As usual, the opening of the NCAA Tournament and March Madness was spectacular. While upsets were at first slow to come in, they then exploded and blew up many a bracket along the way. Now it’s time for the Sweet 16, and there are a lot of intriguing games to consider and match-ups to look at. Here’s a quick overview of some of the Sweet 16 games, picks and betting odds to consider.
Wisconsin vs. Syracuse
Number 1 seed Syracuse is a 4 point favorite against the Wisconsin Badgers. On a straight bet, you can get the Orange at -180 and the Badgers at +160. Syracuse has survived a few tough games so far, and are playing without one of their key cogs in Fab Melo. Wisconsin is coming out of the very strong Big Ten, and beat a very good Vanderbilt team. Don’t be surprised to see Wisconsin score the upset in this one.
Florida vs. Marquette
This is definitely one of the more intriguing games of the Sweet 16. Florida, a 7 seed, probably didn’t get seeded high enough for the tournament, and have proven that out with a couple of very strong games. Marquette though is a potential sleeper to advance to the Final Four. The odds makers have it a close one, with Marquette being favored by 1.5 points over the Gators.
North Carolina vs. Ohio
The widest odds of the Sweet Sixteen can be found in the UNC vs. Ohio game. UNC is going off at -650, and Ohio is at +475. The Tar Heels are favored by 10.5 points in the contest. Even without their point guard, UNC should be able to get past Ohio on sheer talent and athleticism.
Kentucky vs. Indiana
Another extremely interesting contest in this year’s Sweet 16 is this rematch of one of the best regular season games of the year. In that game, Indiana reestablished their place in the world of college basketball with a buzzer beating upset victory over number 1 Kentucky. The Wildcats should be eager to revenge, and they are favored by 9 points, and are currently at -500 compared to Indiana’s +400. Considering those odds, you might want to take a flier on the Hoosiers again, although Kentucky is favored for a very good reason.
Kansas vs. NC State
The Wolf Pack will be looking to extend their streak of upset victories by taking on Kansas, who barely got past Purdue, and needed to come back from double digits to do so. Still, here the Jayhawks are favored by 8 points, and are at -400 against NC State’s +320. Look for Kansas to get their game back on track here and look dominant against a streaking but overmatched NC State team.
The other games for the Sweet 16 include Xavier vs. Baylor, Cincinnati vs. Ohio State and Louisville vs. Michigan State. In other words, there’s a lot of great action to look forward to this Thursday and Friday in the NCAA Tournament.