2016 Midseason College Basketball Championship Predictions

Posted by Peter Boysen on December 9, 2016 in

The NCAA basketball season is nearing the midpoint, as the teams are preparing to enter conference play. Teams such as UCLA and Baylor have made some big jumps up the rankings, while Villanova has had to overcome some doubters in the polls once again and now sits atop the rankings. Some of the usual suspects (Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina) still are hovering in the top 10 as well. Let’s look at some revised predictions for who we like to see when March Madness winds down. Take a look at all of our sports betting picks before you lock in your wagers for this weekend.

2016 Midseason College Basketball Championship Predictions

Villanova will be just as hard to eliminate as they were last year

The Wildcats started out the season with 25-1 odds to repeat as NCAA camps. However, those odds have shrunk considerably as Villanova has roared out to an 8-0 start. They did lose Ryan Arcidiacono, who was the heart of that team. However, Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart have returned, and their leadership has kept Villanova from missing a beat as the new season gets underway. Their grit — combined with their experience from a year ago — will serve them well as the games get more and more meaning.

Live by the freshmen, die by the freshmen

One drawback to the “one and done” philosophy that John Calipari brings to kentucky is that every year you have to integrate a new set of starters into your system. The talent that Calipari brings in is immense each year — and this year has a terrific crew, led by Bam Adebayo at the power forward position. However, the SEC is slowly becoming a solid basketball conference, which means that Calipari doesn’t have the luxury of printing his title certificate in January. One thing about freshmen is that, even when they have amazing ability, they are still 18 and 19 years old, which means they are even more susceptible to mistakes at really inopportune times than their upperclass peers. More often than not, Calipari’s charges hit a speed bump at just the wrong time.

The Hoosiers are back

Tom Crean has a really strong team, and his Hoosiers have already beaten two teams ranked above them in Kansas and North Carolina. Yes, Yogi Ferrell has left the school, but guard Curtis Jones is just the best in a talented freshman recruiting class, and James Blackmon is providing stellar leadership once again. Don’t count them out in a game for all the marbles.

Don’t forget those Zags

Yes, Gonzaga said good-bye to Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer, but Johnathan Williams III has transferred in to lead a team that sits at 8-0 and has already knocked off two ranked foes in Iowa State and Arizona. Freshman Zach Collins has played terrific ball so far as well, which means that Gonzaga might go as far as they ever have in an NCAA bracket.