Three of the four No.1 seeds in the 2013 NCAA Tournament are still alive moving forward into the Sweet 16. There are also three No.2 seeds remaining, and three No.3 seeds. In that respect, the tournament has been pretty straightforward. But then when we go down the list and find the first-ever No.15 seed in the round of 16, along with a No.13 seed, a No.12 seed, and a No.9 seed, we can start to see why this championship was predicted to be up for grabs.
Unquestionably the biggest surprise, and storyline for that matter, are the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles from Fort Myers. They are the first No.15 seed in history to reach the round of 16, going through No.2 seed Georgetown, and No.7 seed San Diego State in the process. Their task gets no easier, with the No.3 seed Florida Gators up next. But for now, the Eagles are certainly going to enjoy the attention that they get. Despite the fact that they have made it this far, Florida Gulf Coast is still not perceived as a real national title contender, at least according to the betting lines.
NCAA Tournament championship betting odds formed heading into the Sweet 16 have the Eagles sitting in last, going off at 66 to 1, tied with No.13 seed La Salle.
All the way at the top of the list of favorites is the team that was tabbed as such coming in. They are the No.1 overall seed, and have looked dominant through their first two tournament games. That would be the Louisville Cardinals, who have used a suffocating defense, and transition offense to blow out both of their opponents so far. Bettors can get a 3 to 1 payout still for a wager on the Cardinals to cut down the nets in the Georgia Dome in a couple of weeks with a national title win.
Despite the fact that there are three No.1 seeds and three No.2 seeds to choose from, oddsmakers really like Florida coming out of the South Regional. The Gators are tabbed at 19 to 4 to win the national title, behind only Louisville, and ahead of several other higher seeds. This includes Indiana and Kansas. The Gators are huge favorites to reach the Elite 8, with Florida Gulf Coast as their opponent. Though a potential date with either Kansas or Michigan looms. Plus, whoever comes out of the East Regional.
Indiana is next at 5 to 1, with the No.2 seed in that region the Miami Hurricanes following behind at 15 to 2.
Two more Big Ten teams get in on the action with Ohio and State set at 8 to 1 and 11 to 1 respectively. The Buckeyes are the highest seed in the West Regional left after Gonzaga dropped, and will face No.6 Arizona in the Sweet 16. The Wolverines will take on No.1 seed Kansas in the South.
Speaking of the Jayhawks, they are set back at 12 to 1, alongside Duke to win the national title. The Jayhawks aren’t getting much respect as a No.2 seed, set as a bigger underdog than Michigan as a No.4 seed.
One thing’s for sure though, and that is that this College Basketball Tournament is shaping up to be a very exciting one, with the potential for huge upsets still looming, as teams will get back on the court beginning Thursday March 28, and Friday March 29 to get down to the regional finals.
Sweet 16 National Championship Odds – Found At Bovada Sportsbooks 3/26/2013
Louisville #1 3/1
Florida #3 19/4
Indiana #1 5/1
Miami Florida #2 15/2
Ohio State #2 8/1
Michigan #4 11/1
Duke #2 12/1
Kansas #1 12/1
Michigan State #3 14/1
Arizona #6 18/1
Syracuse #4 20/1
Oregon #12 33/1
Marquette #3 40/1
Wichita State #9 40/1
Florida Gulf Coast #15 66/1
LaSalle #13 66/1