Henricksen: Best odds for the unbeaten to stay unbeaten through the holidays

SHARE Henricksen: Best odds for the unbeaten to stay unbeaten through the holidays

And then there were 10.

As we head into holiday tournament play there are 10 unbeaten teams remaining in the Chicago area. As those 10 venture out to 10 different holiday tournaments, what are the odds any of them make it through bracket play unscathed over the next week?

For fun, the City/Suburban Hoops Report has attached odds to each team’s chances of getting through these final days of 2017 unbeaten.

Niles North (3:1 odds)

The team to beat at Wheeling is unbeaten and has a nice bracket path to the championship game. Plus, at some point in tournament play coach Glenn Olson will welcome back one of its top players, versatile senior Jamal Stephenson. This team has a great shot of remaining unbeaten through the new year, though the likes of St. Viator, Waukegan and Prospect would love a shot at knocking Niles North off.

Wheaton-Warrenville South (6:1)

It takes a few days and multiple practices to properly prepare for what Wheaton South will throw at you. Opponents don’t have that luxury in holiday tournament play. That favors coach Mike Healy’s team heading into this week. The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season a year ago in the State Farm Classic’s championship game. If the seeds hold up, Wheaton South will be undefeated heading into January.

Naperville North (8:1)

The rigor of winning five games in five days is no small task, no matter what tournament you’re playing in. But the Huskies are the favorites in this 32-team field at York and could find themselves at 12-0 heading into January.

Aurora Christian (10:1)

The unbeaten start for the Eagles is no surprise with Jake Wolfe, Taaj Davis and Will Wolfe returning from a sectional championship team. Staying unbeaten while playing in the State Farm Classic small school tournament as the No. 4 seed, however, won’t be easy.

Oak Park (12:1)

Any time you are at Pontiac, going 4-0 is typically a longshot –– unless you’re Simeon or Curie. These two have dominated the field in recent years, combining to win the last seven Pontiac titles. It’s doable for Oak Park, but not probable. Thus, the odds are what they are for a Huskies team that is unbeaten and has looked good doing so.

Schurz (12:1)

A wild card among the unbeatens. Little-known Schurz heads to DeKalb with a perfect record. There isn’t anything too big standing in its way of reaching the semifinal, where it would then likely face Naperville Central.

Westmont (15:1)

The obstacles for the unbeaten Sentinels in the ICCP/Westmont Christmas Classic include Elgin St. Edward (9-1), Montini (6-2) and Immaculate Conception (7-3). That’s a winnable tournament.

Marist (18:1)

The longer odds is not necessarily a reflection on Marist, because Morgan Taylor and the RedHawks are red-hot and fresh off a thumping of Rich East. This is a legit top 25 team in the Chicago area. But if coach Gene Nolan’s team can get out of Centralia with a 15-0 record, winning a tournament with the likes of powerful Belleville West, the host school Centralia, Evanston and Champaign Central, we’re going to be talking about this Marist team in a whole new light heading into January.

New Trier (40:1)

No disrespect to coach Scott Fricke’s team here, but if the Trevians can get past the likes of Hillcrest, Bogan and Proviso East in surviving just the opening two rounds at Proviso West, heavyweights Young and Orr could be waiting for them in the semifinals and championship. Go ahead … take those 40-1 odds and run with them Trevian fans.

Urban Prep-Englewood (200:1)

Cash in on this bet over the holidays and you could turn your $10 wager into $2,000. But the unbeaten Lions get Bolingbrook in the first round at Hinsdale Central.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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