My bracket is in shambles, but my projected champion is still alive. The Sweet 16 offers up a reset button and another round of futures bets available for the tournament champion over at Bovada.
While I expected Villanova to exit the tournament early, the logic was that would clear the way for Duke to survive the East and make it to the Final Four. South Carolina had other plans of course, and now we have the 3, 4, 7, and 8 seeds left on that side of the bracket. The hottest team in the East is Florida, who racked up two very impressive wins to get to the Sweet 16. Florida has the best odds to win the tournament in this region at +1200, with Baylor slotted immediately behind at +1600. These teams don’t crack the top 6 of available favorites to win it all, though. Wisconsin and South Carolina are the longshots out of the East with the Badgers at +1800 and South Carolina at +5000. Neither team is favored to win their Sweet 16 matchups.
Order in the West
With the Exception of Xavier’s run to the Sweet 16, the tournament seeding held in the West Region. Both Gonzaga and Arizona are favored to win their matchups in the next round, and their college basketball odds to win it all are sitting at +650. That is the third best odds, and either team will be a dangerous out for the other side of the bracket. Should West Virginia pull off an upset they can be found at +1800 now, but Xavier would make history winning the tournament as an 11-seed – a fact made clear that their tournament odds are still at +7500 with 16 teams left in the field.
Kansas and the Rest
Kansas has dominated in its first two games of the tournament, easily covering ATS in both games even with sky-high expectations. Those expectations carry over in the futures market, as they are the odds-on favorite to win it all at +475. No other team out of the Midwest region cracks the top half of the futures odds, with Michigan (+1600), Oregon (+1800), and Purdue (+2000) having to pull off an upset or two each just to reach the Final Four.
Marquee Names in the South
Seeds also held in the South Region, just barely, with the top 4 seeds reaching the round of 16. North Carolina and UCLA are getting some futures love out of this region, being favored at +500 and +900 to win the championship, respectively. Taking UCLA would be a dangerous proposition, as they are currently listed as just a 1-point favorite in their next matchup against Kentucky. The Wildcats are also in the top half of the futures odds to win it all at +1000. With those 3 teams being loved by the public, there is a huge drop off for the last team alive in the South and Butler can be picked up for a song to win it all at +4000.
Mark’s Original Final Four Picks: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina
Updated Final Four Picks: Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina
Futures Value Pick: Florida +1200 at Bovada