Virginia Tech Still Getting 44-1 Odds to Win NCAA Men’s Tournament After Dominant First-Round

Justin Robinson Virginia Tech
Justin Robinson scored nine points against Saint Louis in the Round of 64, his first game since January 30. Photo from @TurntSportsNews (Twitter)
  • Virginia Tech is listed at odds of +4400 to win the NCAA Tournament
  • The Hokies beat Saint Louis 66-52 in the first round of the East Region
  • It was Virginia Tech’s first March Madness win in eight years

For the first time since 2006-07, the Virginia Tech Hokies are moving on in the NCAA Tournament.

Friday’s 66-52 East Region first-round win over the Saint Louis Billikens was the first March Madness success by the Hokies since a 54-52 West Regional opening-round triumph over the Illinois Illini On March 16, 2007.

How much further can the Hokies go?

Not very, in the opinion of online sports betting sites. Even with Virginia Tech’s decisive first-round victory, the Hokies’ average odds to win the 2019 NCAA Men’s Tournament only shortened from +5800 to +4400.

Odds to Win 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Team March Madness Futures
Duke +275
Virginia +500
Gonzaga +550
North Carolina +700
Kentucky +1200
Virginia Tech +4000

*Odds taken March 23

Oddsmakers list the Hokies’ chances of victory at +4000.

Their +4400 average odds are equal to fellow no. 4 seed Kansas, but longer than FSU (the other no. 4 seed still standing), who sit at an average of +3200.

It’s Been A Long Time for Tech

The Hokies and March Madness don’t share a rich history. Oh, the Hokies have been there, but they sure haven’t done that for very long.

This is their third straight year in March Madness, but the win over St. Louis was just their second NCAA Tournament victory since 1981.

They pinned the tweet about their victory. Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, they don’t pin tweets about first-round victories.

George W. Bush was in the White House during Virginia Tech’s previous NCAA Tournament win. LBJ was President the last time the Hokies reached the Elite Eight in 1966-67.

Give Them Liberty, Then Give Them Death?

The Hokies entered the NCAA Tournament ranked 16th in the nation. They posted a fifth-place finish in the rugged ACC, their best performance since 2010-11.

In the win over the Billikens, Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 20 points and Kenny Blaskshear netted 15. Point guard Justin Robinson returned to the lineup following a 15-game absence due to a left foot injury.

Virginia Tech sits 11th in the KenPom rankings and are 13th in the NCAA with 118.0 points per 100 possessions. The 25-8 Hokies will establish a new school record with a victory in their second-round game against Liberty.

Extinguishing the 12th-seeded Flames won’t be an easy task, though.

Liberty shoots 56.5% from two-point range, ninth-best in the NCAA. The Flames rank in the NCAA top 100 in forced turnovers (20.7%, 55th), points per 100 possessions (99.9, 91st) and effective field goal percentage (49.0, 96th).

Can Virginia Tech Beat Duke?

If the Hokies can advance to the Sweet 16, it’s likely the Duke Blue Devils will be waiting for them. Can Virginia Tech overcome the tournament’s top dogs?

They already did. Granted, it was while Duke star Zion Williamson was hurt, but the Hokies dropped the Blue Devils 77-72 on Feb. 26. In fact, they’ve won three of four from Duke.

Virginia Tech also beat Purdue but is 3-6 vs ranked teams.

Look, Duke with Zion is a different ballgame than without him. If this comes to be a Sweet 16 matchup, logic says the Hokies don’t win that game.

But March Madness is all about the upsets. The Hokies know Duke. They’ll give the Blue Devils a game.

At those odds, a small wager on Virginia Tech wouldn’t be a bad play.

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