The NCAA men's basketball season was barely over last night when an e-mail arrived from the good folks at Pregame.com detailing the odds for the 2014 champion. Always looking ahead, Vegas is. That's probably why there are so many shiny buildings there.
In any event, there were 23 teams listed. There weren't a ton of surprises until we got to the very last one:
Kentucky: 4/1; Duke: 8/1; North Carolina: 8/1; Ohio St: 9/1; Louisville: 12/1; Memphis: 14/1; Michigan St: 15/1; Arizona: 18/1; Michigan: 20/1; Florida: 20/1; Syracuse: 20/1; Colorado: 22/1; New Mexico: 25/1; Kansas 25/1; Creighton 28/1; Indiana 30/1; Kansas St 30/1; Marquette: 30/1; NC St: 30/1; Pitt: 30/1; UCLA: 30/1; UNLV: 35/1; Minnesota: 35/1.
That's right. The Gophers have 35-to-1 odds to WIN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. Sure, these are very preliminary. But for now, at least consider Minnesota in the Vegas top 25, or some such thing.
We're fairly sure Vegas knows it's Richard, the son, not Rick, the 2013 title coach, leading the Gophers in 2013-14. But we're also fairly sure there is at least a small Pitino bump in play here. Richard's hire was a subject brought up multiple times at the Final Four, and the young man even got some camera time at the end of Monday night's game along with a mention of the Gophers. Afterward, he tweeted "What a week!!! So proud!!" Aside from his Tim Brewster-like use of exclamation points, all is well so far.
We're not sure what happened in Atlanta after all the cameras were shut off, but we can at least guess based on a quote from Rick's postgame presser, the full transcript of which was e-mailed to us: "We celebrate together. My children, they have a lot of Irish in them the way they celebrate."
Did somebody say celebrate?