According to the Sporting News, the odds of USC winning the 2018 basketball national title are 80-to-1. UCLA isn’t much better off at 66-to-1. Arizona sits at 20-to-1, though I say the Wildcats’ odds should be better than that. Any team with generational 7-foot-1, 250 pound super frosh Deandre Ayton (this week’s SI Cover shot – USC’s Cheryl Miller also made it, right next to Wooden), and his talented, physical supporting cast, has at least a realistic shot.
But generally speaking, it’s the Villanova Wildcats (9/2 odds), not the ones from Arizona, who are expected to win their second hoops championship in three years. Villanova (30-4) won the Big East Conference title last night by beating Providence 76-66 in overtime.
According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, USC figures to get slotted in as a #10 seed against #7 Seton Hall in the Midwest Regional. Should the Trojans win that contest, USC would be projected to play #2 seed Duke. Such is life.
College basketball analyst Seth Davis labels USC as a “bubble” at-large team and he has the Trojans amongst the last 7 teams in. Davis also thinks ASU is the team most likely to miss the bubble shot depending on how things play out with games remaining to be contested today.
Update – Turns out ASU got in and USC didn’t. UCLA also landed a spot as one of the last four in, along with the Sun Devils. Baylor, Notre Dame and St. Mary’s were in USC’s same boat.