College Basketball National Title Odds & Contenders Based On Kenpom Title Metrics 2023

Find updated College Basketball National Title odds 2023 and where they compare with various Kenpom Title Metrics. Get March Madness odds and see the top teams and odds based on AdjO and AdjD.

College Basketball National Title Odds 2023

The greatest time of the sports year is nearly here as we inch closer to March Madness. Single elimination, 68 teams, multiple jam-packed weekends over the course of three weeks, all to crown a national champion when it’s all said and done.

Even in the midst of conference championship week, that doesn’t mean we can’t already take a look at who is in the best position to make a deep run before March Madness starts. A familiar site that I use in my game breakdowns has been a fantastic tool in identifying potential champions, giving us an indication of who it may be this season.

Kenpom Historic Metric Breakdown

Ken Pomeroy has built a site called that has been a popular tool for breaking down teams on a more advanced level. Within his site, two key metrics have been key in identifying a common theme between past champions in the past 20 years.

The two metrics that are used to identify a potential champion are Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (AdjO) and Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (AdjD). AdjO is points scored per 100 possessions adjusted for the opponent while AdjD is points allowed.

How both metrics play a factor is that each team since 2002 has had a AdjO rating of 25th or lower while also containing a combined ranking of 50th or lower when factoring in AdjD. The only exception of this metric is the Connecticut Huskies in 2014 who did not combine for less than 50. 

This is not the only way to go about this as there are two other methods for historic champions. One is just combining for 50 or lower and the other is an AdjO metric higher than 112.0 and a AdjD metric lower than 94. For simplistic reasons, let’s go with the method mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Teams That Fit Kenpom National Title Metrics

In order of combined AdjO and AdjD

  • Houston , 11
  • UConn , 22
  • Alabama , 23
  • UCLA , 26
  • Kansas , 34
  • Purdue , 34
  • Texas , 36

*Best Available Odds

Now that we have a clue on who may come out on top, let’s see if there are any actionable pieces for each team.

Houston Cougars

Arguably the best team in the nation and most consistent throughout the year, Houston sits on top of the odds boards and in the best position to be crowned the champion.

They ranked top-10 in both AdjO and AdjD throughout nearly the whole season, dominating their competition. Although it was eye opening to witness them mightily struggle in their last game out against Memphis, needing a buzzer beater to thwart the stingy Tigers.

Sadly, the number is too low for my liking even though I believe this is my early pick come bracket time. While I do not recommend putting a position on them from a futures perspective, I do recommend picking them in your March Madness pools.


No team exudes the craziness of this college basketball season more than the Connecticut Huskies. They played at an elite level early on, eventually getting bit by the injury bug, yet finished out strong to finish the season 24-7.

They hovered around top-20 metrics in both AdjO and AdjD throughout the season, playing as a complete unit on both ends of the court. Even with that said, it’s intriguing to see that oddsmakers think a little less of them. 

Pegging them around +2000 in most books, I will be adding a piece of UConn into my portfolio as this team is poised for a deep run. Fully healthy and clicking on both sides of the court to end the season, UConn is coming in with serious momentum as a serious title threat.

Bet: UConn National Champion (0.5u)


It’s been anything but normal for the Alabama Crimson Tide as off court issues swept over the program late into the season. Distractions aside, the Crimson Tide steadied the ship and ended up winning the SEC regular season title.

What is even more impressive is that they are more well balanced than you would imagine. Normally known for being a high powered fast paced offense, the Crimson Tide’s defense has actually been the more consistent elite unit.

While I believe they are one of the best teams in the nation, I cannot back an offense that lives or dies by the three. Especially if they draw a perimeter-based defense, negating a major aspect of their offense.


UCLA could have made a run to the national championship last season should they not have choked a lead late against the Tar Heels, now poised for another run this season behind an impressive unit.

They have ranked as one of the best defenses in the nation, bringing a havoc minded style of play in the interior. 

Even more annoying to deal with, their style of offense has been proved difficult to stop as they specialize in the mid-range. Playing off of gaps and creating space for quick pull ups, the Bruins offense is tough to limit with weapons all over.

The current number is a little too low for my liking, but should they get a friendly draw on Selection Sunday, then I may add the Bruins to my futures portfolio.


Last year’s champion, poised for a potential title defense as they rounded out to be one of the best units in the nation. This comes off after a slow start for their offense, failing to find scoring consistency.

With Jalen Wilson now taking more command and letting the offense flow through him, this has allowed other play makers to fill the gaps on defense that his playmaking creates. Because of the defensive attention he commands, players like Gradey Dick have stepped up as reliable scoring threats to continue the scoring onslaught.

Their defense is no joke either, playing as a top-10 unit nearly all season. Like UCLA, Kansas specializes in forcing turnovers and turning that defense into offense for quick points in transition.

The issue is that their offense can be prone to scoring lulls should Wilson not be able to get it going early, making this a pass for me.


No elite team has been under more scrutiny than the Purdue Boilermakers. After a dominating start to the season, Purdue has sputtered down the stretch once opposing teams figured out how to slow down their offense.

The scrutiny is much warranted too as this unit has serious issues with handling defensive pressure. Go back and watch Maryland press up on them, scaring Purdue’s guards into mistakes and forced looks.

This is a team I have circled to fade early, most likely attacking them in the second round or Sweet Sixteen pending their bracket draw.


Like UConn, the juicy price catches my attention for a team that qualifies as a potential champion per Kenpom.

They enter conference championship week off an impressive win against the Jayhawks, although Kansas was in a sleepy spot after locking up the Big 12 regular season championship. Still, it was nice to see them bounce back after a clunker against the Horned Frogs.

With elite athleticism and length to stretch out opposing offenses and elite interior play on both ends of the court, I will back the Longhorns as they are poised for a deep run.

Bet: Texas National Champion (0.5u)

Reminder, this is not a 100% full proof method as the 2014 Connecticut Huskies are the lone outlier. This is just a simple method to guide your future bets.

As always, bet responsibly. The greatest time of the year has arrived.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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