This has already been an NCAA Tournament full of surprises. We had our first No. 16 team to ever knock off a No. 1, and two No. 1 seeds have already crashed out of the tournament.
Two brackets have been busted wide open. Both the West Region and the South Region are completely up for grabs at this point, due to some of the upsets we saw last week.
In the East Region and the Midwest Region, the chalk mostly prevailed. That will ensure some tough matchups between top teams in the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight for those regions.
All Sweet 16 games will take place on either CBS or TBS on Thursday and Friday night.
Odds To Win 2018 NCAA Tournament
Villanova +347 Duke +361
Kentucky +749 Kansas +835
Gonzaga +842 Michigan +869
Purdue +1387 West Virginia +1530
Texas A&M +1971 Texas Tech +2513
Clemson +3986 Kansas State +4128
Florida State +5300 Nevada +6700
Syracuse +8000 Loyola Chicago +9500
(Odds provided by Bookmaker.eu)
Villanova and Duke Still Favorites
Villanova was considered the favorite coming into the NCAA Tournament, and the Wildcats are still the favorite at this point. Nova has left no doubt who the better team was in its previous two games, comfortably knocking off Radford and Alabama. This is the best jump shooting team in the country and Nova plays great defense too.
Duke is slightly behind Nova in terms of the odds. The Blue Devils probably have the most talent of any of the teams in the NCAA Tournament, but that talent hasn’t always melded well together. Marvin Bagley III has been incredible, and Grayson Allen has done Grayson Allen things. However, Duke has had some major defensive lapses this season.
Kentucky and Gonzaga are Contenders
John Calipari may have been upset about Kentucky’s draw before the NCAA Tournament got underway, but there’s no doubt he was celebrating it after all the upsets unfolded over the first weekend. Kentucky is now in a bracket with Nevada, Kansas State, and Loyola-Chicago, and the Wildcats are the odds-on favorite to win the South. This team is still very young, and there are major question marks around them, but they may not get a real test until the Final Four.
Gonzaga is another team celebrating the chaos of March Madness. Although the Bulldogs haven’t been extremely convincing in wins over UNC Greensboro and Ohio State, they are the favorite in their region after North Carolina and Xavier lost. Gonzaga has no weaknesses in its starting lineup and has a very good player on its bench too. That makes Gonzaga a team to watch.
Purdue is known as an engineering school and its brightest minds are hard at work coming up with something that will make center Isaac Haas able to play for the rest of the tournament. Haas fractured his elbow in the first game and was thought to be lost for the rest of the year, but the injury was not as bad as feared and he may be able to play this weekend. If he can, his size makes Purdue a tough match-up for opponents.
Texas Tech and Syracuse are Longshots
Texas Tech is one of the first longshots to take a look at. The Red Raiders have been a good team all year long and earned a No. 3 seed for a reason. The Big 12 has been very tough this season, and the fact that Texas Tech survived it makes this team dangerous.
Syracuse should not be this big of an underdog either. The Orange just became the first team ever to make it from the First Four to the Sweet 16, winning three games in five days. They have a tough opponent in Duke, but Jim Boeheim does not have a bad record against Coach K, giving Cuse value at 80-1.
Do you believe in miracles? After beating Miami and Tennessee on last-second shots, Loyola-Chicago may be worth a play at 95-1. The Ramblers aren’t your typical Cinderella. They beat Florida in the regular season and are 30-5. With Sister Jean cheering them on, this team has a chance.
Free Sweet 16 Picks
Keep an eye on Purdue as there is a lot of value in the Boilermakers if Haas is healthy. This team has all the other pieces in place, but they need their dominant big man.
Syracuse is worth a bet at these long odds too. The Orange have been incredible on defense and are turning games into a slugfest. At 80-1, you could do much worse.
Click here for the latest March Madness Sweet 16 and Final Four betting odds.