Early 2021 Marc Madness Expert Analysis & Predictions

Early 2021 Marc Madness Expert Analysis & Predictions

Written by on November 30, 2020

The 2020-21 NCAA college basketball season may only be a week old, but some eye-opening events have already taken place that may or may not have altered the long-range outlook for several national championship hopeful ballclubs and college basketball betting enthusiasts everywhere. With that thought in mind, it’s time for some really early March Madness predictions, though again, these predictions are subject to change as we move further into the new campaign. That said, let’s get right to it so you can start planning ahead and bet on their College Basketball odds.

Really Early 2020-21 March Madness Predictions | NCAAB Betting

Gonzaga (2-0) 

The Bulldogs have completely lived up to their status as the preseason national No. 1 by man-handling No. 6 Kansas 02-90 in their regular season opener on Nov. 26 before backing that victory up with an even more emphatic 90-67 smackdown win over Auburn one day later. Gonzaga is putting up an insane 96.0 points per game (21st) while allowing 78.5 points per contest defensively (199th). 

6-10 sophomore forward Drew Timme is averaging 26.5 points per game while 6-7 senior forward Corey Kispert has put up 24.0 points per contest. Five-star freshman star Jalen Suggs is averaging an impressive 18.0 points per contest and the Bulldogs enter the new week as one of the most balanced and efficient offensive teams in the country by shooting a blistering 58.5 percent from the field (6th). Right now, Gonzaga has the look of a Final Four team at the very least! 

Villanova (2-1)

The third-ranked Wildcats opened their 2020-21 campaign with a solid 76-67 win over Boston College on Nov. 25 before backing that victory up by beating No. 18 Arizona State 83-74 in their second game the following day. Villanova did get upset by an unranked Virginia Tech squad 81-73 on Saturday, but the Cats did take that affair to overtime and this is a team I expect to be a lot better as the season moves forward and the mostly young team starts to find its new identity. The Wildcats are averaging 77.3 points per game while allowing 74.0 points per contest defensively. 

While preseason All-American Collin Gillespie is averaging 17.0 points per game, the senior is shooting a tepid 42.1 percent from the field. The good news is that Villanova has found out that 6-9 sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is a real star in the making. The former five-star recruit is averaging 20.0 points per game while putting up a stellar 28 points against Arizona State. Robinson-Earl is shooting 54.3 percent from the field while averaging 9.0 rebounds per contest. I love what I’ve seen out of junior Caleb Daniels with the Tulane transfer averaging a fantastic 15.0 points per game while shooting a blistering 53.1 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point distance. Despite their recent loss, I like Villanova to reach the Elite Eight at the very least this coming season. 

Baylor (2-0)

While the second-ranked Bears had their season opener against Arizona State and a potential matchup against Villanova canceled following head coach Scott Drew’s positive COVID-19 test last Sunday. Baylor then canceled this Sunday’s scheduled matchup against Seton Hall. 

The Bears now are scheduled to open their season against Illinois in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 2 in Indianapolis.

“Baylor men’s basketball continues to explore scheduling options for the 2020-21 season and will announce any further details as soon as possible,” the school said.

Surprisingly, Baylor did make a last minute trip to Las Vegas over the weekend to take on Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday and Washington on Sunday. The good news is that, after all of their schedule changes, the Bears managed to win both contests by beating Louisiana 112-82 in their opener before backing that win up by taking out Washington 86-52 on Sunday. 6-3 junior guard Jared Butler is putting up 18.5 points per game while senior backcourt mate MaCio Teague is contributing 18.0 points per contest. 

Two other players are averaging double figures in scoring for a Bears team that is averaging a stunning 99.0 points per game (13th) while allowing just 67.0 points per contest defensively. Baylor is shooting a blistering 53.7 percent from the field an insane 50.0 percent from three-point distance. This coming week will be a real test as Baylor takes on No. 8 Illinois on Wednesday before squaring off against No. 1 Gonzaga on Saturday. Right now however, Baylor has the look of a Final Four team at the very least! 

Illinois (3-0)

Eighth-ranked Illinois is off to a perfect 3-0 start heading into the new week, but the Fighting Illini’ had a real fight on their hands in squeaking past Ohio University 77-75 on Friday. Illinois beat North Carolina A&T 122-60 in its opener on Nov. 25 before getting past Chicago State 97-38 the following day. However, Illinois struggled to put away the Bobcats on Friday. Still, it’s clear that five-star freshman recruit Ayo Dosunmu is a flat-out star as he’s averaging a stellar 25.7 points, 7.7 boards and 6.7 assists per game. Two other players average at least 15.0 points per game and two other average just over 9.0 points per contest. With its next two games against Baylor on Dec. 2, followed by a matchup against perennially-powerful Duke six days later, we’ll know a lot more about Illinois and how they’ll fare against elite opponents. Right now though, the Fighting Illini’ look like an Elite Eight participant. 

