Virginia Made Co-Favorites to Repeat As 2020 NCAA Champion
The Virginia Cavaliers have won the NCAA Tournament, earning complete redemption after last year's debacle.
The Cavaliers defeated Texas Tech and are now the men's college basketball champions, but what about next year?
Virginia currently has the best odds to repeat their championship run in early March Madness betting lines, however, they're not the only ones. Kentucky is also tied for co-favorites, as both teams are currently +700 to win next year's Big Dance.
Core of Cavaliers
It's uncertain whether or not Virginia will still have their star trio when the season picks up again in late 2019.
Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy are both juniors, as it does seem likely both will return. Guy's status is probably more uncertain of the two, as Jerome will more than likely stay for one more season.
Guy's decision may come down to his NBA Draft stock, as he was recently engaged and could elect to go after the money early.
De'Andre Hunter is probably the biggest question, as he has the highest NBA Draft stock of any Virginia Cavaliers player.
Currently, Hunter is projected to go in the top ten of the draft.
His stock can rise or fall in the coming weeks but after his championship performance, it'll be hard to see his stock drop at all.
If Hunter decides to leave school early, then in all likelihood Jay Huff will see a bunch of court time next year.
Huff is listed at 7-foot-1 and currently the tallest player on Bennett's team. Huff was ranked within the top 100 coming out of high school in his respected class.
An 'under-the-radar' name to keep an eye on for Tony Bennett's crew is junior Mamadi Diakite.
The Guinea native was a big reason why the Cavaliers allowed the fewest points per game in the country.
It's likely he will return for his senior season and be one of the more feared defensive players in the nation.
It seems like almost every year John Calipari's team has a chance to win it all.
With a (+700) chance to win next year's tournament, Kentucky fans have a case.
There will always be the threat of one-and-done players at Kentucky, meaning Calipari has to reload a new starting lineup almost every year.
That might not actually be the case this year. P.J. Washington may declare for the NBA Draft, but his odds of returning are actually pretty good.
Washington was injured late this season, as his current NBA Draft stock status is just within the top 25.
If Washington feels like he can be drafted higher and make more money, he will stay.
However, if Washington feels that his injury was a setback and he wants to be more cautious then he'll enter.
Tyler Herro is actually projected to be taken before Washington in the NBA Draft as of right now, so he's another player Kentucky fans will want to keep an eye on.
Reid Travis will definitely not return for Kentucky, as he will graduate after completing his senior season.
Our season wouldn’t have been near what it was without @2ReidTravis2. He came here to play with the best and compete against the best. In the process he became a better player and we became one of those teams.— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) April 8, 2019
Thank you, @2ReidTravis2! pic.twitter.com/vH0LRsu3Ah
Currently, Kentucky has nine players who were ranked in the 2017 or 2018 top 100 high school players in their respected classes.
They're all underclassmen, meaning Calipari will see almost all of his team return.
Despite the uncertain rosters moving forward for both Virginia and Kentucky, it does seem both schools have the best chances of winning next year if most of their roster returns.
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