Although long-shot nationwide champions in faculty basketball are uncommon, one of many lovely components of the game is how usually groups swoop in from off the radar, put collectively wonderful seasons and do harm within the NCAA Match. Simply take a look at what the next groups completed within the 2020-21 season regardless of their slim preseason nationwide title odds: Alabama earned a No. 2 seed within the NCAA Match, Arkansas earned a No. 3 seed and USC made the Elite Eight — all with 75-1 odds. 

Going additional down the betting sheet, Oregon State made a shocking Elite Eight run regardless of minuscule preseason nationwide title odds of 300-1. Ultimately, a Baylor workforce with 10-1 preseason odds minimize down the nets, which made for an anticlimactic end for many who love underdogs. However the potential is there for groups on the periphery to get sizzling, make a run and reward these believed in all of them alongside.

So who’re the very best long-shot nationwide title contenders for the 2021-22 season? Our writers evaluated the subject this week and picked their favourite from the group of groups with odds of 50-1 or decrease at Caesar’s Sportsbook:

Tennessee (60-1)

The best-ranked workforce in my High 25 And 1 with 50-1 or decrease odds is Tennessee, so I will roll with UT. The Vols return 5 of their prime eight scorers from a workforce that earned a No. 5 seed within the 2021 NCAA Match — most notably Victor Bailey and John Fulkerson. Coach Rick Barnes has an skilled core to construct round, and he’ll be combining it with a top-five recruiting class highlighted by the nation’s top-ranked freshman level guard (Kennedy Chandler) and a switch from Auburn who averaged 11.7 factors per recreation final season whereas capturing 44.2% from past the 3-point line (Justin Powell). That is sturdy. And it is why the Vols are worthy of your consideration should you’re searching for a protracted shot with the items to perhaps win the 2022 NCAA Match. — Gary Parrish

Indiana (75-1)

The Hoosiers are +7500 proper now, so this can be a long-shot choose with tempting upside. A +7500 workforce is not even a projected Candy 16 squad, so why IU for me? New coach Mike Woodson modifications the dynamic of this system and likewise offers a chance to get forward of the oddsmakers early. Nobody actually is aware of what to anticipate. I get a blueblood program that may have an almost-definite top-10 participant in America at +7500? Gotta take it underneath the parameters of this Dribble Handoff put up. Trayce Jackson-Davis is likely one of the few big-time huge males within the Massive Ten. Indiana is your sleeper workforce that might be exterior the highest 25 initially of the season however discover itself as a mainstay within the polls by January. I feel the Hoosiers make plenty of sense as a believable long-shot.  — Matt Norlander

Auburn (60-1)

I have been greater on Auburn than the consensus all offseason, so why would I cool on the Tigers now? They’d an amazing offseason. I am very a lot in on them at 60-1 as a viable flier to take. Allen Flanigan’s damage throws some uncertainty into the method right here — he is anticipated to overlook a number of months — however I feel the damage is baked into the 60-1. This workforce enrolls a five-star in Jabari Smith and added two elite transfers in Walker Kessler and Okay.D. Johnson, who ought to absolutely equip the Tigers to once more be a top-half-of-the-SEC workforce able to making March noise.  — Kyle Boone

Oregon (50-1)

Do not fall into the lure of assuming the Geese are headed for a down season simply because they’re dropping their prime three scorers from a 21-7 workforce. All you might want to do is take a look at the identify of the coach to determine if Oregon will likely be a nationwide contender. Is it nonetheless Dana Altman? Sure, and meaning the roster is restocked with expertise adequate for the Geese to progress within the NCAA Match for the seventh time prior to now eight seasons.

How far the Geese advance within the Massive Dance will rely closely on how incoming transfers Jacob Younger (Rutgers), Quincy Guerrier (Syracuse) and De’Vion Harmon (Oklahoma) gel along with main returning scorer Will Richardson. However Altman owns an impeccable monitor report of efficiently integrating transfers into his roster, and people three have been every double-figure scorers for NCAA Match groups final season. 

Assuming these transfers make a seamless transition, you’ll be able to go forward and pencil Oregon in for the Candy 16. From there, it might depend upon the power of a promising, however unproven, entrance courtroom. If former five-star prospects Nathan Bittle, a real freshman, and N’Faly Dante, an injury-prone junior, can play close to their potential, this workforce might be downright dominant. — David Cobb