This college basketball season has been as wild as ever, with top-10 upsets happening seemingly every week as more and more contenders take hits to their resume. The national championship seems totally up for grabs.
The good news is all the parity in college basketball this season should make for one of the most interesting NCAA Tournament fields in recent memory. There’s still a few weeks of basketball to be played before the field is set, though.
So who are the current contenders for the national championship? FanDuel has released its updated odds to win it all, so let’s take a look inside.
Purdue survived an overtime contest last week and has now won seven straight contests, the third time this season the team has put together a seven-game winning streak. That’s the kind of consistency Purdue is capable of.
It starts with big man Zach Edey, who is averaging a double-double with 23.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. But the Boilermakers also have a very capable backcourt with three double-figure scorers to rely on. They’re dangerous all around.
The Huskies have ripped off 11 straight wins and have only lost twice this season. One of those losses was on the road at No. 5 Kansas, a loss that won’t hurt Connecticut in the slightest.
Right now the Huskies have five players averaging double-figure scoring, getting a well-rounded effort from a quality lineup. Connecticut rolls eight deep, with all eight of those players averaging at least 17 minutes per game.
After starting the season on a 14-game winning streak, Houston has found it at least a little bit more difficult in conference play, dropping three games. Still, the Cougars have every bit the makeup of a potential national championship contender.
Tennessee has a lot of veteran pieces and can hurt you any number of ways, but the focal point has been transfer Dalton Knecht. He’s been one of the nation’s best pure scorers, with much of Tennessee’s offense flowing through him.
But he’s far from the only wily veteran on the squad. Point guard Zakai Zeigler is a terrific defender, while Santiago Vescovi is a spot-up shooter. Tennessee has the pieces to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Arizona hasn’t put together as many long winning streaks as some of the other contenders with top national championship odds, but the Wildcats have been steady nonetheless. They currently lead the Pac-12 standings with an 8-3 conference mark.
North Carolina transfer Caleb Love has led the way, averaging 18.9 points per game. Meanwhile, big man Oumar Ballo is nearly averaging a double-double at 13.0 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Those two lead the way on a deep Wildcats squad.
The Tigers put together an 11-game winning streak in the middle of the season and have played well enough to be sharing the SEC lead currently. The remaining schedule is tough, though, with three games against ranked opponents and a few other tricky ones in there too.
Bigs have been the engine behind Auburn’s run, with Johni Broome averaging 16.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, while Jaylin Williams averages 13.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. They’re the only double-figure scorers, but Auburn makes up for it by going 10 deep on the bench.
After winning 10 straight, North Carolina has hit some setbacks in recent weeks, dropping two of its last three games. Sandwiched in there, though, was a win over No. 7 Duke. Clearly Carolina is a national championship contender when firing on all cylinders.
Consistency is the name of the game for the Tar Heels, who are relying heavily on guard RJ Davis and his 21.3 points per game. But any time you have a big man averaging a double-double like Armando Bacot (14.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG), you’re going to be in good shape. North Carolina is quite dangerous.
One of the most impressive things you can say about Alabama is that just about every single loss this year has been to a really high quality team. Of the seven losses, five came against ranked opponents and four came against top-10 opponents.
That makes for a battle-tested Alabama squad, led by guard Mark Sears. Sears is scoring 20.3 points per game right now, leading the way for the Crimson Tide. Alabama also goes reasonably deep on the bench.
Kansas lost only one game in the non-conference, to No. 4 Marquette. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks picked up three wins against ranked non-conference foes, including two against top-10 teams. That’s quality resume material.
Big man Hunter Dickinson is averaging a double-double with 18.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He has opened the floor for guard Kevin McCullar Jr., who is currently averaging 19.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.
After hitting a rough patch and losing three out of five games, Marquette has steadied itself and put together a nice little six-game winning streak that includes four road wins. The team trails Connecticut in the league standings but is making it a race, at least.
Shaka Smart‘s squad has some balanced scoring, with four double-figure scorers on the team. Guard Tyler Kolek leads the way with 15.1 points per game and an eye-popping 7.2 assists per game. That’s some quality distribution.
Other Odds to Win National Championship
+3000 – Duke
+3000 – Iowa State
+3000 – Wisconsin
+3500 – Kentucky
+3500 – Illinois
+4000 – Baylor
+4500 – BYU
+6000 – Creighton
+6000 – Michigan State
+6000 – Florida Atlantic
+7500 – South Carolina
+7500 – New Mexico
+7500 – Saint Mary’s
+7500 – Dayton
+9000 – Texas
+9000 – Texas Tech
+9000 – San Diego State
+10000 – Utah
+10000 – Colorado
+10000 – Clemson
+10000 – Texas A&M
+10000 – Mississippi State
+10000 – Florida
+10000 – Cincinnati
+10000 – TCU
+10000 – Oklahoma
+10000 – Northwestern
+10000 – Utah State
+10000 – Gonzaga
+10000 – Colorado State
+12000 – Virginia
+12000 – Oregon
+12000 – Ole Miss
+12000 – Nebraska
+12000 – Boise State
+12000 – Indiana State
+15000 – St. John’s
+15000 – Wake Forest
+15000 – Memphis
+20000 – Butler
+20000 – Villanova
+20000 – Washington State
+20000 – Nevada
+20000 – McNeese
The beauty of March Madness and the race to the national championship is that there are dozens of teams who can legitimately make a run at it all, as evidenced by the current odds available. Several traditional contenders are in the next group of teams after the ones we listed, including Duke, Baylor and Michigan State. In any case, the odds are a good snapshot at who might seriously contend for a national championship beginning next month.