With less than one week until Selection Sunday the regular season of college basketball is beginning to draw to a close.
But have no fear, March is here! Which means the best 68 men’s basketball teams are preparing to tip-off off March Madness in 2021.
NCAA Championship Odds: +230
Prior to the pandemic shutting down the 2019-20 NCAA tournament and college basketball season, the No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs had just won the WCC tournament for the 18th time in the school’s history and earned the conference’s automatic bid into March Madness following a 31-2 season.
Following the announcement that the NCAA tournament would not be going ahead in 2020, the Bulldogs looked to make the necessary roster adjustments in the 2020 offseason that would see Gonzaga return in 2021 as contenders to win the National Championship.
Five star recruit Jalen Suggs headlined Gonzaga’s recruiting class ahead of the 2020-21 college basketball season, which resulted in the Bulldogs earning the No. 1 ranking in the country on the preseason AP poll.
As it stands today, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have recently won the WCC regular season, WCC tournament and become the fifth team in Division 1 basketball history to enter the NCAA tournament unbeaten.The Bulldogs also held onto their No.1 preseason ranking for the entirety of the regular season of college basketball.
In what has been one of the most dominant seasons in the history of Division 1 basketball, 25 of the Bulldogs 26 wins this season have come by double digit margins (10+ points), with their only single digit victory coming against No. 11 West Virginia (87-82) in December of last year.
Earlier this month, the 15 finalists to be named the most outstanding player in college basketball (John R. Wooden Award) were announced, with three Gonzaga players featuring on the list. Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme.
Senior forwards Corey Kispert and Drew Timme have been the Bulldogs top two scorers this season, with Kispert averaging a team high 19.2 points per game as well as 4.9 rebounds. Timme has averaged 18.7 points per game while also leading the team in rebounds (7.1) and blocks (0.7) per game.
As well as that, freshman guard Jalen Suggs has capped off a remarkable debut season with the Bulldogs, scoring 23 points on 57.1% three point shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists in Gonzaga’s WCC tournament final victory over BYU.
CLUTCH 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/i1QpVO35sx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 10, 2021
Suggs has been the Bulldogs third leading scorer this season, putting in 14.3 points per game to go along with his team high 4.5 assists and team high 2.0 steals per game.
Having already earned the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year, the Bulldogs will enter March Madness as the +230 favorite to win the 2021 NCAA championship.
If Gonzaga can win it all at March Madness, they will become just the second team in college basketball history to win the National Championship in an undefeated season (Indiana, 1979).
Following the postponement of the 2020 March Madness tournament, the Gonzaga Bulldogs opened with odds of +900 to win the 2021 NCAA championship after concluding the 2020 college basketball season with a 31-2 overall record.
The ‘Zags did not waver from their +900 odds throughout the preseason, only relinquishing favoritism to Iowa after Luka Garza withdrew from the NBA draft. This resulted in the Hawkeyes national championship odds coming into +825.
However, after the Bulldogs were given the No.1 ranking on the preseason AP poll, Gonzaga shared +800 favouritism to win the NCAA tournament alongside Baylor and Iowa.
After opening up their season with wins over No. 6 Kansas, Auburn, No. 11 West Virginia and No. 3 Iowa, Gonzaga pulled into standalone favouritism with odds of +333 by January 2021.
GONZAGA’S UNDEFEATED RUN CONTINUES
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 10, 2021
As rivals continued to lose and the Bulldogs continued to win, Gonzaga’s odds to win the 2021 national championship slowly crept in. And as a result of winning their 19th WCC tournament earlier this week, Gonzaga have settled as the +230 favorite to win the 2021 NCAA tournament.
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.
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