The defending national champions find themselves behind seven other teams in the 2022-23 men’s college basketball national title odds.
Kansas scored its second national title under coach Bill Self in April with a stunning second-half comeback against North Carolina. The Jayhawks were down by 15 at halftime but cut UNC’s lead to eight before the first TV timeout of the second half. KU then got the game tied at 50-50 with more than 10 minutes to go and ended up beating the Tar Heels 72-69.
But the Jayhawks enter this season at +1600 at BetMGM to win back-to-back national titles because of the number of key contributors on that title team who are no longer on the roster. Big 12 Player of the Year and tournament MVP Ochai Agbaji was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Christian Braun was also selected in the draft. Big man David McCormack is also gone along with guard Remy Martin.
Jalen Wilson returns for the Jayhawks after averaging 11 points per game in 2021-22 along with Dajuan Harris after he played nearly 30 minutes per game a season ago. Kansas also picked up Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar in the transfer portal and signed Kansas high school player of the year Gradey Dick. He was the No. 28 player in the class of 2022 and a five-star recruit. McCullar averaged 10 points per game for the Red Raiders a season ago as Tech was third in the Big 12 and lost to Duke in the Sweet 16.
Dick was one of four key recruits that could see playing time for the Jayhawks this season. Fellow five-star recruit M.J. Rice was the No. 29 player in the country and centers Ruby Ejifor and Ernest Udeh were four-star recruits. They may have to play significant roles as Kansas replenishes its front court depth. The Jayhawks won the national title after playing four and five wings at times, especially if McCormack wasn’t on the floor.
The Jayhawks have the same national title odds as 2020-21 national champion Baylor and Texas is the No. 3 Big 12 team at +3000. Four teams open the season as co-favorites for the national title at +1000. Three of them are blue bloods in Kentucky, Gonzaga and North Carolina and they’re joined by Houston. The Cougars return a lot from a talented team that made the Elite Eight last season.