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Gonzaga’s 2022 NCAA Tournament Championship Odds Shorten to +700 After Commitment From #1 Recruit Chet Holmgren

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Basketball

Apr 19, 2021 · 12:15 PM PDT

Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren has committed to play at Gonzaga (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • Gonzaga’s odds to win the 2022 NCAA basketball title shortened to +700 from +900 after the Bulldogs landed Chet Holmgren, the nation’s #1-rated high school recruit
  • He’s the first #1-rated player to sign with the Zags in program history
  • See updated odds to win a National Championship during March Madness next season below

In a prime example of the best getting better, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are adding Chet Holmgren, the nation’s #1 high school basketball recruit, to what was the nation’s #1 team all season long until the NCAA Tournament championship game.

During the 2020-21 season, Gonzaga didn’t lose until being defeated by Baylor in the final game of March Madness. The Bulldogs also didn’t lose out on Holmgren, who was also considering Michigan, Ohio State and Minnesota.

It’s the first time the top-rated recruit has ever chosen the Zags, and oddsmakers believe it makes a difference. Gonzaga’s chances of winning the 2021-22 title shortened from +900 to +700 in the NCAA Tournament championship odds.

2022 NCAA Tournament National Championship Odds

School Odds at DraftKings
Gonzaga +700
Villanova +900
Michigan +1200
Purdue +1300
UCLA +1300

Odds as of April 19th

Holmgren a Unique Talent

A center, this season saw Holmgren leading Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis to a fourth straight state championship. Holmgren displays a unique blend of talents on the basketball court. Last season, he was named Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American.

A 7-foot-1 behemoth with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, Holmgren is a phenomenal shot blocker and his defensive presence is significant. With the ball, Holmgren’s offensive instincts on the inside are what would be expected from someone his size. He’s a physical mismatch.

However, what makes Holmgren special is that he can handle the ball like a point guard and knock down threes like a shooting guard. As a senior, he shot 80% from the field.

Holmgren finished the season averaging 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.7 blocks. His game has been compared in style to Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis. It’s anticipated that he’ll be the first player chosen in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Gonzaga Will Be Deep Again

The Bulldogs were already listed as the favorites to win next season’s championship in the 2021-22 NCAA Tournament opening odds.  Gonzaga currently owns the longest active streak of March Madness Sweet 16 appearances. They gone to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament every year since 2014.

Zags star Drew  Timme will be the heavy Wooden Award favorite if he doesn’t opt into the NBA Draft. Andrew Nembhard is also expected to be back. Anton Watson, Julian Strawther and Dominick Harris will step into more prominent roles.

Prior to Holmgren’s decision, five-star point guard Hunter Sallis, the nation’s #3-rated high school recruit, had already committed to the Bulldogs. Forwards Kaden Perry and Ben Gregg are other top-100 recruits who’ve opted for Gonzaga. Fanbo Zeng, rated #33 in the class of 2022, returned to China to finish high school early and is expected to early enroll at Gonzaga in the fall.

The Zags have won at least 30 games in each of the past five seasons. All that’s missing from the school’s resume as a college basketball power is an NCAA title.

The arrival of Holmgren figures to be the final piece of the puzzle to make that happen. Don’t wait too long to get action on the Zags. Those odds are only going to shorten.

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