The NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player was established in 1939 to recognize the top performer during the NCAA Tournament, as determined by the Associated Press. The Most Outstanding Player has traditionally been a member of the championship team, but there have been exceptions to the rule including Houston star Hakeem Olajuwon in 1983. The table below displays every winner since the award’s inception nearly 80 years ago.
|2009||Wayne Ellington||North Carolina|
|2005||Sean May||North Carolina|
|2000||Mateen Cleaves||Michigan State|
|1993||Donald Williams||North Carolina|
|1990||Anderson Hunt||Nevada-Las Vegas|
|1982||James Worthy||North Carolina|
|1979||Magic Johnson||Michigan State|
|1974||David Thompson||North Carolina State|
|1961||Jerry Lucas||Ohio State|
|1960||Jerry Lucas||Ohio State|
|1959||Jerry West||West Virginia|
|1955||Bill Russell||San Francisco|
|1954||Tom Gola||La Salle|
|1950||Irwin Dambrot||City College of New York|
|1947||George Kaftan||Holy Cross|
|1946||Bob Kurland||Oklahoma State|
|1945||Bob Kurland||Oklahoma State|
|1939||Jimmy Hull||Ohio State|
As for this season, the co-favorites at the moment are Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss and UNC’s Justin Jackson. The table below displays the latest MOP odds from 5Dimes as well as previous odds at Bovada, Heritage, and Sportsbook.
|Player||School||5Dimes (3/30)||Bovada (3/23)||Bovada (3/15)||Heritage (3/15)||Sportsbk (3/15)|
|Justin Jackson||North Carolina||+400||+750||+1000||+1000||+1000|
|Joel Berry II||North Carolina||+550||+2200||+1600||+1600||+1800|
|Sindarius Thornwell||South Carolina||+800||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Kennedy Meeks||North Carolina||+800||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Isaiah Hicks||North Carolina||+1200||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Theo Pinson||North Carolina||+2000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Luke Maye||North Carolina||+2500||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PJ Dozier||South Carolina||+5000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Duane Notice||South Carolina||+5000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Maik Kotsar||South Carolina||+5000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Chris Silva||South Carolina||+6000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|V.J. Beachem||Notre Dame||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+6000|
|Bonzie Colson||Notre Dame||N/A||N/A||+6600||+6600||+4000|
|Frank Mason III||Kansas||N/A||+750||+1000||+900||+1000|
|Monte Morris||Iowa State||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+4500|
|Johnathan Isaac||Florida St||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+5000|
|Jock Landale||Saint Marys||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+6000|
|Dwayne Bacon||Florida St||N/A||N/A||+4000||+4000||+4000|
|Derrick Walton Jr.||Michigan||N/A||+1600||+3300||+3300||+4000|
|Jevon Carter||West Virginia||N/A||+4400||+3300||+4000||+4000|
|Nazareth Mitrou-Long||Iowa St||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||+6500|
Our early intriguing pick was Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowski with the ‘field’ option, and he’s now listed at +2000 on his own. Our simulations have loved Gonzaga from the start of the tournament and that hasn’t changed. While 3 other teammates have better odds than Karnowski, they’ve got a great chance to advance to the title game.
Below was published on Thursday, March 23:
On Wednesday (3/15) morning, Sportsbook.com posted odds for the 2017 Tournament MOP. It’s important to realize that Sportsbook.com is not considered to be very reputable and they take low limits on these type of prop bets. Later in the day Heritage (a much sharper book) and Bovada (another square book) posted their own MOP odds with a few major discrepancies.
Frank Mason, Josh Hart, Justin Jackson and Luke Kennard (+1000) opened as co-favorites at Sportsbook.com, however, Duke’s Kennard (+800) opened as the sole favorite at Heritage. It was also interesting to see that Heritage listed the field as an option at +350. Bovada listed nearly identical odds to Heritage, but (in a fairly dubious move) didn’t list the field as an option.
Following the first two rounds, Bovada re-opened their MOP odds with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball (+650) listed as the new favorite. These are bizarre odds considering that Bovada lists UCLA at +800 to win the National Championship. These type of props take low limits and often take advantage of casual bettors.
Below was published on March 15, 2017:
In last year’s analysis, I explained that senior guards typically dominate March Madness and that Ryan Arcidiacono was providing value at +9000. That advice proved prophetic when Villanova won the national championship and Arcidiacono was named the Most Outstanding Player over teammate Josh Hart. Unfortunately, Paddy Power hasn’t posted MOP odds and neither Heritage nor Sportsbook.com are offering anybody with those type of long odds. In fact, some of these players actually have shorter odds to win MOP than their teams have of winning the title.
One player that intrigues me is Przemek Karnowski. Gonzaga (+1000) has the fifth-best odds of winning the national championship and the highest probability (20.6%) according to our bracket simulator. At 7’1″ and 300 pounds, Karnowski (12.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG) is a matchup nightmare and although his odds should be way longer, he’s just one example of a player included in the field at Heritage. At +350, the field appears to be an excellent value.