- With shortened odds from +275 to +260, the Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the betting choice to win the NCAA Tournament
- The Kentucky Wildcats, who opened third at +825 in the March Madness odds, were ousted by Saint Peter’s
- A look at all the NCAA Tourney movers and shakers following first-round action
Still in search of their first-ever NCAA Tournament title, the Gonzaga Bulldogs find themselves retaining a familiar role as the team to beat.
Through one round of March Madness action, Gonzaga not only is maintaining hold on the role as the chalk, the Zags are even shortening their odds. The Bulldogs are now listed by oddsmakers as the +260 betting choice to emerge as champion in the odds to win March Madness.
March Madness Odds
|New Mexico State||+30000|
|Cal State Fullerton||+10000|
One Is the Luckiest Number
All four #1 seeds are moving on to second-round action. In fact, Gonzaga was the one among the four that ended up enduring the scariest outcome. The Zags only led by two points at halftime.
Things got even more intense seven minutes into the second half when the Panthers briefly took the lead. At that point, Gonzaga found an extra gear and won 72-63. However, the Zags failed to cover the 26.5-point spread.
Games with 15 Pts, 15 Reb, 5 Ast, 5 Blk this season:
Chet Holmgren: 2
Everyone else in D-I combined: 0
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 17, 2022
Nonetheless, oddsmakers remain enamored with the Bulldogs. Gonzaga’s betting line to win the championship has actually shortened from +275 to +260.
Likewise, the Arizona Wildcats, 87-70 winners over Wright State, saw their odds shorten from +600 to +550. On the other hand, evidently the 83-56 rout the Kansas Jayhawks achieved over Texas Southern wasn’t nearly as impressive. The betting line on Kansas lengthened from +600 to +750. The Baylor Bears, 85-49 winners over Norfolk State, remain at the same +1000 betting line they had when the tourney started.
The Long and Short of It
One of the more intriguing second-round matchups is in the South Region pitting #3 Tennessee Volunteers and the #11 Michigan Wolverines. The Vols have seen their tourney odds shorten from +2000 to +1500. Tennessee is also +355 in the Final Four odds.
Most NCAA Tournament wins since 2013
Gonzaga — 23@umichbball — 22
Duke, Kentucky, Villanova — 18
No Big Ten team other than Michigan has more than 15
— Clayton Sayfie (@CSayf23) March 18, 2022
The Villanova Wildcats can never be overlooked at March Madness time and already, they’re making inroads. The #2 seed in the South Region went from +2000 to +1600.
The North Carolina Tar Heels saw their odds lengthen from +5000 to +7000. That most likely is the result of them being 5.5-point underdogs to Baylor in the March Madness second-round odds. The Ohio State Buckeyes also find themselves facing longer odds. They’ve gone from +10000 to +12500 and get Villanova in the second round.
Better Luck Next Year
No less a source that ESPN college basketball guru Dick Vitale was touting the Kentucky Wildcats as the team to beat in the NCAA Tournament. The Saint Peter’s Peacocks took Vitale’s opinion to heart. The 15th-seeded Peacocks bounced #2 Kentucky 85-79. Kentucky was the +825 third betting choice at the outset of the tournament.
To me ST Peter’s beating Kentucky is one of the biggest upsets ever in March Madness .This is a total shocker .Tip the hat to @MAACSports & to ST PETER’S as this is really MARCH MADNESS ! Tall about a REAL CINDERELLA!
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 18, 2022
The UConn Huskies also have a March Madness resume and were the #5 seed in the West Region. But New Mexico State mushed the Huskies off into the wilderness by a 70-63 count.
Reigning Big Ten champion Iowa Hawkeyes came in as the #5 seed in the Midwest Region. However, they should’ve been afraid of the Spiders. Richmond sent Iowa packing by a 67-63 score.