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NCAA Basketball Betting
The 2019-2020 college basketball season began on November 5, 2019 and ended on March 12, 2020 without crowning a national champion. For the first time since 1939 when the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was first contested there was no March Madness. College basketball and just about every other sporting event was canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For one more year the Virginia Cavaliers will be national champions. They were a heavy underdog to repeat this season, but they were going dancing despite not completing the ACC Tournament. The Cavs ended their season with a record of 23-7.
Much like college football prior to the playoff system and BCS, the sports’ national champion was decided by the pollsters. It wasn’t uncommon in those days to have at least two schools lay claim to being the champ. If you want to go that route there are a few teams that could say they are 2020 National Champions. The Kansas Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in the AP poll over the final three weeks of the season. They beat then No. 1 Baylor on Feb. 22 as part of their season-ending 16-game winning streak. KU ended the season with a 28-3 record.
Gonzaga has a legitimate argument to be the 2020 champs. The Zags won the most games in D-I going 31-2 taking the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles. They also surpassed Kansas for No. 1 in NET Ranking. It’s also hard to use the WCC excuse. Six of the 10 league members won at least 20 games this season and three were projected to make the NCAA Tournament.
Folks up in Madison will chime in about their Wisconsin Badgers. According to Sagarin Ratings the Big Ten was the toughest conference in 2019-20 and Bucky had the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament, ergo they should be national champs. Those same folks happen to overlook the fact that the Badgers finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten lead and also lost 10 games.
People can scream on social media all they want, make trophies, and even hang banners. There isn’t going to be a national champion crowned for the 2019-20 season. We’ll have to wait until the spring of 2021 when the Final Four is scheduled to take place inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, to find out the next champion of college basketball.
College basketball’s first major tournament took place in 1938. Then, the National Invitational Tournament brought six of the best teams from around the country to Madison Square Garden to compete for an unofficial national championship. Temple won that very first competition, and the following year the NCAA decided to get it on the action.
For the next two decades, the NCAA and NIT tournaments were on the same level in terms of prestige and quality of teams. However, from 1960 to the present day, the tournament that teams care about is the one hosted by the NCAA.
The tournament field continues to expand, and barring any changes to the current format there will be 68 teams vying to win the national championship in 2021. Being a No. 1 seed gives a team a huge advantage, and ten of the last 13 national champions entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed.
There is a select few that continually turn out top teams and championship contenders. There is no crystal ball to peer ahead 12 months, but you can certainly expect bluebloods like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State to be among the field next season. Modern blueblood Gonzaga has danced every year since 1999 and doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Every year brings us a few surprises, both good and bad depending on what side you’re on. North Carolina, a tournament mainstay, finished tied for last in the ACC regular season standings in 2019-20 and went 14-19 overall. The Heels would have missed the tournament for only the second time under Roy Williams.
Dayton was one of college basketball’s best stories in 2019-20. The Flyers were unranked at the start of the season and didn’t enter the AP poll until Week 5. They kept winning and kept climbing. The Flyers ended the season with a D-I high 20 consecutive victories and a No. 3 ranking. They were also projected to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Basketball Teams
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