The NCAA Tournament has reached its famous Sweet 16 stage as less than one-fourth of the teams that began the journey towards a national title are still left in contention.
The Saint Peter’s Peacocks have captivated the hearts of Americans during their historic run through the tournament’s opening weekend, while three of the four one seeds are still standing strong.
Get your popcorn ready for another installment of March Madness action Thursday night— here are the best games to bet tonight.
Texas Tech vs Duke ML
Texas Tech has one of the best defenses in America and can get hot on offense as well as they showed in their first game against Wright State, which ended in a 97-62 blowout. The Red Raiders are actually the favorites against their big-name opponent too, which shows the faith that the oddsmakers have in them.
Texas Tech does have two crucial flaws that could come into play if the game ends up being close near the end. First, they are horrendous from the free-throw line. Second, they do not have a pure takeover isolation-based player.
Duke has been in close games since their first game in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Tournament and, by that standard, would be in for trouble against the Red Raiders; but what they do have in bunches is individual talent specifically in the form of Paolo Banchero.
The presumptive number-one pick in the summer’s NBA draft will be able to effectively win his team the game if he can find early offensive success and force Texas Tech to adjust its defensive structure. Big man Mark Williams has also been exceptional defensively, although it will sting if AJ Griffin cannot go with an ankle injury.
Arkansas +10 vs Gonzaga
It’s time to put some respect on Arkansas’ name! This team is better at getting to the basket than any other and takes a bunch of free throws every time they play, which will put pressure on the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Gonzaga has been played to a draw, if not overwhelmed in both first halves of their tournament games before turning it on at the end; assuming they come out a little flat once again, Arkansas has the talent not to let them completely off the game and keep it a single-digit affair.
The Bulldogs should still be able to win, but one thing that should give Arkansas hope is the diminished output of freshman sensation Chet Holmgren against quality opponents. Gonzaga looks like the best bet for the Elite Eight.
Michigan vs Villanova ML
Michigan was extremely inconsistent during the regular season, and although they have been better in the tournament, still have not earned enough trust to warrant them upsetting the Wildcats. Head coach Juwan Howard has also not proven that he can compete against the top minds in college basketball.
Villanova is a bit of a steady beast in postseason basketball; it seems like every year, they come back with an experienced squad full of selfless, talented players that step up in key moments. Under the stewardship of famed coach Jay Wright, the Wildcats’ disciplined nature should be enough to get past the rather erratic Wolverines team.