Despite a wave of optimism surrounding the Oregon State basketball team heading into the 2017-2018 season, the national consensus about the Beavers is that progress will happen at a gradual pace from last year’s 5-27 outing. ESPN already has failed to include Oregon State in it’s super early “Bracketology” and now, the Las Vegas Bovada has given the Beavers 500-1 odds to win the 2018 National Championship.
While it’s probably a bit premature to believe that in one season, Oregon State would go from dead-last in the Pac-12 to the champions of the NCAA Final Four, the importance of the odds is found within the teams that the Beavers are slated alongside. Fellow teams with identical 500-1 odds include Boise State, Boston College, Colorado State, Harvard, LSU, Memphis, North Carolina State, Northern Iowa, Pittsburgh, UNLV, Washington and Washington State.
Currently, none of these teams are projected to even make the field of 68 in ESPN’s latest “Bracketology”. To give an even better scope of these squads, only four programs from that group won more than half their games a season ago (Boise State, Colorado State, Harvard, Memphis) and two of those teams (Boston College, Washington), in addition to Oregon State, finished with single-digit win totals on the season. Besides the Beavers, Boise State is probably the team most suited to make a potential run to the big dance, as the Broncos bring back their top two scorers, pending star Chandler Hutchison returns from testing NBA Draft waters.
It is believed that Oregon State will make sizable strides next season with a rebuilt rotation, pending their own duo of forward Drew Eubanks and guard Stephen Thompson Jr. return to Corvallis after wavering in NBA Draft waters and forward Tres Tinkle fully recovers from his wrist injury. From there, Eubanks, Thompson Jr. and Tinkle are expected to combine with a strong core of players, composed of rising sophomore Jaquori McLaughlin, four-star prospects Ethan Thompson and Alfred Hollins, developing big-men Gligorije Rakocevic and Ben Kone, UMASS transfer forward Seth Berger and excitable guards in newcomer Zach Reichle and the currently embattled Kendal Manuel.