The second half of the Sweet 16 kicks off in the next hour as the 2011 NCAA Tournament continues to resemble nothing more than chaos. Just when it seemed like some of the big dogs were preparing to handle their business yesterday, we saw Duke get absolutely hammered in the second half by Arizona and Butler continue its repeat Cinderella run with a defensive shutdown of Wisconsin. Any chance at winning money yesterday went by the wayside as oddsmakers were left scratching their heads. I was successful with Butler and Florida, but saw San Diego State and Duke go by the wayside.
As we look at today's odds, I'd imagine gamblers are going to be a bit cautious in their wagers. I took a look through Odds Shark today and I feel like some traps are being laid. The oddsmakers have North Carolina sitting as a four to five point favorite over Marquette. UNC has been wildly inconsistent this year and it seems like only a fool would wager either way in this one. If I had to pick (purely for entertainment purposes) I'd almost feel obligated to go with Marquette given the run of Cinderellas. However, I'd end up going with North Carolina thinking my brain was winning out.
Kansas is sitting at -10 1/2 against Richmond. A one seed has never lost to a twelve seed, but I'm not finding the stats on whether twelves have covered against ones. My thought on this game is that Richmond wins or losses a tight one OR they get blown out. This won't be a seven point Kansas win. I see a game very close or a 15+ point victory. I'm going with Kansas to roll the big victory.
Ohio State is a 6 1/2 point favorite over Kentucky and I'd likely take the Buckeyes. I think reality is going to set back in after yesterday's insanity, with Ohio State leading the charge. Kentucky is very talented but I think Ohio State will be able to push them around with relative ease. I'm rooting for Kentucky, but I'd be betting for Ohio State.
Finally, we've got the battle of upstarts as No. 10 Florida State faces No. 11 VCU, with the Seminoles sitting as a 4 1/2 point favorite. I think VCU is playing as well as anybody in their region right now and I think they're going to follow the George Mason model to at least the Elite Eight. I don't know if they can also beat Kansas, but they're playing as well as anybody right now with a monstrous chip on their shoulder.