We all had a thriller to watch in last night’s NCAA championship game, and now we have a whole summer full of shoeboxes full of cash to look forward to before the, ahem, student athletes lace them up again to prepare for another round of March Madness.
Texas Tech had a chance to win the title last night, but a 3–pointer from the corner was blocked at the end of regulation, sending the game to overtime as the Virginia Cavaliers prevailed 85-77.
The carnage in the college coaching ranks now commences, with Chris Mullin of St. John’s one of the first to fall. (Carnage in the NBA coaching ranks comes next, with Luke Walton not the only guy on the hot seat. Keep a close eyew on Brett Brown of the 76ers, whose fate we wrote about last weekend).
But back to college:
The odds for next season’s championship are out, and they look like this:
Kentucky +500 (5/1)
Duke +600 (6/1)
Virginia +650 (13/2)
Michigan State +800 (8/1)
Michigan +1200 (12/1)
North Carolina +1200 (12/1)
Gonzaga +1400 (14/1)
Villanova +1600 (16/1)
Kansas +2000 (20/1)
Oregon +2200 (22/1)
Louisville +2500 (25/1)
Arizona +2500 (25/1)
Mississippi State +3300 (33/1)
Auburn +3300 (33/1)
Tennessee +3300 (33/1)
Texas Tech +3300 (33/1)
Texas +3300 (33/1)
Florida State +6600 (66/1)
Wisconsin +6600 (66/1)
UCLA +10000 (100/1)
USC +10000 (100/1)
The Kentucky Wildcats are ranked No. 1 because of John Calipari’s “lifetime” contract extension, and his aplomb at making the most of the “one-and-done rule.”
The first two prospects from the class to earn UK scholarship offers were James Wiseman and DJ Jeffries, who both played on the Nike-league Team Penny squad and earned UK offers on the same day. Both players have now signed with Memphis, which hired their former Team Penny coach and mentor — Penny Hardaway — as its head coach last spring. Curiously, Memphis is not on the board for next season.
Duke is going to lose Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, but Mike Krzyzewski can change people’s minds with one single phone call … and there are coaches throughout the NCAA and the NBA who can attest to this face. Heck, there are folks out there who are convinced that Coach K will be leading LeBron and the Lakers next season.
Speaking of which, the Lakers’ disastrous season ends tonight with a home game against the Portland Trail Blazers, who were fortunate enough to land Enes Kanter after the New York Knicks released him.
The Lakers will be sitting out the playoffs again, but they sure as heck will be back in the hunt for Anthony Davis, who had a message for Pelicans fans as he got ready to play his final game in New Orleans:
AD rocking a shirt that says “That’s all, folks!” before NOLA's last game of the season
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) April 9, 2019
You never know, Coach K may be leading that bunch.
And if that is the case, Duke is not going to be 6-1 anymore. More like 66-1.