Three-quarters of the NCAA Tournament teams have been eliminated from national championship contention, and no one could have predicted this remaining field. Two No.1 seeds failed to reach the Sweet 16 in March Madness 2018, and more than half of the top four seeds were upset in the first two rounds.
No.1 Kansas and No.1 Villanova are still alive, as are No.2 Purdue and No.2 Duke. The Blue Devils are by far the biggest betting favorites in the Sweet 16, according to the latest betting odds.
The contest between Duke and No.11 Syracuse is the only Sweet 16 game with a betting line in double-digits. The Orange needed three wins to survive the first week, including victories over No.6 TCU and No.3 Michigan State, though it was just a few weeks ago that they lost by 16 points to Duke in ACC play.
No.5 Kentucky is the second-biggest favorite in the Sweet 16. They’ll face No.9 Kansas State after getting wins over a No.12 and a No.13 seed. A win for the Wildcats would give them a matchup with either a No.11 or a No.7 seed with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
No team is favored to defeat a higher seeded team and reach the Elite Eight. No.7 Loyola-Chicago is the closest in their matchup with No.7 Nevada. They are just two-point underdogs Thursday night.
Neither Kansas nor Villanova is favored by more than five points Friday night. The matchup between No.3 Texas Tech and No.2 Purdue features the upcoming round’s smallest point spread.
Below are the available betting lines for Thursday’s and Friday’s Sweet 16 games, via OddsShark.
No.11 Loyola-Chicago (+2) vs. No.7 Nevada, 143
No.7 Texas A&M (+3) vs. No.3 Michigan, 134
No.9 Kansas State (+6) vs. No.5 Kentucky, 138.5
No.9 Florida State (+5.5) vs. No.4 Gonzaga, 153
No.5 Clemson (+4) vs. No.1 Kansas, 143
No.5 West Virginia (+5) vs. No.1 Villanova, 152.5
No.11 Syracuse (+11) vs. No.2 Duke, 133.5
No.3 Texas Tech (+1.5) vs. No.2 Purdue, 137.5