It won't be long until the 2016 NCAA Tournament begins with 68 teams vying for a spot in the Final Four to compete for the NCAA National Championship.
Since the college basketball regular season began, we've seen Final Four favorites like Maryland, Duke and Iowa fall down the standings as their odds of winning a title have shrunk. This time last month, those three were among the favorites to cut down the nets at the end of this year's Big Dance.
Slowly but surely climbing back up the standings has been Kentucky, who now has the fourth-best odds to win this year's championship. Kansas and Michigan State are now tied for the best odds to win the title, followed by North Carolina, UK, and then a tie between Oklahoma and Xavier.
Say what you will about the Cats' struggles, but there's no question this is a dangerous team with John Calipari on the bench and Derek Willis back in the starting lineup by the time tournament play opens.
Here's a look at the fully-updated NCAA Championship odds, courtesy of Bovada:
|School||Feb. 4 Odds||Current Odds|
|Michigan State Spartans||12/1||5/1|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||6/1||9/1|
|Duke Blue Devils||14/1||20/1|
|California Golden Bears||100/1||33/1|
|Iowa State Cyclones||25/1||33/1|
|West Virginia Mountaineers||28/1||33/1|
|Wichita State Shockers||25/1||33/1|
|Texas A&M Aggies||28/1||66/1|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||150/1||75/1|
|South Carolina Gamecocks||150/1||250/1|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||300/1||300/1|
|San Diego State||500/1||300/1|
|Chattanooga||Off the Board||500/1|
|Florida State Seminoles||300/1||500/1|
|Marquette Golden Eagles||300/1||500/1|
|St. Joseph's (PA)||Off the Board||500/1|
|Boise State Broncos||500/1||Off the Board|
|Memphis Tigers||500/1||Off the Board|
Now that we've seen the championship odds, here's a look at the favorites to just make it to the Final Four, per ESPN.
One must note that these odds are based on the most recent ESPN Bracketology, but they do give us a good idea of which teams have decent odds of making it to the Final Four.
Now that we know which teams are favored to win the title, which players are still in contention for the prestigious Naismith Player of the Year Award?
The latest odds from Bovada suggest there are just four teams still legitimately in the running for the award:
Oklahoma's Buddy Hield is still the significant favorite, but Michigan State's Denzel Valentine is within striking distance enough that the Big Ten and Big 12 Tournaments may decide the outcome of this winner. Whichever teams plays well and leads their team the furthest in their respective conference tourneys will make a good last push for the honor.
And no, Kentucky's Tyler Ulis was not listed among Bovada's odds.