Duke favored to win basketball title next season

By Matt Johnson

After signing the three highest-rated recruits out of high school, the Duke Blue Devils are the favorites to win the national championship in men’s collegiate basketball in 2019.

Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is coming off a 2017-18 season in which it finished with a 29-8 record and saw its season end in an 85-81 overtime loss to the University of Kansas in the Elite Eight.

ACC Player of the Year and freshman Marvin Bagley declared for the 2018 NBA Draft earlier this year, along with freshman forward Wendell Carter, shooting guard Gary Trent Jr., point guard Trevon Duval and guard Grayson Allen.

After the Blue Devils lost their top-five players in minutes per game, they will now welcome a new recruiting class into the fold.

According to ESPN’s recruiting rankings,¬†Duke signed the top-three overall recruits in the 2018 high school recruiting class with the additions of forwards R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish. The Blue Devils also signed point guard Tre Jones, rated as the 17th-best prospect in the country.

Bovada now has Duke as the early favorites to win this year’s title, while Kansas is given the second-best odds to win the title.

If the Blue Devils were to win the national championship next season, it would be Coach K’s sixth title in his career and third in this decade.