NCAA Tournament

Virginia just won the NCAA hoops title. Who has the best odds to win it in 2020?

Virginia polished off its journey from becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed one year ago to capturing the program’s first men’s basketball national title with an overtime victory over Texas Tech on Monday in Minneapolis.

As the Cavaliers celebrated, along with fans of the ‘Hoos, Las Vegas was putting together odds for teams to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

While the odds will fluctuate as underclassmen declare for June’s NBA Draft, forgoing their remaining college eligibility, Vegas has given everyone a starting point.

Virginia, for example, is likely to lose star sophomore De’Andre Hunter, who is projected as a lottery pick, and sharpshooting Ty Jerome after this tournament run. But for now, the Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas favors UVA to repeat as champion next season.

Virginia is listed with 5-1 odds, while Duke and Kentucky are next at 8-1. This year’s national runner-up, Texas Tech, opened with 30-1 odds along with conference-mate and perennial Big 12 power Kansas.

The Blue Devils featured a stacked freshman class this season, but Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish are all likely to leave as lottery picks in June. Williamson and Barrett are projected, along with Murray State star Ja Morant, as the top three picks.

The Red Raiders reached the program’s first Final Four and championship game, and had a shot at the end of regulation to win the title, despite 200-1 longshot odds in November.

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Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.