battle it out on the West Coast, along with Gonzaga. West Coast basketball is certainly getting better with Arizona being elite again.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.