Gonzaga’s 2022 National Championship Odds Improve to +700 After Chet Holmgren Commits

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few on the Bulldogs sideline

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few watches from the bench during the first half of the championship game against Baylor in the men’s Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 5, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Gonzaga’s odds to win the 2022 NCAA Tournament improved from +900 to +700 when Chet Holmgren announced he will play for the Bulldogs
  • Holmgren, a 7-foot-1 center from Minnesota, is considered the top recruit in this year’s high-school class
  • A look at how Gonzaga shapes up for 2021-22 along with the odds for other national title contenders can be found below

Gonzaga landed the top recruit in the nation Monday and the Bulldogs’ odds to win the 2022 national championship immediately improved.

Chet Holmgren committed to Gonzaga, which lost to Baylor in the NCAA Tournament championship game two weeks ago to finish the season 31-1 and miss becoming the first undefeated team since Indiana in 1975-76.

The 7-foot-1 native of Minnesota is considered the likely first-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Gonzaga, already the favorite, saw its 2022 March Madness odds go from +900 to +700 moments after Holmgren announcement he was headed to Spokane.

2022 NCAA Tournament Championship Odds

Team Odds
Gonzaga +700
Villanova +900
Michigan +1200
Purdue +1300
UCLA +1300
Alabama +1400
Ohio State +1400
Texas +1400
Baylor +1700
Houston +1700
Duke +1800
Kansas +1800
Florida State +2000
Kentucky +2000
Louisville +2000
Maryland +2000
Virginia +2000
Virginia Tech +2000
West Virginia +2000
Michigan State +2500
Oklahoma +2500
USC +2500
Wisconsin +2500
Arkansas +3000
Creighton +3000
Illinois +3000
LSU +3000
Oregon +3000

Odds as of April 19 at DraftKings.

A Unique Talent

Though 7-1, Holmgren has the shooting and ball-handling skills of a guard. That is why every major program in the country recruited him out of Minnehaha Academy. But it was Mark Few who landed him.

Holmgren said he likes how Few takes the talent on hand then tweaks his system depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the roster.

This past season as a senior, Holmgren averaged 20.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.7 blocked shots while shooting an astounding 80% from the field. Minnehaha won the Class AAA state championship in each of his four seasons.

Holmgren chose Gonzaga over Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota, Memphis, Georgetown, and Maryland.

Holmgren is following in the footsteps of Jalen Suggs, who helped lead Gonzaga to the national final as a freshman decided Monday that he is entering the NBA Draft. Suggs is also from Minnesota and close friends with Holmgren.

2021 World Series Odds Tracker

Where Does Holmgren Fit?

Holmgren will obviously play a big role for Gonzaga, which loses forward Corey Kispert to graduation and Suggs and forward Joel Ayayi to the pros.

Forward Drew Timme and guard Andrew Nembhard are still deciding whether to stay in college or declare for the draft. If Timme comes back for his junior season, he and Holmgren would give Gonzaga undoubtedly the best pair of big men in college basketball.

The 6-foot-10 Timme averaged 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds this past season, both team-leading figures. KenPom.com ranked the sophomore as college basketball’s best player, ahead of National Player of the Year Luka Garza from Iowa.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga is expecting big things from rising junior forward Anton Watson, who averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 rebounds.

The Bulldogs believe five-star recruit Hunter Sallis from Omaha, Nebraska, can take Suggs’ place in the backcourt. If Nembhard returns for his junior season, that would solidify the point.

Thus, Gonzaga appears to be in strong position to win at least 30 games for a sixth straight season in 2021-22.

The Challengers

While Gonzaga is the favorite to win its first national title next season, the oddsmakers believe the Zags should have stiff competition from such teams as Villanova, Michigan, and UCLA.

Villanova’s hopes got a huge boost when star point guard Collin Gillespie took advantage of an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA and decided to return for a fifth season. Gillespie injured a knee late in the regular season, underwent surgery, and missed the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan has some restocking to do. However, coach Juwan Howard should have a major building block in rising sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, who is expected to return to Ann Arbor for at least one more season.

UCLA took Gonzaga to overtime in the national semifinals before Suggs hit a three-pointer from 40 feet at the buzzer for the win. The Bruins are keeping their fingers crossed that March breakout star Johnny Juzang comes back for his junior year. They should at least have scorer Jaime Jacquez Jr. and point guard Tyger Campbell in the lineup.

Yet with the addition of Holmgren, Gonzaga is clearly the number-one team on paper for the 2021-22 season.

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John Perrotto