With less than two weeks 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.
Take a look at our previews of PointsBet’s top 10 favorites to win the 2021 NCAA Championship. Coming in at #3 is the Michigan Wolverines out of the Big Ten Conference.
Conference: Big Ten
NCAA Championship Odds: +420
The Michigan Wolverine’s were a 19-12 team in the 2019-20 college basketball season, with just a 10-10 record against Big Ten opponents. This saw Wolverines finish the Big Ten regular season in ninth on the conference standings and without an AP ranking heading into the NCAA tournament.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the remainder of the college basketball season and NCAA tournament, Michigan took to the 2020 offseason looking to bolster their roster strength.
Four star recruit Hunter Dickinson headlined a Wolverines recruiting class that also brought Zeb Jackson, Terrance Williams II and Jace Howard into the program. Prior to this season’s tip-off, Michigan were ranked the 25th best team in the nation on the preseason AP poll.
With just two games remaining in the 2020-21 regular seasons, Michigan are sitting in first place on the Big Ten standings with a 13-2 record against conference rivals (18-2 overall). The Wolverines have recently jumped to No. 2 on the AP poll, their highest ranking of the season.
— Michigan Men’s Basketball (@umichbball) March 1, 2021
Michigan began their campaign with an 11 game winning streak, defeating the likes of Northwestern, who were ranked #19 at the time, Minnesota, who were ranked #16 at the time and Wisconsin, who were ranked #9 at the time.
The Wolverines suffered their first loss of the season in their second encounter against Minnesota, going down 57-75. However, Michigan responded to win their next seven games, improving their record to 18-1.
Michigan’s second streak of wins solidified them as one of the best teams in the country, defeating the likes of Wisconsin, who were ranked #23 at the time, Ohio State, who were ranked #4 at the time and Iowa, who were ranked #9 at the time.
However, in their most recent encounter, Michigan suffered their second loss of the season against No. 4 Illinois, who defeated the Wolverines in Michigan, 76-53.
In his first season with the Wolverines Hunter Dickinson has led the team in points (14.4), rebounds (7.7) and blocks (1.6) per game, on his way to being named a semifinalist for the college basketball Player of the Year award.
Dickinson is one of three Wolverines averaging 10+ points per game, alongside Isaiah Livers (14.2) and Franz Wagner (12.8). However, the true freshman has made as big a name for himself on the defensive end of the floor.
Most notably, Dickinson held college basketball Player of the Year favorite, Luka Garza, to just 6/19 from the field when Michigan defeated Iowa earlier this month.
Hunter Dickinson told Garza NO 🤚 🚫 pic.twitter.com/bjm2DbMhaF
— ESPN (@espn) February 26, 2021
The Wolverines will close out their season with a pair of matches against their rivals, Michigan State. Having recently lost just their second game of the season, Michigan will be looking to secure two confident victories over the Spartans, ensuring that they are playing at their very best as they prepare to make deep runs at the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.
Following the postponement of the 2020 March Madness tournament, the Michigan Wolverines opened with odds of +3300 to win the 2021 NCAA championship after concluding the 2020 college basketball season with a 19-12 record.
After being named the 25th best team in the country on the preseason AP poll in November, the Wolverines settled at odds of +4000 to win the national championship prior to their tip-off of the 2020-21 regular season in late November.
Despite starting the season with an 11 game winning streak, Michigan’s odd to win the 2021 NCAA championship drifted out to +6550 in mid December.
However after closing out that streak with victories over three AP ranked opponents, the Wolverines odds to win a second national championship came into +850.
Michigan drifted back out to +1100 after suffering their first loss of the season, however the seven game winning streak that followed resulted in the Wolverines settling at +420 odd to win it all at March Madness, with two games remaining in the regular season.
*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.
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