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Kentucky Wildcats college basketball futures odds: John Calipari out, Mark Pope in

March Madness may be over, but that doesn’t mean college basketball drama has gone away. Kentucky made shockwaves in early April by parting ways with head coach John Calipari and hiring Mark Pope from BYU.

As we enter the college basketball offseason, we are taking a look at Kentucky Wildcats college basketball futures odds to see what professional oddsmakers are expecting in Pope’s first year at the helm. Before you place any college basketball futures bets, you can claim more than $4,000 in bonuses if you sign up with the best online sportsbooks.

Kentucky Wildcats college basketball futures odds: Where do the Wildcats stack up?

John Calipari took over in Lexington in 2009, and he leaves Big Blue Nation with an overall record of 410-123, going 198-65 in SEC play. He led Kentucky to a national title in 2011-2012, which was the eighth championship in school history.

Despite success early on, Calipari has been under some heat in recent years. Kentucky has not made it out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament since 2018-19, and this year’s loss to Oakland in the Round of 64 prompted changes.

With new boss Mark Pope taking over, this offseason will be a busy one for the Wildcats. Hitting the recruiting trail and diving into the transfer portal will be Pope’s first priorities. With so much up in the air, there is a lot of unknowns surrounding Kentucky’s program right now.

Professional oddsmakers are a bit skeptical as well, as Kentucky is not currently listed among the national championship favorites for next season. More specifically, Kentucky has title odds of +3000 on DraftKings Sportsbook, which gives them the 12th-best odds in the national championship betting market. Other teams with similar odds include Auburn (+2500), Purdue (+3000), and John Calipari’s new team, Arkansas (+3000).

A lot can happen between now and the start of the 2024-25 college basketball season, so keep in mind that these odds are subject to change.

Kentucky basketball futures odds: Pope ready to lead the way

Kentucky’s new head coach is Mark Pope, who most recently served as the head coach at BYU from 2019-2024. At BYU, Pope posted an overall record of 110-52, going 49-29 in conference play. Prior to becoming BYU’s head coach in 2019, Pope spent time as an assistant at Georgia, Wake Forest, and BYU.

Pope took BYU to the NCAA Tournament twice, but lost in the Round of 64 both times. This past season, BYU played its first season as a member of the Big 12 Conference. Pope led the Cougars to a 22-9 regular season record and a 10-8 record in Big 12 play. As a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament, BYU lost to 11-seed Duquesne in the Round of 64.

Pope is a former Wildcat player, as he played at Kentucky from 1994-96. He was a part of the 1996 national championship team, and he is looking to bring that championship pedigree back to Lexington.

At this point in time, it’s tough to predict what to expect from Kentucky in Pope’s first season. There are still several months between now and the start of the season, and the current roster is nowhere close to what it will be in October. For now, Kentucky fans just have to sit back and let Pope construct his roster with hopes of brighter days ahead.

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