Last Updated: 2018-02-05
Welcome to the day when most people start caring about College Basketball.
The Super Bowl has ended (dramatically), and America sort-of looks around the next morning and goes…”OK, what’s next?” (except for the city of Philadelphia, they aren’t waking up for about a week). And for sports fans, this is what’s next. The anticipation for March Madness will start slowly building, as people familiarize themselves with Duke’s freshmen, Trae Young, the surprising success of Purdue and Virginia, and the dominance of Villanova.
The potential seeding of the tournament is also becoming clearer. Villanova, Virginia and Purdue seem very secure as 1 seeds, and it would require significantly disappointing results for them to lose their grip on the top spots in a region.
The 4th 1-seed is still pretty wide open, and the case for 2-seeds is getting really interesting, as teams no one expected (Auburn, Tennessee) are making very strong cases. The Volunteers are 85/1 to win the title, and they have a huge game at Kentucky on Tuesday night (the Vols have beaten the Wildcats once already this season). That game could signal to basketball fans that Tennessee is indeed a team to be reckoned with (along with their #7 KenPom rating). That’s a price that just hasn’t quite caught up to the success the team is having. It’s a pretty straightforward buy, because even a few stumbles by Tennessee gets them a top, let’s say 25-30 seed in the tournament, and their price probably stays in the zone it is currently.
Along with Tennessee, here are some other interesting teams to think about this week in the futures market:
Texas A&M (80/1 at 5D)
We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for this team to get their act together. During that whole time, their price hasn’t changed very much, because of the immense talent they have when the team is whole. They’ve had issues off the court with player discipline and injuries, and pretty much all of their significant players have missed games at one point or another this season. Essentially everyone’s back, and playing, and the team just had their most complete victory of the season, demolishing South Carolina Saturday. The Aggies enter the most important week of their season, playing at Auburn and home vs Kentucky, and they should come in with a lot of confidence. This was a team we were all excited about before the year, who destroyed West Virginia in the opener (granted, in a bizarre neutral court setting), who seems to be getting better at the right time. The price has been lingering in this area for a while, and with a statement win or 2, the bandwagon will be full once more.
Texas Tech (66/1 at 5D)
Let’s stay in the Lone Star state, because I think this team is fascinating. Chris Beard is doing an incredible job, and this is a guy who somehow got Arkansas-Little Rock to upset Purdue in the NCAA Tournament (with Purdue having multiple NBA players on their roster). Their metrics are as good as their coaching, they are a senior-laden team with great guards, and for playing in the impossible Big 12, the schedule actually breaks reasonably well for them down the stretch compared to their competitors – they’ve already played at Kansas and at Oklahoma, and they get TCU at home in the finale with the Horned Frogs having lost their point guard for the season.
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