Will Duke Cash in as NCAA Tournament Favorites?
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Now that Zion Williamson is back, the Duke Blue Devils are the oddsmakers’ easy favorites to cut down the nets in early April. One bookmaker has them at +200 (or 2-1) favorites, with other books ranging up to +240. Gonzaga have the next shortest odds at +600, with ACC rival Virginia third at +650.
Duke is the heaviest NCAA Tournament favorite since the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats’ squad that entered the tournament undefeated and at nearly-even money to win. John Calipari’s squad would remain unblemished all the way until the Final Four, 38-0 at that point, before Wisconsin pulled of the dramatic upset.
With the Blue Devils being such substantial favorites to win the national title, the money is beginning to pill in on them. It’s important to remember that all it takes is one bad game, with Williamson in foul trouble or cold shooting from the perimeter, and the coronation would be over.
That being said, a bit of unique history is on Duke’s side. The Final Four has been in Minneapolis two other times before, in 1992 and 2001, and Coach K’s squad was the last team standing both times. Where is this year’s Final Four? U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.