CNBNewsnet (September 22, 2019)--The first game of the season is officially set to tip off on Tuesday November 5th, but the unofficial opening to the 2019-20 NCAA basketball season comes when teams hit their home court for Midnight Madness. A tradition started in 1971 by the Maryland Terrapins, the first official practice of the season brings a celebration of players, fans and players together in preparation for the road to Atlanta and the 2020 Final Four.
Although many brackets will be busted come March Madness and predicting how well teams will fare throughout the season is tough to do with over a month before the first jump ball of the season, experts have already put their thoughts out on who are the top teams to watch this upcoming season. With the excitement that Zion Williamson, JaMorant and RJ Barrett brought to the NCAA last season, this year has plenty of players and teams to keep an eye on as they compete for a ticket to the Big Dance.
For the last few years the spotlight has been pointed towards the freshmen class, which has included Williamson, Deandre Ayton, Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Karl-Anthony Towns as the first overall pick in the NBA Draft for their respective classes. This year appears to be no different as Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Isaiah Stewart and Cole Anthony lead the way for the 2019-20 season. Heading into the season the Memphis Tigers, who have the nation’s number one recruiting class, including number one ranked Wiseman and number fifteen ranked Precious Achiuwa among their group of incoming players, last appeared in the Final Four Tournament in 2014.
Whereas Memphis is banking on their incoming group of talented players, the preseason favorite, Michigan State Spartans, are hoping that their more established group of players will take them to the promise land. The last time the Spartans cut down the NCAA Championship nets was twenty years ago and have their wagon hitched to senior guards Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and centre Nick Ward, to lead them to their third NCAA title. While Coach Izzo will have a few freshmen of his own to call upon, the veteran heavy roster is looking to advance to, and hopefully past, the Final Four for the second straight year.
One of the biggest basketball events of the year, March Madness offers nearly a month of betting opportunities with seven rounds of single elimination games. Bet365 Canada provides a great option for those who are looking to place bets on any of the 68 teams in the field. Aside from the Spartans, look for the Duke Blue Devils, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinal and Kansas Jayhawks to be among the top five favorites to make a lengthy run come tournament time.
For those who are fans of the bracket, you know that there is always an underdog that makes a surprise tournament run. During the 2018 tournament, the University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers stunned the sports betting world as the 16 seed upended the top ranked Virginia Cavaliers and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers busted brackets by making the semi-finals as an 11 seed.
Whether you choose to wager on the entire bracket or place a bet in a more traditional way such as the money line, against the spread, over/under or prop betting, the NCAA Basketball season offers hoops fans a variety of options to choose from when they are looking to add a bit of financial excitement to the game.
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