2018 NCAA March Madness Recap – Upsets Galore & Sweet 16 Betting Preview
It’s hard to remember a more exciting opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament. The field is now trimmed to 16 teams, but there were plenty of upsets along the way. If you went heavy on favorites in your bracket – you’re surely out of the running in your office pool.
The Upset Of Tournament History
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) upset No. 1 Virginia on Friday evening. The UMBC Retrievers were massive +20.5 underdogs at most sportsbooks. On the moneyline, they were +2000 or 20/1. UMBC dominated the game from start to finish, and there was no doubt about the outcome in the final minutes, with the Retrievers beating the Cavaliers by a score of 74-54. The upset was the biggest in tournament history. A No. 16 seed has never defeated a No. 1 seed since the inception of the tournament in 1939. However, Virginia wasn’t the only top team falling this weekend.
Other March Madness Upsets
No. 11 Syracuse roared back to take down No. 3 seed Michigan State. The bet paid +425 for Orange backers. Syracuse will take on No. 1 Duke on Friday in the Sweet 16. No. 7 Texas A&M beat North Carolina as a +300 dog. They will take on No. 3 Michigan on Thursday. No. 7 Nevada stormed back from 20+ points down to beat No. 2 Cincinnati by a score of 75-73. They were also going at +300 when the odds closed. Finally, No. 9 Florida State took down No. 1 seed, Xavier, winning 75-70. They will face Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on Thursday evening.
2018 March Madness Futures At Bovada Sportsbook
As we head into the Sweet 16 on Thursday, Duke is the odds-on favorite to win at +325, followed by Villanova. Villanova isn’t too far behind at +450 followed by Kentucky and Gonzaga at +700. Michigan rounds out the top five teams at +800.
One of the long shots I am interested in is Texas A&M. Not only were they imposing in their win against UNC, but this is a team that has been tested all year against fierce competition. They draw a favorable matchup against Michigan next round, in a game they can certainly win. This tournament is a lot wider open with so many top seeds going down. At 25/1, we like the odds on the Aggies to take down the title.
Early Point Spread Pick
I managed to grab Kansas State +6 before the market moved to +5.5, but I still like them at that number in their Thursday evening matchup against Kentucky. They had a much tougher time than most expected against UMBC, still winning 50-43, but giving up 18 turnovers.
They will go into their game against Kentucky with an underdog mentality and will have a coaching advantage when it comes down to Weber vs. Calipari. Star forward Dean Wade was injured but is fully expected to return against Kentucky. I love them getting +5.5 in a game they could easily win outright.
Check back later in the week for more picks and analysis of the NCAA Tournament!