Tread Lightly with Kentucky
Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 campaign, putting with a 30-7 record en route to an Elite Eight berth before falling to Auburn in overtime. No doubt head coach John Calipari will have the Wildcats playing in a high level, but he’ll have to enter the season with rather a different appearance. Four of Kentucky’s starting five will be very likely to graduate or be drafted in the NBA since Reid Travis is a senior and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will likely be going pro.
All isn’t lost, though, as the Wildcats have done a fantastic job recruitment for the upcoming season, securing two 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans, shooting guard Tyrese Maxey and small forward Khalil Whitney. I expect sophomores Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery to lead the fee and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their new look, I’d be hesitant to lay a bet on this club in +500 at this stage.
Kansas May be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had a very interesting 2018-19, revealing flashes of brilliance along with being ranked in the top five in the AP survey for eight months, including two weeks at the top spot. Overall, the Jayhawks ended the year with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn from the Round of 32. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team as it came to home and away splits, going a perfect 16-0 in Allen Fieldhouse but only 3-8 in true road games — quite confusing results.
The Jayhawks needed to battle losing guard Lagerald Vick for its season in early February. He’s a senior and won’t be back next year. Additionally, junior centre Udoka Azubuike played with only nine games . However, Kansas, despite those big holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, nevertheless needed a Round of 32 appearance. The Jayhawks should be feisty this upcoming season as I don’t expect Azubuike to be drafted and Vick are their only loss, so chances of +2000 provide decent value.