All the “experts” were convinced that the ACC was the best NCAA basketball conference in the nation during the regular season. The ACC got nine teams in the Big Dance, the most of anyone. There’s just one left. Let’s break down the conference props for the Sweet 16.
This NCAA Tournament has proven once again that regular-season impressions matter very little. Were the Big Ten or SEC as good as the ACC during the year? Not even close. The ACC is still a better league, but the Big Dance is all about matchups. So while there is just one ACC team standing, there are three in both the Big Ten and SEC (and Pac-12).
The same sort of thing happened in the college football season. Everyone was crowing about how great the Big Ten was in getting four schools into New Year’s Six bowls. Three lost, and the Big Ten overall flopped in the bowl games. The moral of the story: bet regarding the current state of a team in the postseason and how it matches up against an opponent, not how its conference did overall during the year.
Here are updated BetOnline NCAA Tournament conference props.
Total Wins By ACC Teams: 8.5
The ‘under’ is a -125 favorite here. The Atlantic Coast Conference is just 7-8 in this tournament and a ridiculously bad 2-13 ATS in NCAA betting. Things got off to a bad start in the First Four when Wake Forest was knocked out rather handily by Kansas State of the Big 12. Virginia frankly embarrassed the ACC in scoring 39 points in a Round of 32 blowout loss to Florida. Duke had no right losing to No. 7 South Carolina. The only team left is South Region No. 1 North Carolina. So if you want to go ‘over’ here, you assume the Heels will beat No. 4 seed Butler as a 7-point betting favorite on Friday and the neither No. 2 Kentucky or No. 3 UCLA as a slight favorite on Sunday.
Prediction: ‘Over’ At -105
Total Wins By Big 12 Teams: 9.5
The ‘over’ is a -195 favorite. The Big 12 was considered second-best to the ACC during the season -- no league was better against Top-100 competition in nonconference play than the Big 12 -- and it has lived up to the billing with an 8-3 record. Two of the three losses were quality: No. 10 Oklahoma State losing by one against No. 7 Michigan in the first round and No. 5 Iowa State falling by four to No. 4 Purdue in the Round of 32. Kansas, Baylor and West Virginia are still standing. Midwest No. 1 Kansas is a 5-point favorite to beat the Boilermakers on Thursday in Kansas City and then would be favored against either No. 3 Oregon or Michigan in the Elite Eight. East No. 3 Baylor is -3.5 vs. South Carolina on Friday, but No. 4 West Virginia is a 3-point dog in the West against No. 1 Gonzaga. Kansas probably gets this total ‘over’ itself.
Total Wins By Big Ten Teams: 10.5
The ‘under’ is a -135 favorite. I did fall into the trap that the Big Ten was lousy. Instead, it is 8-4 in this tournament with three schools left. The Big Ten didn’t have a team seeded better than Purdue’s No. 4 in the Big Dance. The Boilers are supposed to be in the Sweet 16 if you go by seeding, but No. 7 Michigan upset No. 2 Louisville in the Round of 32 and No. 8 Wisconsin knocked off No. 1 and defending national champion Villanova. The Badgers always overachieve in the NCAA Tournament. Only the Wolverines are favored in the Sweet 16, and that’s by just a point over No. 3 Oregon in the Midwest. Wisconsin is +2 vs. Florida and Purdue is +5 against Kansas.
Total Wins By Pac-12 Teams: 9.5
The ‘over’ is a -205 favorite. I would argue no conference was better at the very top than the Pac-12 during the season with Top-10 teams all year in Oregon, Arizona and UCLA. That conference is a stellar 8-1 in the Dance with the Ducks, Wildcats and Bruins still going. The lone loss was by Southern Cal in the Round of 32 to Baylor and that was close. Oregon is a slight dog vs. Michigan in the Sweet 16, Arizona is the biggest favorite on the board vs. Xavier, and UCLA is a pick’em at many sites against Kentucky.
Total Wins By SEC Teams: 9.5
The ‘over’ is a -125 favorite. The SEC is 7-2 in the Big Dance, with Vanderbilt and Arkansas eliminated in close losses to Northwestern and North Carolina, respectively. No shock that Kentucky and Florida are in the Sweet 16, but South Carolina is the most unlikely participant as the Gamecocks upset Duke in the Round of 32. Keep in mind that game was in Greenville, S.C. South Carolina’s run likely ends Friday vs. No. 3 Baylor. Florida is a small favorite over Wisconsin, and Kentucky is a pick’em with UCLA.
Prediction: ‘Under’ At -105Bet On NCAA Tournament Futures At SBR’s Top Sportsbooks