Day 2 of the Sweet 16 takes place Friday night in Omaha and Boston with eight teams fighting for their spot in the Elite Eight. While Thursday was highlighted by Cinderella stories, the four upcoming games feature some of the top college basketball programs in the country.
Friday’s action starts with two remaining No.1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. No.1 Kansas takes on No.5 Clemson, while No.1 Villanova will face No.5 West Virginia. Villanova began March Madness as the favorites to win the national title.
Villanova remains the tournament favorites at some sportsbooks, though others give No.2 Duke the best odds to cut down the nets on April 2 in San Antonio. The Wildcats and Blue Devils were both dominant in the first weekend of the tournament, winning each of their games by at least 22 points.
The contest between Duke and No.11 Syracuse features easily the biggest betting line. The Orange are 11-point underdogs and the only team seeded lower than No.5 that’s in action Friday night. Jim Boeheim’s squad was the last team selected to the field of 68, but they’ve proved to be a worthy choice with three consecutive victories. The Orange haven’t allowed more than 56 points in a tournament game, including their 55-53 second-round win over No.3 Michigan State.
Friday night’s final game, which might not tip off until after 10 p.m. EDT depending on when the previous game concludes, is the most difficult to predict. No.2 Purdue is just a two-point favorite over No.3 Texas Tech. The Boilermakers will be without big man Isaac Haas, who’s second on the team in both scoring and rebounding.
Here’s a look at the complete schedule and picks for Friday’s Sweet 16 games, as well as updated betting odds, according to OddsShark.
No.5 Clemson (+5) vs. No.1 Kansas, 142 [7:07 p.m. EDT, CBS]
No.5 West Virginia (+5.5) vs. No.1 Villanova, 152.5 [7:27 p.m. EDT, TBS]
No.11 Syracuse (+11) vs. No.2 Duke, 133 [9:37 p.m. EDT, CBS]
No.3 Texas Tech (+2) vs. No.2 Purdue, 137.5 [9:57 p.m. EDT, TBS]
Prediction: Texas Tech