Can Wolverines Make a Run to the NCAA Championship Game for 2nd Time in 3 years?
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Well, at least Michigan held up its end of the bargain in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
For the rest of the Big 10, March Madness became March Sadness, with every other team out of the bracket. That is right: for all the talk about how good the conference was all season, all the top 10 rankings, all the hype, only the Wolverines managed to win more than one game.
That is pretty embarrassing for the league, in all honesty: especially when you take into account the play of the PAC-12, which is 8-1 on the court so far and has a quarter of the Sweet 16 teams. The PAC-12 is guaranteed at least one Elite 8 team, with USC playing Oregon in the West Region Sunday night.
Top-seeded Michigan might have the toughest of the eight games this weekend, taking on fourth-seeded Florida State in the East Region Sweet 16. The Wolverines are a 3.5-point favorite, and -162 odds on the money line, but it is the Seminoles (+133) that are getting a lot of the action right now outside of Michigan. In the state, the action is on the Wolverines for the large part.
With most sports betting apps in the state, Michigan is still the third choice in the futures betting odds, at around +650. All season, it looked like Gonzaga (+155), Baylor (+300), and the Wolverines were in another league, and the first two rounds of the tournament has shown that to be the case. While the pretenders fell to the wayside, these three teams have piled up the points.
The three favorites are also the only three right now to have minus-money odds to make the Final Four. Gonzaga is -295 out of the West, Baylor -250 out of the South, and Michigan -106 out of the East: Houston is the current betting favorite in the Midwest to get to the Final Four at +100.
Are you still confident that the Final Four will be three one seeds and a two? There has been a lot of madness this tournament, and I still think we could see some more next weekend.
I do think, though, that the chalk will move on eventually, with the exception of one game. Sorry Michigan backers, I picked Florida State Alabama to be the Elite 8 matchup in the East before the tournament began, so I am going to stick with it, especially if I can get the Seminoles at +133 to win the game. But I have been impressed with the Wolverines, who have battled through injuries to save face for the Big 10.
I would not be surprised if they came out of the East.
Sweet 16 picks:
- Loyola-Chicago -6.5
- Arkansas -11
- Houston -6
- Baylor -6.5
- Gonzaga -13.5
- Florida State +3.5
- USC -1
- Alabama -6
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