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March Madness Bracket: ‘Love’ Potential UNC-Arizona Matchup

Arizona is the No. 2 seed but remains ahead of top-seeded North Carolina in our March Madness odds to win the West Region. The Wildcats have +120 odds to win the West, while the Tar Heels are a close second at +165. We are going to explore our March Madness bracket picks for the West.

 

March Madness Bracket: ‘Love’ Potential UNC-Arizona Matchup
Caleb Love #2 of the Arizona Wildcats | Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Vegas continues to doubt No. 6 Clemson’s legitimacy as a distant fourth in the Final Four odds at +1000. Alabama is third in the college basketball odds to win the West at +450.

Let’s take a look at our NCAA basketball lines for the Sweet 16 matchups in the West and explore each team’s chances to advance.

Arizona One of the Biggest Sweet 16 Favorites

Like the majority of regions, the West lacks a true Cinderella. Clemson is the closest thing the region has, but a No. 6 seed from the ACC is hardly going to pass as the typical mid-major darling the country falls in love with during the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers reached the Sweet 16 by upsetting No. 3 Baylor with an 8-point victory. Clemson made short work of No. 11 New Mexico in the opening round. The Lobos had been a popular upset pick, but Clemson came away with a 21-point blowout win.

Arizona is a 7½-point favorite versus Clemson, with the Wildcats as the biggest favorite in the Sweet 16 matchups outside of UConn over San Diego State. The over-under is set at 152 points.

So far, Arizona guard Caleb Love has lived up to the lofty expectations as the Wildcats’ best player. After posting a double-double against Long Beach State in the opening round, Love dropped 19 points and five assists versus Dayton.

For Clemson, Chase Hunter continues to be the team’s offensive leader. Hunter has had back-to-back performances topping 20 points while adding six assists in the NCAA tournament.

The Tigers have been hot at the window going 19-14-1 ATS this season. Clemson has also been a live dog going an impressive 6-3 straight up as an underdog. The Tigers have hit the over-under equally at 17 apiece.

Arizona has also rewarded bettors posting a 22-11-2 ATS record this season. The under has hit in 19 games for the Wildcats, while the over has cashed in 16 games.

Vegas Respects Bama vs UNC

North Carolina is just a 4-point favorite versus Alabama. The over-under is set at 173 ½ points for the matchup. This is nearly 20 points higher than any other total in the Sweet 16.


This is familiar territory for North Carolina who was also a narrow favorite in NCAA basketball odds versus Michigan State. After a slow start, the Tar Heels hit the gas to come away with a 16-point win over the Spartans.

It was a balanced effort for UNC who had four players top 15 points versus Michigan State.

Armando Bacot continues to be a focal point for the Tar Heels averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds in North Carolina’s first two NCAA tournament games.


North Carolina is 20-15-1 ATS this season, while Alabama has gone 18-15-1. The Crimson Tide have trended heavily towards the over in 2023-24. The over has hit in 25 games, with the under cashing nine times. Alabama is just 1-7 straight up as an underdog.

Potential Caleb Love Bowl for Trip to the Final Four

Ultimately, I like both favorites to advance to set up the potential Caleb Love Bowl matchup in the Elite Eight. My college basketball picks have both North Carolina and Arizona covering to advance.


If this scenario plays out, Love will be leading Arizona against his former team after transferring last offseason. All that would stand in the way of Love and the Wildcats making the Final Four is a Tar Heels squad that would indeed love to send their former star home.


 

Questions of the Day

Who is the favorite to make the Final Four in the West Region?


Arizona is the favorite to make the Final Four with +120 odds.

Who is the best bet to cover the spread in the Sweet 16: Alabama or North Carolina?

We like North Carolina to cover the -4 betting line versus Alabama.

 

The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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