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There was no shortage of entertainment over the course of the last four days in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The opening wave of games got underway with the ‘First Four’ last week and now we are down to the Sweet 16.
We’ve had it all over the first three rounds. There have been favorites that have dominated, Cinderellas that remain alive, and heart-stopping endings to games that have produced both the highest of highs to the winners, and the lowest of lows to those teams that came up just a little bit short.
Entering the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Florida Gators were the No.1 overall seed and the favorites to win it all. The Gators are in the Sweet 16 after a dominating performance over Pitt on the weekend. Florida will play the No.4 seed in the South Region in UCLA. The Bruins have a big chip on their shoulder when it comes to playing the Gators, having lost to them in a national championship game and a Final Four matchup that last couple of times they played in the tournament. UCLA would certainly like to repay the favor.
Three of the four No.1 seeds are still alive. Florida, along with Virginia and Arizona reached the Sweet 16. The lone one of the four in Wichita State dropped to Kentucky in the round of 32, in a 78-76 thriller. The Shockers will not be making back-to-back Final Four appearances, but we could have seen Kentucky turn a corner with that victory. Coming into the season the Wildcats were touted as the top team in the country. Kentucky certainly underachieved during the regular season, but things seem to be clicking and they are garnering plenty of respect from analysts and oddsmakers coming into the Sweet 16.
The Wildcats will get the defending national champions and arch rival Louisville with a trip to the Elite 8 on the line. The Cardinals have not been impressive through two tournament games, but they have done enough to win. Louisville knows that it’s a tall task to defend the title, but they have been put in good position.
The big question now is which teams are on top to win the national title since oddsmakers have had a chance to see the teams in action.
Bovada Sportsbook has been all over the NCAA Tournament, and the latest betting odds to win the national championship in college basketball don’t look that different at the top. In fact, the top-three favorites remain the same as the beginning with Florida, Louisville and Michigan State
A wager on the Gators is paying out a little over 3 to 1, going off at 10/3 on the betting line. The Cardinals and Spartans are tied with an equal payout at 5/1.
The other No.1 seeds in Arizona and Virginia come next, at 6/1 and 9/1 respectively.
The team that has made a big jump is obviously Kentucky, with its win over Wichita State. The Wildcats are currently 16/1. You can imagine if Kentucky is able to beat Louisville that they would jump up even more. The winner of that game will take on the winner of Michigan and Tennessee.
There are three double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16 still alive. They are Tennessee (11), Dayton (11), and Stanford (10). As you can imagine, they are right at the bottom of the favorites. Dayton is the biggest underdog of the three, with odds set at 100/1. But it’s hard to count out these Cinderella teams that have been playing well, especially Stanford with its win over No.2 Kansas. While Tennessee is playing well with three wins (including the play-in game over Iowa), the Volunteers got a bit of a break with a game against No.14 seed Mercer in the round of 32 after the upset of Duke.
The Sweet 16 round of games begin Thursday with four on Thursday and four on Friday. Then the Elite 8 matchups will be played Saturday and Sunday. But the end of the weekend the Final Four for Dallas will bet set. Game lines for all of the matchups will be available below, with Bovada providing a quick turnover from the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8.
All along the way, LatestBettingOdds.com will have the latest game lines + odds to win the tournament for you here. Check out the current championship odds below, as these will be up until Thursday night’s games.
2014 NCAA Tournament Odds – Sweet 16
2014 NCAA Tournament Game Lines