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Duke 2020 NCAA Tournament Favorites After Landing #1 Recruiting Class Again

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in College Basketball

Apr 25, 2019 · 1:50 PM PDT

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski shaking hands with Michigan coach Jon Beilein.
Can Coach K lead the Blue Devils to a title in 2020? Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley ( (Wikimedia Commons)[CC License].
  • The Duke Blue Devils are currently a +600 favorite to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament
  • Villanova at 14/1 could be offering good value
  • Chris Beard and Texas Tech will have to rebuild, but they’ve proven capable of rebuilding on the fly

The Duke Blue Devils and head coach Mike Krzyzewski have put together another impressive recruiting class. Coming off a season where they fell way short of expectations, are the Blue Devils worth a bet to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament or is it too soon to back Duke?

2020 March Madness Odds

Team Odds
Duke +600
Kentucky +750
Virginia +750
Michigan State +800
Michigan +1400
Gonzaga +1600
North Carolina +1400
Villanova +1400
Arizona +2200
Kansas +2000
Louisville +2200
Oregon +2500
Auburn +3000
Marquette +3000
Mississippi State +3000
Tennessee +3000
Texas Tech +3000
Florida State +4000
Houston +4000
Texas +4000

Duke Favored Following Top-Ranked Recruiting Class

Surprise, surprise: the Duke Blue Devils have recruited another No. 1 class. This year’s team includes Cassius Stanley, a Top 30 prospect who will join Vernon Carey Jr., who was fifth on ESPN’s Top 100 players, Matthew Hurt, who was No. 10 and Wendell Moore, who was No. 21.

There’s no question that the Blue Devils are loaded with talent. That’s why the oddsmakers have made them the favorites. The question everyone will have is whether talent alone can lead them to an NCAA Tournament title. We saw it this year when they had three future NBA Draft lottery picks. They nearly lost to UCF in the NCAA Tournament and did lose to Michigan State.

Will this team have better chemistry? The return of point guard Tre Jones is a big boost but we probably won’t fully know this answer until next March.

Pass On Duke For Now

When you track Duke’s odds from last year, it doesn’t make sense to bet them at this point. They were the heavy favorite all season long as the Zion Williamson hype train had the oddsmakers offering up peanuts for a Blue Devils national title. You’re better off waiting to see how things play out before making a decision this early.

Villanova Worth A Look?

If we’re looking at bets this far out, I need at least more than 10/1 to become interested. That crosses Duke, Kentucky, Virginia and Michigan State off my list. One team that I do like is Villanova, who is up on the board at 14/1.

The Wildcats took a step back last season after losing their top four scorers. Their No. 30 KenPom.com rating was their worst since 2013. They’ll lack experience next year as three juniors will be captains but they’re quite talented.

We’re going to see players like Collin Gillespie, Sadiq Bey, Jermaine Samuels and Dhamir Cosby-Rountree improve and coach Jay Wright added a Top 5 recruiting class. Two of those players – Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Bryan Antoine – are five-star players. This will be a dangerous team.

Texas Tech Worth A Flier

The Red Raiders have been overlooked for the last two season and it looks like we can add 2019-20 to the collection. This is a team that went to the Elite Eight two years ago, played in the National Championship last season and are now at +3000 to win it all.

Yes, Jarrett Culver will be gone and Tariq Owens and Matt Moore are finished at the school as well, but do you really want to bet against Chris Beard these days? Remember that Texas Tech also lost five of their top seven players after the Elite Eight in 2018 and they were more than fine. He deserves the benefit of the doubt.

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