INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 03: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats acknowledges the fans with Willie Cauley-Stein #15 and Dakari Johnson #44 during practice for the NCAA Men’s Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 3, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Kentucky getting best early 2018 NCAA basketball championship odds

The favorite for the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball national championship is the Kentucky Wildcats.

Per Bovada, John Calipari’s team is getting 12/1 odds just a few days after North Carolina won the 2017 title.

The Tar Heels have the second-best odds at 12/1.

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They are followed by Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville and 2016 national champion Villanova — all at 14/1.

New coach Anthony Grant’s Dayton Flyers are on the board at 250/1 while Thad Matta’s Ohio State Buckeyes are at 150/1, Xavier is 66/1 and Cincinnati is 75/1.

Meanwhile, former UD coach Archie Miller’s new team, Indiana, is sitting at 22/1.

Atlantic 10 rival VCU’s odds are 100/1 while Rhode Island is also at 250/1.

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Of course this is all a bit premature as rosters continue to be shaped and reshaped with players declaring their intention to enter the NBA draft (with the option to return to school) and the transfer market heating up.

If there is anything for the oddsmakers to hang their hats on, though, it’s recruiting.

Surprise, surprise! Calipari has signed the No. 1 class in the country per 247sports composite rankings for 2017.

He has six new players on the way, including five who are rated five-star caliber.

Duke, which lost Franklin graduate Luke Kennard early to the draft Thursday, welcomes the No. 5 class while Xavier checks in at No. 9.

Dayton’s class, which may not stay together because of the coaching change, ranks No. 110. 

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