The 2023 NCAAB season came to an end last month with the UConn Huskies crowned as the champions for just the fifth time in 25 years to establish themselves as one of the most elite programs in men's college basketball.
It was a dominant showing in the NCAA tournament with six double-digit victories en route to their title, which culminated in a 76-59 win over San Diego State in the final that saw them cut down the nets.
Next season there will once again be huge competition for the championship, with several teams looking to get to the mountain top while the Huskies look to keep their place and go back-to-back for the first time ever.
We'll take a look at the favorites to be crowned champions to see if we can earn you some extra value and cash on your bets with our best free NCAAB picks.
|NCAAB Futures 2024|
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NCAAB National Championship Favorites
Below you’ll find a list of the teams favored to win in the NCAAB national championship in 2024.
Duke Blue Devils - (+1100)
When in doubt, it’s Duke. The Blue Devils were always destined to struggle in 2022-23 after losing four of their top players in the first round of the NBA Draft including top pick Paolo Banchero. They also lost long-time coach Mike Krzyzewski which would have made that transition even more difficult.
But his replacement Scheyer appeared to finally get to grips with the team in the second half of the season, where the Blue Devils won 10 of their final 11 games including their upstart run to the ACC Tournament championship. Despite likely losing at least three players to the NBA Draft, including leading scorer Kyle Filipowski, Duke has a slew of five-star freshman recruits coming in and could return rising-senior Jeremy Roach, along with others from its rotation.
The Blue Devils will also undoubtedly be active in the transfer portal since there are fewer questions about the program given Scheyer’s successful first season. Duke hasn’t won it all since 2015, and likely won't again in 2024 but the odds have them as the favorites. Avoid this bet unless you really fancy them.
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Kansas Jayhawks - (+1400)
Despite losing its top-two scorers to the NBA last year, Kansas won the Big 12 and earned a No. 1 seed for the second straight season. Coach Bill Self’s hospitalization undoubtedly affected the Jayhawks in their stunning 72-71 loss to Arkansas in the second round where they were outscored 38-25 over the final 15-plus minutes.
Self is expected to return at full strength this season and the Jayhawks will undoubtedly be formidable again, especially if leading scorer and conference player of the year Jalen Wilson returns for his senior season.
At +1400 they are great value considering their form over the last two seasons and once we get to the business end of the season it would be a surprise if they weren't considered one of the frontrunners for the championship.
Kentucky Wildcats - (+1800)
After being eliminated in the first round in 2022, the Wildcats opened the 2023 season going 10-6 and the fans were in meltdown. But Calipari and co. righted the ship, closing the season with 11 wins over their final 15 regular-season games then the program’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2019.
Kentucky will lose 2022 National Player of the Year and 2023 leading scorer Oscar Tshiebwe to the NBA Draft but like many others should be active in the transfer portal given that’s where it landed Tshiebwe from West Virginia in 2021.
There are concerns about Calipari’s post-season coaching ability, and while Kentucky will no doubt be in the running it seems like a stretch to expect them to go all the way at this point.
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UConn Huskies - (+1400)
Not only did the Huskies dominate through most of the regular season and NCAA Tournament, but there’s a chance much of their roster will return intact and that makes them amazing value.
Rising junior guard Jordan Hawkins is likely to declare for the NBA Draft, but forward Adama Sanogo, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, still has a season of eligibility, as does guard and third-leading scorer Tristen Newton, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UConn’s defensive length and rebounding, plus its variety of scoring, was a big part of its postseason dominance.
The Huskies have never gone beyond the second round the year after winning it, but this will be the strongest roster they'd had in that scenario and should they break that hurdle as expected then it will be hard for anyone to stop them going all the way.
North Carolina Tar Heels (+2000)
The Tar Heels had a season to forget in 2022-23. North Carolina muddled through a season-long malaise and didn't even make it to the post-season despite being among the favorites in pre-season.
Hubert Davis will have another star-studded lineup to roll out in 2023-24, led by forward and UNC all-time leading rebounder Armando Bacot, who will take advantage of his COVID-19 eligibility year. Bacot will likely join guard R.J. Davis to lead the Heels, who will lose outgoing senior Leaky Black and Caleb Love in the transfer portal.
UNC will no doubt be active in the transfer portal, and the roster is seasoned — it was 20 minutes from a championship in 2022, leading Kansas by 15 — which means there’s a strong possibility that they bounce back and look to go all the way. At this price, they're a very intriguing option.