Last season was a rough one for both Duke and Kentucky. Neither one finished with more than 13 wins and didn’t even sniff the tournament. These two schools have been powerhouses for some time now, which made it feel strange not seeing them in the big dance.
Regardless of winning the National Title, or not, Kentucky and Duke are expected to compete every season. They have two of the most high profiled coaches in college basketball and bring in the best recruits. However, last season was simply a failure for both schools.
Kentucky finished with a 9-16 record. They were ranked 10th in the preseason polls. That didn’t last when they lost six out of their first seven games.
The Duke Blue Devils started out ranked 9th and later climbed to 6th. However, a loss to Virginia Tech began a downward spiral. Duke ended the season 13-11 and out of the tournament.
A new season is on the horizon, which means that these two titans are looking to reclaim their spot at the top of the standings. Are Duke and Kentucky back this season? Can they win a National Title?
The Kentucky Wildcats have garnered a lot of media attention as of late, but not for this upcoming season. The Wildcats have been really busy carving out an excellent 2022 recruiting class. However, that is not going to help the 2021 team perform any better.
This season is one of redemption. Kentucky made sure to re-tool their roster in order to make a run. Sahvir Wheeler is transferring in from Georgia, Oscar Tshiewe is coming from West Virginia, and CJ Fredrick will be there after transferring from Iowa. Kellan Grady is also a new transfer from Davidson where he averaged 17 points per game.
They have Keion Brooks Jr. returning, while TyTy Washington is the new five star recruit on the scene. The roster is set to make some noise. Chemistry and shooting might be an issue at first, however.
Kentucky are currently placed at +1800 odds to win the National Title this season. That is an accomplishment they have not achieved since Anthony Davis was with the school. Can this be a year back to prominence?
Duke and Mike Krzyzewski have been a staple of college basketball for several decades. However, this is his last season as a coach with the Blue Devils. Health and age have finally caught up with the winningest coach in men’s collegiate basketball.
His Duke squad last season had talent, but could not put the pieces in the right place. This led to Coach K contemplating if the season should go on and one of their top players, Jalen Johnson, leaving the team midway through the season.
This year should be different. They are bringing back a few key players from last season. Jeremy Roach and Wendell Moore Jr. are returning to the backcourt. Mark Williams closed out his freshman season strongly, which had people wondering if he would be a one and done prospect.
However, he is back with Duke for his sophomore season. Two top 30 recruits are there to help as well. A.J. Griffin is an athletic guard/forward, while Paolo Banchero is a big man with potential of being a top five pick in next year’s draft.
Duke has +1500 odds to win the National Title this season. Can the Blue Devils give Coach K the perfect ending to a fabulous career?