Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, second from left, and Corey Kispert shake hands in the closing moments of Gonzaga’s 76-58 win over Pacific in an NCAA college basketball game in Stockton, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
- Gonzaga opened as the +900 favorite to win the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
- Baylor, which beat Gonzaga in the 2021 title game, are in a group at +1200 as the second-betting choice
- Michigan and Florida State also opened at odds of +1200
Barely past the heartbreak of their 86-70 loss to the Baylor Bears in the championship game of March Madness, the Gonzaga Bulldogs didn’t have to wait long for reaffirmation.
The opening line is out for the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball championship and it’s the Zags who are the +900 chalk to win it all.
Gonzaga went 31-1 this season, coming up one win shy of their first NCAA title and becoming the first unbeaten NCAA champions since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.
The title-winning Bears (28-2) are in a group of three schools at +1200. The Michigan Wolverines and Florida State Seminoles are also at +1200.
The Houston Cougars and UCLA Bruins, losing semifinalists in the Final Four, both open at odds of +2000.
2022 NCAA Tournament Odds
Odds as of April 6th at DraftKings.
The 2021-22 NCAA men’s basketball season gets underway in November. The championship game will be held on the first Monday in April 2022.
Gonzaga a Consistent Presence
Bulldogs coach Mark Few has averaged 28 wins per year over the past the 22 years. His winning percentage of 83.4% leads active coaches.
31-1, an incredible season for Gonzaga 👏#NationalChampionship #UnitedWeZag pic.twitter.com/zVXXmCkmbG
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 6, 2021
Drew Timme will be the heavy Wooden Award favorite if he doesn’t opt into the NBA Draft. Andrew Nembhard should also return. Anton Watson, Julian Strawther and Dominick Harris will step into more prominent roles.
Incoming five-star guard Hunter Sallis has already committed to the Zags and they’re expected to land Chet Holmgren, the nation’s top high-school prospect. As well, Gonzaga is favored to gain North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler.
2021 Masters Odds Tracker
Seminoles Stepping Closer
Florida State, and not the traditional bluebloods of Duke, North Carolina or Virginia, was the best team in the rugged ACC last season. The Seminoles have made it to the second weekend of the past three NCAA Tournaments.
This season wasn’t like any other, it’s one we will remember for years to come.#NewBlood pic.twitter.com/76MWImW2zM
— Florida State Men’s Basketball (@FSUHoops) April 1, 2021
Coach Leonard Hamilton has his team ready to go every season. The Noles will add Houston transfer Caleb Mills, the preseason AAC Player of the Year last season, as well as freshmen Matthew Cleveland and Jalen Warley to a group that will include Anthony Polite, Balsa Koprivica, and Raiquan Gray, if the latter doesn’t opt into the NBA Draft.
Bruin Up Another Run
UCLA wasn’t a one-off this season as much as the Bruins were ahead of the curve. Unless Johnny Juzang opts to enter the NBA Draft, UCLA coach Mick Cronin figures to have every vital piece of his Final Four squad back in action next season.
These Bruins certainly had more than just one shining moment.#GoBruins | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/EyMLsxXB8Y
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) April 6, 2021
A healthy return from Chris Smith and the addition of five-star wing Peyton Watson will only make the Bruins that much stronger.
A Bears Pair?
Does it make sense to think Baylor, a team that will lose four of five starters, could emulate that 2007-08 Florida Gators and wear back-to-back March Madness crowns?
Probably not. Then again, Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer, and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua were all impressive off the bench for the champs.
Baylor is the 5th school all-time to win both their Final Four games by more than 15 points, joining 2018 Villanova, 1968 UCLA, 1960 Ohio State and 1952 Kansas. pic.twitter.com/gYRxkEnBoP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 6, 2021
Kendall Brown and Langston Love are incoming five-star recruits. And expect Baylor to pursue guard help via the transfer portal.
The Bears won’t be a perennial top-five in the rankings, but they’ll be part of the discussion.
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.