Kentucky (1-1)

As usual, John Calipari’s 10th-ranked Wildcats have as much, if not more talent, than any team in the country. That’s the good news. Still, Kentucky is very young and starts four freshmen right now, so we should see some growing pains until this team starts to find its identity, sometime around the start of the new year, I suspect. Kentucky throttled Morehead State 81-45 in its opener o Nov. 25 but suffered a stunning 76-64 loss against Richmond on Sunday. The Cats are shooting an uninspiring 45.8 percent from the field and ice-cold 23.1 percent from beyond the arc. Still, Kentucky looks rock-solid defensively in limiting the opposition to just 39.3 percent shooting. turnovers are an issue right now, but Kentucky has a pair of stars in senior Wake Forest transfer big man Olivier Sarr (12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds) and freshman swingman Brandon Boston jr. (17.5 ppg). Expect some growing pains before Kentucky gets it together later in the season. I’m thinking the Cats have Sweet 16 written all over them, but beyond that, it’s too early to tell what lies ahead for this very young ballclub. 

Iowa (2-0) 

The Hawkeyes are off to a 2-0 start after beating up on overmatched NC Central 97-67 in its opener on Nov. 25 before backing that win up with an even more convincing 103-76 spanking of Southern on Friday. Iowa has what many believe is the best player in all of college basketball in versatile 6-11 senior center Luka Garza and he’s lived up to that billing by averaging 33.5 points per game in two contests. Still, this is a team that I’m a bit worried about when they go up against opponents with size and superior athleticism. Iowa does have three other double-digit scorers, but we’ll know a lot more about this ballclub when they face North Carolina in Dec. 8 and No. 1 Gonzaga on Dec. 19. I’m penciling Iowa in as a Sweet 16 team – for now! 

Virginia (1-1)

Fourth-ranked Virginia spanked Towson 89-54 in its opener on Nov. 25, but the Cavaliers fell to San Francisco 61-60 on Friday. Only two players are averaging double figures in scoring but the Cavs are going to once again, be one of the very best defensive teams in the nation under head coach Tony Bennett as they currently allow just 57.5 points per game. Virginia’s stout defense will keep them in a lot of games, but if Virginia doesn’t find some better balance on offense, I just don’t see them getting past teams like Baylor, Gonzaga or Villanova for that matter. Right now, I’m going to pencil Virginia in for a Sweet Sixteen appearance at best. 

Duke (1-0)

Duke is loaded with elite talent and has arguably the greatest coach in all of college basketball right now. Still, like their counterparts in Kentucky, the Blue Devils are extremely young and will likely suffer some growing pains as they find their new identity. The Blue Devils got past Coppin State 81-71 in its opener on Saturday and five-star freshmen DK Steward (24.0 ppg) and Jalen Johnson (19.0 ppg, 19.0 rpg) are supremely talented. I like Duke to make a run to the Elite Eight at the very least, though this team could definitely challenge to win the 2021 national championship depending on how ‘mature’ they play much later in the season. 

Wisconsin (2-0)

The seventh-ranked Badgers are off to a perfect 2-0 start after beating Eastern Illinois 77-67 in its opener on Nov. 25 before routing Arkansas Pine Bluff 92-58 on Friday. While Wisconsin wasn’t challenged by either of their small school rivals, the Badgers do have a pair of scary big men in 6-foot-11 senior big may Nate Reuvers (16.0 ppg) and 6-foot-10 junior Micah Potter (14.0 ppg). Until further notice, I like Wisconsin to battle for a berth in the Elite Eight. 

Virginia Tech (3-0)

The Hokies enter the new week unranked, but that might not last long following their fantastic weekend. After beating Radford 77-62 in their opener on Nov. 25, Virginia Teach upset third-ranked Villanova 81-73 in overtime on Saturday before spanking South Florida 76-58 one day later. The Hokies are averaging 78.0 points per game while limiting the opposition to just 64.3 points per game defensively. Four players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by 6-9 junior transfer forward Keve Aluma (18.0 ppg). The Hokies are shooting a stellar 49.7 percent from the field (59th) and even more impressive 41.9 percent from beyond the arc (37th). Virginia Tech is limiting the opposition to just 40.1 percent shooting from the field and this is a team that has a nice mix of youth and experience. Once their ACC conference play gets underway with its Dec. 29 home date against Miami, we’ll know a lot more about the Hokies, but right now, this team looks like they can play with just about anyone and that makes them a pick to reach the Sweet Sixteen as it currently stands. 

Sweet 16 Teams

Right now, I’ve got at least two more teams looking like possible candidates to reach the Sweet 16 at the very least in North Carolina (1-0)

and Richmond (2-0).

Elite Eight

Three more teams look like they all have the potential to reach the Elite Eight in Houston (3-0), West Virginia (3-0) and Michigan State (2-0). 

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