Heels favored to win 2011-12 title

NBA Commissioner David Stern officially canceled the first two weeks of the upcoming season on Monday. With the league and the players’ union still miles apart in labor negotiations, the entire NBA schedule is now in jeopardy.

With the pro game on extended hiatus, college basketball will take center stage for many hoops handicappers a little earlier than usual this season.

The 2011-2012 NCAA basketball season officially tips off on November 7 when William & Mary takes on St. John’s in the 2011 2K Sports Classic.

The UConn Huskies will not be among the favorites to repeat at National Champions this season due in large part to the loss of several key players including Kemba Walker, who was drafted No. 9 by the Carlotte Bobcats. Seniors Donnell Beverly and Charles Okwandu are also gone.

Meanwhile, the usual suspects top NCAA futures listings including North Carolina, Kentucky and Duke. UNC lost to Kentucky in the Elite Eight of last year’s tournament. The Wildcats then went on to lose to UConn in the Final Four. Duke lost in the Sweet 16 to Arizona.

Interestingly, Coach Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals are getting decent odds despite an embarrassing loss as a No. 4 seed to No. 13 Morehead State in the second round of last year’s tourney.

Below is an early look at the odds to win the 2012 NCAA National Championship (updated November 4, 2011).

 
North Carolina
Kentucky
Ohio State
Duke
Louisville
Syracuse
Connecticut
Florida
Texas
Pittsburgh
UCLA
Memphis
St. John’s
Kansas
Vanderbilt
Arizona
Michigan State
Baylor
Indiana
Gonzaga
Georgetown
Notre Dame
Washington
Michigan
Butler
Kansas State
Florida State
Alabama
Texas A&M
Wisconsin
Oregon
Villanova
Washington State
Mississippi State
West Virginia
Tennessee
Illinois
Purdue
Georgia
Missouri
UNLV
Oklahoma State
Oklahoma
North Carolina State
Maryland
Xavier
Marquette
California
Clemson
Colorado
Georgia Tech
Seton Hall
Southern California
Stanford
San Diego State
Virginia Tech
Miami Florida
Iowa
Mississippi
LSU
Arizona State
BYU
Wake Forest

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