The 2021 Men's Basketball Championship will likely be played within the state of Indiana, rather than across the nation, in an effort to reduce travel. And it is also likely that there will be (at best) sparse attendance at the arenas. So, what we've come to love about March Madness -- the enthusiasm of the fans, the music of the bands, the cheerleaders -- will be absent. But that doesn't mean we can't have another futures prediction.
Faithful followers have come to learn that our Futures predictions are the best in the business. Let's review some highlights just in the past few years. In College Basketball, we cashed Virginia as our Preseason Futures wager (at 22-1 odds) to win the 2019 Title. Also in 2019, we cashed our Futures wager on the Washington Nationals in Baseball, at 18-1 odds. This past season we followed up the Nationals with our Preseason Futures pick on the Dodgers, at 4-1 odds. And that made it three winning MLB Futures in four seasons, as we had Houston, at 10-1 odds, in 2017. In hockey, we delivered with the Tampa Bay Lightning this past season, at 7-1 odds. And we cashed the Spurs (14-1, 2014), Warriors (5-1, 2016), and Warriors again (-160, 2018) in the NBA. This Football season, we didn't have a pick in College Football, but we currently have the New Orleans Saints (at 10-1 odds) to win the Super Bowl.
So, who is our pick to win the 2021 Men's NCAA Basketball Championship? We're going to go with a university which has never won a basketball championship (at least by its men, as the Lady Bears have won three titles): Baylor. The Bears' odds to win the 2021 Men's Championship are currently 12-1.
The Bears last made the Final Four over 70 years ago (1950), and have reached the Title game just once (1948). But this should be their breakthrough season under veteran coach Scott Drew, who has already won over 350 games at just 50 years of age.
The Bears finished last season at 26-4, and spent five weeks ranked #1 in the country. They lost a couple of key players from last season, in center Freddie Gillespie and guard Devonte Bandoo, and Tristan Clark decided to retire after sustaining a knee injury in his sophomore season. But there's a wealth of talent in Waco. In the backcourt, the Bears will be led by Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Donavan Mitchell. Transfer Adam Flager will come off the bench, as the sixth man. In the frontcourt, Baylor will have Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua and Mark Vital.
Take Baylor to win the 2021 Men's NCAA Basketball Championship at 12-1 odds. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie.