It’s hard to believe that 16 years have passed since Lute Olson was not only the head coach of the Arizona Wildcats, but also the one person most associated with that school’s men’s basketball program.

Olson’s teams made five NCAA Final Fours, won the championship in 1997, and finished second in 2001.

The team is now coached by Tommy Lloyd, whose 61 wins over his first two seasons are the most by any head coach in NCAA Division I history. Arizona went into the Pac-12 Tournament ranked sixth in the writers’ poll and seventh in the coaches’ poll. The Wildcats’ 24-7 record includes three losses to ranked teams, one of them a Pac-12 foe in Washington State (which also defeated Arizona at home). Arizona has also lost three games on the road to conference opponents Stanford, Oregon State, and Southern Cal.

We shall see how the Wildcats emerge from the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, especially if they have to play Washington State again.  

The Wildcats currently have odds of +1200 to win the national championship and +250 to make it to the Final Four. However, it has been 23 years since Arizona made it that far, so you would be bucking recent history by going that way with your wager.

Arizona went into the tournament as a No. 1 seed in 2014 and 2022, and as a No. 2 seed in 2015, 2017, and 2023. The Wildcats failed to make it out of the opening round last season when they lost to Princeton. (Insert your own scholarly joke here).

This team’s odds of winning it all in 2024 are fairly short, and those odds could change coming out of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Here are Betway’s NCAA championship odds for the 10 schools considered to have the best chance to win it all:

NCAA Basketball odds to win National Championship 2024

Connecticut +500
Houston +600
Purdue +700
Tennessee +1200
Kentucky +1800
Auburn +1800
Iowa State +2000
North Carolina +2000
Marquette +2000

Odds are subject to change*

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