UNC Already Shooting Up March Madness Odds; Will 2021 Tar Heels Be a Contender?

Garrison Brooks
Garrison Brooks returns to UNC looking for a title next season. Photo from @espnstatsinfo (Twitter)
  • UNC’s 2021 March Madness odds have been shortened from +2500 to +2000
  • The Tar Heels are fresh off a disappointing season, but will bring back one of the ACC’s leading scorers in Garrison Brooks and boast a top-three recruiting class
  • Is North Carolina a good bet to win it all next season at their new price?

The North Carolina Tar Heels are fresh off completing their worst season in the Roy Williams’ era, but you’d never know it by looking at their 2021 national title price.

UNC is a top ten contender in the most recent update of next season’s championship odds, despite the fact that they’re losing freshman Cole Anthony to the NBA and senior Brandon Robinson.

2021 National Championship Odds

Team Odds at BetOnline
Gonzaga Bulldogs +900
Virginia Cavaliers +900
Kansas Jayhawks +1000
Michigan State Spartans +1000
Kentucky Wildcats +1200
Creighton Blue Jays +1400
Duke Blue Devils +1400
Baylor Bears +1600
Florida State Seminoles +2000
North Carolina Tar Heels +2000
Wisconsin Badgers +2000
Villanova Wildcats +2200
Dayton Flyers +2500
Florida Gators +2500
Louisville Cardinals +2500
San Diego State Aztecs +2500
Texas Longhorns +2500
Texas Tech Red Raiders +2500
Michigan Wolverines +2800
Ohio State Buckeyes +2800
Oregon Ducks +2800

Odds taken March 19th

The Tar Heels 2021 March Madness odds opened at +2500 last week and have already been shortened to +2000. Obviously, bettors are higher are on this team than oddsmakers initially predicted, but it’s hard to look past their disappointing 2019-20 campaign.

Season to Forget

Last season was the first losing campaign in Williams’ 17-year tenure at UNC. Taking it even a step further, it was his first losing season in his 32-year collegiate coaching career dating back to his time at Kansas. The Tar Heels finished 14-19, with an atrocious 6-14 record in ACC play.

They ranked bottom-five in the conference in points allowed, turnovers, 3-point field goal percentage, assists, blocks and steals. At one point they lost 12 of 14 ACC games, and finished the year by suffering their most lopsided conference tournament defeat ever.

So why on earth is there so much optimism in Chapel Hill for the upcoming season?

Help Is on the Way

Despite a year full of setbacks, forward Garrison Brooks blossomed into a star. The 6-foot-9 junior won the ACC’s most improved player award, and is expected to return for his senior year.

Brooks will be one of the favorites to lead the conference in scoring, after averaging 18.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in ACC play.

Brooks shouldered the offensive load when Anthony was injured last season, and will be the unquestioned leader of this Tar Heels team. His veteran presence will surely be needed as UNC is about to welcome a bevy of the nation’s top recruits.

North Carolina boasts the third highest ranked recruiting class for next season, a group that includes three 5-star (Day’Ron Sharpe, Walker Kessler and Caleb Love) and two 4-star recruits (Puff Johnson and R.J. Davis). As if that wasn’t enough talent to add, they are also in hot pursuit of 5-star guard Kennedy Chandler and 4-star shooting guard Kerwin Walton.

Next year’s squad will be very talented, but outside of Brooks, they’ll be extremely raw.

Pass on UNC

UNC promises to be very entertaining next season, but their lack of experience should scare bettors straight. It’s extremely rare to see such a young team go the distance come tournament time, and too many of college basketball’s blue bloods project to be title contenders in 2021.

Those programs will feature more experience and likely better guard play than the Tar Heels, and some won’t have to deal with a conference schedule as demanding as North Carolina’s.

If you’re looking to grab March Madness futures a year out, stay away from the Tar Heels.

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