It’s Feb. 21, which means March is right around the corner. March, of course, is synonymous with college basketball. Over the next few weeks, the regular season will wind down and conference tournaments will get underway. Soon enough, Selection Sunday and the NCAA tournament will be here.
While the fate of teams will be decided over the next few weeks, individual accolades are still up for grabs as well. The Wooden Award is given to the most outstanding player in college basketball. Who’s the current favorite and which players are still in the mix for the prestigious honor?
Oscar Tshiebwe transferred from West Virginia to Kentucky this past offseason. Tshiebwe was a solid contributor for the Mountaineers over two seasons as a starter. He opened as a 40-to-1 long-shot to win the Wooden Award prior to the college basketball season.
Over the course of the season, Tshiebwe has risen up the leaderboard all the way to his current position as the favorite to win the award. Tshiebwe is currently +150 to take home the hardware.
Tshiebwe is averaging 16.4 points per game and 15.2 rebounds per game. He leads the country in rebounding. Tshiebwe has double-digit rebounds in 25 of 27 games. He has 21 double-doubles on the season.
Tshiebwe’s dominating presence has been a big part of Kentucky’s 22-5 record on the season. Currently, the Wildcats are projected as a No. 2 seed in the tournament. Kentucky is +800 to win the national championshipthe second-best odds in the country.
Who else is in contention?
While Tshiebwe is a significant favorite, it’s hard to say the award has been locked up at this point. Which players are still in the conversation, according to the betting odds?
Johnny Davis: After entering the season without posted odds to win the Wooden Award, Johnny Davis has spent parts of the season as the favorite to win the award. It’s been a tremendous story. Davis is averaging 20.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game for No. 13 Wisconsin. He scored 25 points against Michigan on Sunday, and he definitely has a puncher’s chance to win the Wooden Award. See what I did there? Davis is +500 to take home the hardware.
Kofi Cockburn: Kofi Cockburn is one of the more physically imposing players in the country. The 7-foot center is averaging 21.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for No. 15 Illinois. Cockburn has missed five games on the season, which hurts him a little. travelling, Cockburn is currently +600 to win.
Keegan Murray: Keegan Murray is averaging 23.4 points per game, the fourth-highest mark in the country. Murray is a huge part of an Iowa offense that ranks 5th in Adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom. He’s also pulling down over 8 rebounds per game. Murray is +800 to win the Wooden award at BetMGM.
Ochai Agbaji: Ochai Agbaji has been the catalyst for a Kansas team that currently leads the best conference in the country. Agbaji is averaging 20 points a game and if he gets hot down the stretch he can catapult himself into consideration. His odds have dropped a little after a slow start to the month of February. Agbaji is currently +800 to bring home the award.
The rest of the odds
Can an even bigger long shot make a late push and enter the conversation? Here are the current odds for other potential contenders:
Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona) 16-to-1
Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) 18-to-1
E.J. Liddell (Ohio State) 18-to-1
Drew Timme (Gonzaga) 20-to-1
Jabari Smith (Auburn) 25-to-1
Jaden Ivey (Purdue) 33-to-1
Paolo Banchero (Duke) 33-to-1