Updated NCAAB Championship Odds

Updated NCAAB Championship Odds

The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is in the books and we assured of a new national champion because East Region top seed Baylor, the defending champ, was knocked out in the Round of 32 by No. 8 seed North Carolina. Gonzaga was the betting favorite to win the tournament entering and remains so at +220.

NCAA Basketball Championship Analysis

That Baylor even got Saturday’s game vs. UNC to overtime was a miracle considering the Bears trailed by as many as 25. The Bears clearly ran out of gas in the OT, though, missing 10 of 11 shots.   Baylor lost its first neutral site non-conference game since Nov. 8, 2019, ending a string of 16-consecutive wins.

RJ Davis scored a career-high 30 points for UNC with a big layup while being fouled in overtime, while Armando Bacot made the tiebreaking free throws after missing three in the final 38 seconds of regulation. Bacot had 15 points and 16 rebounds, along with three blocked shots.

Baylor lost in the second round for the second time in the last three NCAA tourneys. The Bears, who fell to top-seeded Gonzaga in the round of 32 three years ago, were trying to match the biggest comeback to win an NCAA Tournament game.

“To win back-to-back conference championships with three season-ending injuries, that’s phenomenal, along with all the other injuries these guys have overcome. But, it just shows you the toughness the guys have,” Coach Scott Drew said.

Gonzaga hasn’t had it easy in the Big Dance, that’s for sure. The Zags were tied in the second half with No. 16 Georgia State in Round 1 before pulling away and then had a struggle Saturday in beating No. 9 Memphis 82-78. The Tigers were up 10 at the half. WCC Player of the Year Drew Timme scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half.

Trailing at the half for only the fourth time this season, Gonzaga leaned on its star junior to reach its seventh straight Sweet 16. The Bulldogs (28-3) will face No. 4 seed Arkansas in the West Region semifinals on Thursday in San Francisco. Free-throw shooting continues to be a major concern for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga went 13 for 24 at the line after going 16 for 30 in the first round against Georgia State.

Timme became the third player to have back-to-back games of at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and 60% shooting in the past 30 NCAA Tournaments. Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 and Blake Griffin in 2009 were the other two.

Arkansas is a +6000 long shot. The Hogs beat No. 12 New Mexico State 53-48 on Saturday to reach the Sweet 16 for a second straight season. Arkansas star JD Notae led all scorers with 18 points while also matching the school record for steals in an NCAA Tournament game with a career-high eight. Jaylin Williams notched his second double-double in as many games and his 14th of the season with 10 points and an NCAA-Tournament, school-record 15 rebounds. Stanley Umude added nine points and eight boards.

Au’Diese Toney’s defense versus WAC Player of the Year Teddy Allen was spectacular. Allen entered the game averaging 19.8 ppg and scored 37 in the first-round win over UConn. However, Toney held Allen to just 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting (2-of-6 from deep) with five coming inside the final 1:10 (a 3-pointer at 1:10 and a dunk with two seconds left).

Kansas is now the +475 second favorite to cut down the nets in New Orleans on April 4. The Jayhawks routed Texas Southern 83-56 in Round 1 and then beat No. 9 Creighton 79-72 on Saturday.

With the win, Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, moved to 30-6 on the season and advanced to the program’s first Sweet 16 since 2018 and fourth in the last six NCAA Tournaments. The victory also marked the 10thtime that Bill Self has registered a 30-win season at Kansas and is the 2,353rd all-time victory in program history, which ties Kentucky for most ever.

Super-senior guard Remy Martin paced the Jayhawks with a season-high 20 points in 29 minutes, also adding seven rebounds and four assists. Jalen Wilson picked up his fourth double-double of the season in the win over the ninth-seeded Bluejays, with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Kansas faces No. 4 Providence on Friday from Chicago. Providence, led by Big East Coach of the Year Ed Cooley, advanced to the Sweet 16 by defeating No. 12 seed Richmond 79-51 in Buffalo on Saturday. Five players reached double figures in scoring for the Friars, with Noah Horchler, a sixth-year senior transfer from North Florida, finishing with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

The Friars are an average team in nearly every major offensive statistical category. They score 71.8 points per game (123rd in Division I), make 43.8% of their shots (163rd) and average 13.3 assists per game (131st). In three of their five losses, they were outscored by at least 18 points. PC is +5000 to win the national title.


 

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