march madnessAnother round of surprises and upsets has led us to the “Sweet Sixteen” of the NCAA tournament in men’s basketball, one of the most wildly unpredictable years in tournament history. If your bracket wasn’t busted you probably weren’t trying. I certainly didn’t expect this many top seeds to be out by this point, let alone #3 and #4 seeds. The field is wide open and if you bet on any of the underdogs leading up to this point I’d like to congratulate you for the foresight I didn’t have. It is the folly of sports writers to tend to lean on the favorites, unless there is compelling evidence that the possibility of an upset exists. Some of these games are just too close to call. Some of them are anything but. #1 seed Kentucky is a heavy favorite in tonight’s action as they’re -1200 on the money line over West Virginia at +775. Given that Kentucky is undefeated all year long that’s not unreasonable, but unless you predict them making a march all the way through the madness to a national championship – stomping every opponent along the way – that domino has to fall sooner or later. I’m not saying it’s now, I’m not saying it’s this particular game, but I have this suspicion that sooner or later someone will give Kentucky a fight. Remember I said some of these games were too close to call though? That’s Wichita State and Notre Dame. Wichita State is one of those tournament surprises, having already knocked off Kansas, but Notre Dame has also gone further than anybody expected them to. That’s why right now Wichita State is only a slight -135 favorite to go to the Elite Eight, while Notre Dame is right in the mix as the +115 dog. This is one of those times where I feel that an upset isn’t an unreasonable prospect. Wichita State was propelled to a win over Kansas by virtue of it being an in-state rivalry, but no such motivation exists to knock off the Fighting Irish, who won’t be looking to end their run just yet. Back to the long odds again though for Xavier vs. Arizona in the West regional semifinal. Arizona is the heavy favorite at -970 as you’d expect from a perennial college basketball power team, but the surprising Xavier is +635 for another upset and I’m almost tempted to tell you to play this dog. ALMOST. The one I’m really feeling though is North Carolina vs. Wisconsin. Wisconsin is the favorite at -290 but I really like North Carolina as the +245 dog to continue their run. The Tar Heels looked like a complete team in their win over the Arkansas Razorbacks 87-78, a comfortable margin of victory, and look out for Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson to lead them to the Elite Eight with another exceptional performance. As always please remember that these previews are for entertainment purposes only. If you choose to wager on sports events, please gamble responsibly, and only bet what you can afford. Enjoy the latest round of the March Madness tournament!