After a weekend of unexpected upsets and unbelievable finishes, the 2016 NCAA Tournament moves on to the Sweet 16. Late-game heroics allowed a few teams to avoid being eliminated, but the betting odds indicate that their seasons could soon be coming to an end.
No.3 Texas A&M pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in sports history, erasing a 12-point deficit in the final 34 seconds and eventually defeating No.11 Northern Iowa in overtime. The Aggies are the lone SEC representative left in the tournament, and they are 1.5-point underdogs in their Sweet 16 matchup with Oklahoma.
No.7 Wisconsin needed a buzzer-beater to survive beyond the first weekend. Bronson Koenig hit two three-pointers in the final seconds, including one as time expired to help the Badgers upset No.2 Xavier. Wisconsin is getting one point in Friday’s game against No.6 Notre Dame, though they are the smallest underdog in the Sweet 16.
No.5 Maryland is getting more points than any team in the Sweet 16. The Terrapins are seven-point underdogs against Kansas, who are the top overall seed in the tournament. The Jayhawks have yet to be tested in the tournament, winning their first-round game by 26 points and cruising to a 12-point victory over No.9 Connecticut.
Two double-digit seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16, and they’ll be playing each other on Friday night. No.10 Syracuse was one of the selection committee’s most controversial choices, but they haven’t had any trouble reaching the Sweet 16, winning their two games by an average of 22 points. The Orange will be the higher seeded team for a second straight game when they face No.11 Gonzaga, but Syracuse is a 4.5-point underdog. Gonzaga has been just as impressive, beating No.6 Seton Hall by 16 points and topping No.3 Utah by 23 points.
Six of the 16 teams left in the tournament play in the ACC. Top seeds North Carolina and Virginia are both favored after winning their respective round of 32 games by at least 18 points. No.4 Kentucky was considered to be the Tar Heels’ biggest competition in the East region, but the Wildcats were eliminated on Saturday. No.2 Michigan State was favored to win the Midwest region over Virginia, but they lost in what might have been the biggest first-round upset of all time.
Below are the available betting lines for all the Sweet 16 games, including the point spreads and over/unders. These are the consensus odds from multiple sportsbooks in Las Vegas, via vegasinsider.com.
Thursday, March 24
Miami (+4.5) vs. Villanova, 142.5
Texas A&M (+1.5) vs. Oklahoma, 145
Maryland (+7) vs. Kansas, 146
Duke (+2) vs. Oregon, 155
Friday, March 25
Iowa State (+5.5) vs. Virginia, 141
Wisconsin (+1) vs. Notre Dame, 128
Gonzaga (-4.5) vs. Syracuse, 135
Indiana (+6) vs. North Carolina, 159.5