Michigan Tops College Basketball Futures

After being named the AP's No. 1 team for the first time since the days of the "Fab Five", Michigan is now considered the favorite to win this year's NCAA tournament.

Having recorded its first No. 1 ranking since 1992 earlier this week, Michigan now finds itself at the top of the College Basketball Futures list.

Michigan (20-1, 7-1 Big Ten) tops the list with 5/1 odds of winning the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament in March. Last week, the Wolverines were 6/1 in the same category.

Following wins over Purdue (home) and Illinois (road), John Beilein’s side remained one of only two Division I schools to continue forward with just one loss on its record, the other being Kansas.

Michigan celebrated its top ranking on the Futures list with a 68-46 drubbing of Northwestern on Wednesday night. The Wolverines will now look ahead to Saturday’s huge matchup with Indiana.

After topping the Futures list last week, Indiana (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten) now finds itself in second place. Odds of the Hoosiers winning the March tournament stand at 11/2, down from last week’s 5/1.

Indiana scored a big win over Michigan State on Sunday to follow-up Wednesday’s win over Penn State, a team winless in conference play. That was enough to see Tom Crean’s side remain a high contender.

The Hoosiers prepared for their big Saturday night showdown with Michigan by handing Purdue a lopsided 97-60 defeat on Wednesday night. Expect Saturday’s winner to top next week’s Futures chart.

After scoring convincing wins over Georgia and Mississippi State on the road last week, Florida (17-2, 7-0 SEC) finds itself moving one spot up the list to reside in third. Odds of the Gators winning the tournament currently stand at 7/1, representing an improvement on last week’s 9/1.

The Gators are the current form team in the SEC and will be looking at a big showdown this weekend with Ole Miss (17-3, 6-1 SEC). Momentum will be on the side of the Gators – unbeaten in conference play – who handed South Carolina a 75-36 defeat on Wednesday. Ole Miss meanwhile fell to Kentucky on Tuesday.

Whilst Michigan may be sitting pretty atop the AP rankings, Kansas (19-1, 7-0 Big 12) took that honor on the USA Today Coaches Poll. Bill Self’s side recorded wins over Kansas State (road) and Oklahoma (home) en route to the preferred position.

Bookmakers are less keen on the Jayhawks though, assigning the school odds of 15/2 to win the tournament. Whilst that’s an improvement on last week’s 9/1 odds, it’s still only good enough for fourth. That won’t sit well with a team that believes it is the best in the country.

Having won a scrappy game against West Virginia on Monday night, Kansas will host Oklahoma State (14-5, 4-3 Big 12) – winners of a close game against Iowa State on Wednesday – on Saturday.

A midweek hammering by Miami (FL) was always going to see Duke (18-2, 5-2 ACC) fall down the AP rankings, and it wasn’t a huge leap to think the Blue Devils might slip on the Futures list.

The side from Durham, N.C., did just that. Odds of the school winning the tournament marginally fell from 15/2 to 8/1, putting Coach K’s side in fifth place on the list. (Both Florida and Kansas did a spot of leapfrogging here). A win over Maryland may have prevented those odds dropping even further.

The Blue Devils posted a first true road win of the season on Wednesday, defeating Wake Forest 75-70. The side now looks to this weekend’s clash with Florida State (12-8, 4-3 ACC) to continue making the climb back to the top.

Louisville (12/1), Arizona (14/1), Syracuse (14/1), Gonzaga (20/1), and Ohio State (22/1) round out the top 10 schools on the Futures list.

Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio State are joined by a further three Big Ten sides in the top 25. Michigan State (33/1), Minnesota (33/1), and Wisconsin (50/1) each makes the list’s upper echelons, which plays out as a testament to how tough the conference is this year.

The ACC is the next most successful conference, with four teams appearing in the top 25. Alongside Duke, Miami (25/1), North Carolina State (30/1), and North Carolina (40/1) represent the conference.

Out west, Oregon (18-3, 7-1 Pac-12) may well be making tracks up the Pac-12 and AP rankings, but bookmakers are yet to respect the upstart Ducks. Dana Altman’s side has been assigned odds of 50/1 to win the tournament this year. That figure puts the side joint 21st on the list, and below conference rivals UCLA (33/1). Wednesday night’s 76-52 loss in Stanford might be enough to suggest the bookies are right to stay away from the Ducks.


Odds to Win NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Michigan Wolverines 5/1

Indiana Hoosiers 11/2

Florida Gators 7/1

Kansas Jayhawks 15/2

Duke Blue Devils 8/1

Louisville Cardinals 12/1

Arizona Wildcats 14/1

Syracuse Orange 14/1

Gonzaga Bulldogs 20/1

Ohio State Buckeyes 22/1

Kentucky Wildcats 25/1

Miami Hurricanes 25/1

North Carolina State Wolfpack 30/1

Creighton Bluejays 33/1

Michigan State Spartans 33/1

Minnesota Golden Gophers 33/1

UCLA Bruins 33/1

Cincinnati Bearcats 40/1

North Carolina Tar Heels 40/1

Pittsburgh Panthers 40/1

Butler Bulldogs 50/1

Missouri Tigers 50/1

Oregon Ducks 50/1

UNLV Rebels 50/1

Virginia Commonwealth Rams 50/1

Wisconsin Badgers 50/1

For an extended list of odds – which includes 55 teams – visit Bovada.