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NCAA 2018-19 Futures: Gonzaga now second choice to win title after beating Duke

Lorenzo Gahol 23 Nov 2018
  • Duke remain as the top choice despite suffering an early loss to Gonzaga
  • Gonzaga are now ranked second in the outright odds market
Rui Hachimura (credit: Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are now the second-favourites to win the US NCAA Men’s Division I basketball title this season after beating top seed Duke recently.

Zion Williamson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Led by Rui Hachimura (20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Brandon Clarke (17 point, 6 blocks), the Bulldogs stunned the Devils 89-87 in the final of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii on Wednesday. RJ Barrett paced Duke with 23 points while fellow 2019 NBA Draft lottery prospect Zion Williamson added 22 and 10 rebounds. Gonzaga improved to 6-0 while Duke dropped to 5-1.

The Bulldogs have overtaken Kansas and Kentucky in the latest outright odds market with bet365. They also dislodged Duke at the top spot in the latest rankings by ESPN and CBS Sports. Gonzaga are expected to do even better once Killian Tillie returns to action after fracturing his ankle in the offseason. The 6-foot-10 junior was the team’s second-leading scorer last season. At the moment, head coach Mark Few will rely on Hachimura, Clarke, Zach Norvell Jr and Josh Perkins to lead the Spokane-based university. Gonzaga have never won the NCAA crown, falling short against North Carolina in the 2017 final in Glendale, Arizona.

Despite their loss to Gonzaga, the Blue Devils remain the favourites to win their first NCAA crown since 2015 among the major bookmakers. Boasting of fantastic freshmen Barrett, Williamson and Cam Reddish, who are all expected to be taken in the top five of next year’s NBA draft, the Mike Krzyzewski-mentored side should have no problem returning to their winning ways.

Kansas (4-0) are currently ranked third in the outright odds market while Kentucky (4-1), who were crushed by Duke 118-84 in their opening game, occupy the fourth spot. The Jayhawks, featuring Lagerald Vick, Dedric Lawson and Udoka Azubuike, will next play Tennessee in the NIT Pre-Season final in Brooklyn on Friday night. As for the Wildcats, they have racked up four straight wins after their humiliating defeat to the Blue Devils. PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson and Reid Travis are expected to lead Kentucky against Tennessee State in the Ohio Valley Hardwood Showcase at the Rupp Arena on Friday.

Also considered as title contenders this season are Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and defending champion Villanova.




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NCAA 2018-19 Futures: Gonzaga now second choice to win title after beating Duke

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are now the second-favourites to win the US NCAA Men’s Division I basketball title this season after beating top seed Duke recently.

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