Minty Bets is joined by Krysten Peek to look at the top contenders for the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship.
MINTY BETS: The college basketball season is right around the corner. I'm Minty Bets here with "Yahoo Sports" very own Krysten Peek to give us her favorite national championship futures. Krysten, let's get right to business and tell us who you like to win it all.
KRYSTEN PEEK: I mean, this early in the game it has to be North Carolina. They were this close last year making it to the championship game. And they have a lot of players that are returning. And if there's anything we learned about national title contenders it's that it's a mix of older established talent sprinkled with young up and coming five star talent.
So North Carolina this year has players like Caleb Love, point guard returning, Armando Bacot in the frontcourt, RJ Davis, and they've added a player that a lot of NBA scouts are buzzing about in 6' 10" freshman Jalen Washington. Now Washington is coming off an ACL injury, but he has looked good in practice and can be plugged into multiple positions on the court when he is back. So as it stands right now North Carolina is the favorite to win.
MINTY BETS: I like it. I like it. What other teams are you going to look out for as well?
KRYSTEN PEEK: Yeah, a team that's not going to be on a lot of people's radar is Creighton. I mean, right now they're number 9 coming into the AP-- AP top 25 preseason, but they're led by potential first round draft pick, sophomore Art Kaluma, who is a scoring machine. And they just crushed in an exhibition game Drury by 50 points over this past weekend. And they have a lot of different guys that can drain 3's from the outside.
Another team that I'm going to be watching closely is Tennessee. And this might be the team to propel Rick Barnes past disappointment showings in the NCAA tournament. The Vols easily beat number 2 Gonzaga in an exhibition scrimmage this last week and they looked good. They have a speedy point guard in Zakai Zeigler who runs the offense so well. And the dark horse for the Vols has been Indiana State transfer to Tyreke Key who shoots lights out from deep.
And another team that I'm going to be watching closely is Houston. Head Coach Kelvin Sampson has done a great job building a little bit of a tournament powerhouse at Houston. They return the deadly backcourt duo of Marcus Sasser and Jamaal Shead, and add a potential first rounders, Jarace Walker and Terrance Arceneaux.
MINTY BETS: Wow. All right, now everyone loves a sleeper pick. Give us some deep sleepers that we should be keeping an eye on.
KRYSTEN PEEK: I'm going to give you two and they are two teams that you've heard of in the past. UCLA, and they again have a lot of returning players and a lot of players that were part of that Final Four run two years ago. Tyger Campbell will be running point with five star recruit Amari Bailey at the two. Jaylen Clark, Jaime Jaquez, and freshman Adem Bona will round out the starting five of this deep UCLA team that is expected to do a lot of damage in the Pac 12 this year.
And another team that I'm really, really excited about is Texas. Do not sleep on Texas this year. This is a team that just blew out Arkansas by 30 points last weekend. And Head Coach Chris Beard is letting his guys run.
I would say transfer Tyrese Hunter looked comfortable in the backcourt with Marcus Carr. And the Longhorns have one of the most athletic freshmen in the country and is an offensive rebounding machine in Dillon Mitchell. So they could definitely surprise a lot of people this season.
MINTY BETS: Wow. So much good stuff, Krysten. Thank you so much for joining us today.
KRYSTEN PEEK: Thanks for having me.
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