The men’s Iowa basketball team is barely done with this past season, but they have already been given 50-1 odds to win next year’s national championship.
It’s apparently never too early to begin looking forward to next year. With the 2019 NCAA Tournament now finished after Virginia beat Texas Tech last night, odds to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament have already been released, and the Iowa basketball team is getting 50-1 odds, which would give them the 19th best chance according to Las Vegas.
After a hot start this season, the men’s basketball season in the Big Ten conference could be described as inconsistent at best, but they showed what they are capable of in this year’s tournament after beating a strong Cincinnati Bearcats team before taking the #2 seeded Tennessee Volunteers to overtime after mounting a record-tying comeback to put the game to extra time.
Next year’s team on paper looks to be pretty good. As of right now, the Iowa basketball team is losing just one starter from an offense that ranked 15th in the nation according to KenPom, and they are losing just two others from their top eight scorers. Senior do-it-all forward is graduating after five years in Iowa City and reserve guard Maishe Dailey will be transferring.
The loss of Cook and Baer are big losses, but Fran McCaffery did a great job of stacking the cupboard so to speak. Next year’s Hawks bring in five reinforcements that figure to make this team instantly better.
Gone is Tyler Cook, but in his place could be 6’11” versatile forward Jack Nunge, 6’8” Cordell Pemsl or even point-forward incoming four-star recruit Patrick McCaffery. Both Nunge and Pemsl have a wealth of experience in D-1 basketball and Patrick McCaffery’s potential is on par with Joe Wieskamp’s.
Whoever doesn’t take over Cook’s starting role will likely be handling the 6th man off the bench duties that Baer filled so perfectly the last few seasons with the Iowa basketball team, and don’t forget that there are two guards that we should not be sleeping on.
Point guard Joe Toussaint gives the Iowa basketball team a dynamic attacking ball handler they haven’t had in years and CJ Fredrick is another assassin from the three-point line.
With four returning starters and a taste of NCAA Tournament life, this team could be poised to make a run next year.
Here’s the full list of odds (first reported by Rob Howe of Hawkeye Nation):
19th best odds might even be a little low if we’re being honest here.
The question really boils down to, can this team handle the high expectations and can they avoid the trademark Fran February fade?