Reseeding and Vegas odds reveal wide open NCAA Tournament
photo by: Nick Krug
So we’re down to the Sweet 16, with two No. 11 seeds, two No. 9 seeds and two No. 7 seeds for good measure.
While just two of the tournament’s No. 1 and No. 2 seeds remain — Kansas and Villanova on the 1 line and Purdue and Duke on the 2 line — it’s certainly anybody’s guess as to who will make it out of this weekend and on to the Final Four in San Antonio.
I absolutely love how the bracket has shaken out thus far. For one, upsets are fun and this past weekend was as wild as I can remember. For two, it’s a great look for the Big 12 Conference that its top four finishers — in both the regular season and the Big 12 tournament — make up 25 percent of the Sweet 16.
And, finally, I think it’s great that the Final Four could end up being something wacky and unexpected like Nevada, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Clemson or it could take on a blue blood, more-traditional look with Kansas or Duke, Kentucky, Villanova and Michigan all advancing.
Of course, it also could wind up being some combination of the two and that’s what makes the days ahead so much fun.
Regardless of who is playing who or how this team matches up with that team, there is one reality that every team still standing must deal with at this point — every game from here on out is going to be a war.
Forget the fact that Duke is playing No. 11 Syracuse and is a double-digit favorite. Ask Michigan State how that worked out?
Forget the fact that Loyola-Chicago is a super Cinderella or that Kansas State is playing mighty Kentucky and look at the reality for both teams — Loyola has found a way to win two wild games and there’s no reason to think they can’t do it a third time. And K-State won its two games without its best scorer and rebounder. With Dean Wade expected back for the KSU-Kentucky game, Bruce Weber’s squad has a real shot of reaching the next round or beyond.
We’ve still got a couple of days before things get going again, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from breaking this thing down to the Nth degree.
One of the most popular things for college basketball analysts to do this time of year is to reseed things after each break in the action. Sure, Kansas and Villanova remain as the only 1 seeds left, but does that mean they’re the favorites?
Far from it.
So say the folks who setting the betting odds, as well.
According to Bovada.lv, the Jayhawks have just the sixth best odds of winning it all of the 16 teams remaining, at 17/2, with Duke (13/4), Villanova (9/2), Gonzaga (7/1), Kentucky (7/1) and Michigan (8/1) all ahead of them.
As for that whole reseeding thing, that appears to be a little murkier.
Medcalf has the Jayhawks ranked as the 10th best team remaining and Katz lists Kansas as the fourth best team still alive.
Medcalf’s picks are based largely off of how the teams played in the first two rounds and not as much their overall body of work.
Bill Self might be approaching his
most impressive postseason feat. The
Jayhawks are playing a four-guard
lineup that works best when Udoka
Azubuike is healthy and avoiding foul
trouble. That wasn’t the case Saturday
against Seton Hall, as he was hindered
by a sprained MCL and drew his fourth
foul with 8:53 to play, but Kansas
still beat Angel Delgado and Seton
Hall with a strong finish.
On a day when Devonte’ Graham finished
1-for-7 from the field, Azubuike
played only 22 minutes and still had
10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2
steals. Azubuike changed the game in
limited time. And Kansas continues to
find a way in challenging
Katz, meanwhile, believes that KU’s experience has served them well thus far and will continue to do so in the rounds ahead.
The Jayhawks rolled through the Big 12
tournament and haven’t stopped. Penn
gave Kansas a game for a spell, but
then the second gear took over. Seton
Hall certainly pushed the Jayhawks,
but Kansas had the look of a champion
in the final minutes. Experience
matters at this time of the season and
the Jayhawks are using theirs to the
Time will tell how things shake out and we’ll be there every step of the way that the Jayhawks are playing to bring you everything you need from Omaha.
We’ll kick start this week’s coverage with a new KU Sports Hour podcast this afternoon and then start to breakdown that KU-Clemson matchup, set for 6:07 p.m. Friday on CBS.
So check back with KUsports.com often throughout the week for all of the latest from the Jayhawks’ charge toward San Antonio.
And, if you haven’t taken our latest quiz yet, check it out and enter to win a $25 gift card.
photo by: Matt Tait