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March Madness Sweet 16 Odds: UConn Still Top Dog

There were some who thought this could be another unpredictable March Madness bracket after a chaotic regular season. However, heading into the Sweet 16 action, all the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds are still alive and listed by the college basketball lines as the favorites to advance to this weekend’s regional finals.

North Carolina State followed up its surprising run to the ACC tournament title by posting wins over Texas Tech and Oakland. The Wolfpack looks to reach the regional final for the first time since 1986.

March Madness Sweet 16 Odds: UConn Still Top Dog
Stephon Castle #5 of the Connecticut Huskies-Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

UConn leads the way at -220 to advance to the Final Four according to the BetUS sportsbook followed by Houston (even odds), Arizona (+120) and Purdue (+125). The Huskies are trying to become the first men’s Division I basketball team to win back-to-back national titles since Florida in 2006 and 2007.

Clemson (+1000), North Carolina State (+1400), and San Diego State (+1600) have the longest odds to make it to the Final Four.


UConn Eyeing Repeat

After having little trouble with Stetson and Northwestern to reach the Sweet 16, UConn has seen its odds to win March Madness go from +375 to +220, so it is looking like this is the Huskies’ tournament to lose.

Playing in a league that has two other teams in the Sweet 16 and playing fellow regional semifinalists Gonzaga and North Carolina makes it clear that the defending national champions have prepared themselves to make a run at the second straight title.

Houston is lucky to still be playing as Texas A&M outscored the Cougars 8-2 in the final minute to force overtime in the second round.

The Cougars should be tested in the South Regional semifinal by Duke, with Houston listed by the college basketball betting lines as the 3.5-point favorite.

The college basketball championship odds for Houston have gone from +600 to +500 despite the scare the last time out.

Purdue made history for all the wrong reasons in the 2023 March Madness bracket with a stunning loss to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. There have been no such issues this time around.

Purdue has won its first two games by 28 and 39 points and is favored by 5 points against Gonzaga despite being 1-5 in its last six Sweet 16 games.

The championship odds for Purdue have gone from +700 to +650.

In a March Madness bracket when 12 of the top 16 seeds advanced to the regional semifinals, the only region that has the No. 1 seed as the underdog is the West. No. 2 seed Arizona is priced at +850 to be cutting down the nets at the end of the season. North Carolina, the No. 1 seed out West, comes in at +1200 in the championship odds.

Conference Bragging Rights at Stake

The ACC leads the way with four teams among the last 16 standing followed by the Big East with three. The Big Ten, the Big 12 and the SEC each have two teams still alive.

Clemson and North Carolina State were not among the ACC teams expected to be making it to the second week of the March Madness bracket. NC State is only in the NCAA tournament thanks to its improbable run to the ACC tournament title while Clemson struggled down the stretch.

Big East fans and especially media members are whining away about the fact that the only three Big East teams to get into the field of 68 are a combined 6-0. It is hard to understand why three teams that were favored to reach the regionals should make people outside the Big East circle believe that Seton Hall, St. John’s, Providence or Villanova deserved NCAAB Tournament spots based on the success of the top three teams in the league.


A Look at the Schedule

Things get underway when Arizona, the final Pac-12 team standing, is favored to top Clemson in the West Region semifinal on Thursday at 7:09 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. The West Region final will be set after the 9:39 p.m. clash between North Carolina and Alabama.

The Sweet 16 games in the East Region will also be played on Thursday.

UConn is a double-digit favorite against San Diego State in a rematch of the 2023 national title game. Then it is Iowa State favored to top Illinois in the other regional semifinal being played in Boston.

Friday’s action begins with North Carolina State, the only remaining double-digit seed, facing off with favored Marquette while the other South Regional semifinal features No. 4 seed Duke meeting up with No. 1 Houston in Dallas.

Purdue is favored against No. 5 seed Gonzaga in the Midwest Region semifinal with Tennessee a slight favorite versus Creighton.



Questions Of The Day

Which team had the best odds to win the men’s Division I national title when the season began?

Kansas was priced at +1000 followed by Duke at +1100 in the odds of winning March Madness before the first game was played during the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season.

Which college basketball team remaining in the March Madness bracket has the best record in the nation against the spread?

Iowa State is 25-10-1 ATS and UConn is 25-12 against the spread. No. 1 seeds UConn, Purdue, Houston, and North Carolina are a combined 24-7-2 against the Las Vegas NCAAB odds when facing ranked opponents.

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