Despite coming off a 53-43 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers (20-9, 10-7 ACC) on Monday, the North Carolina Tar Heels (25-6, 13-4) remain in line for the top seed in their conference tournament, and they are also +600 co-favorites to win the 2017 NCAA Tournament along with the UCLA Bruins (26-3, 13-3 Pac-12).
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
A shocking 79-71 home loss by the previously unbeaten Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-1, 17-1 WCC) to the BYU Cougars (21-10, 12-6) on Saturday has once again proven that this year’s March Madness field looks like it will have more parity than ever before.
The Bulldogs (+750) were ranked No. 1 in the country and closed as 20.5-point favorites against the Cougars but fell to them at home for the third consecutive year.
Meanwhile, the Bruins may be able to steal the No. 1 seed in the West Region from Gonzaga by winning out after moving up to No. 3 nationally behind only the top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (27-3, 15-2 Big 12) and defending NCAA champion Villanova Wildcats (27-3, 14-3 Big East).
The Jayhawks are the +800 fourth choice to cut down the nets on April 3 while the Wildcats are tied for fifth with the Duke Blue Devils at +1000.
The Blue Devils (22-7, 10-6) sit in fourth place in the ACC after losing two in a row on the road to the Syracuse Orange and Miami Hurricanes by a combined eight points last week. Duke was the favorite to win it all a week ago and still has a chance to redeem itself down the stretch with a home game against the Florida State Seminoles (23-6, 11-5) and a road matchup with the Tar Heels remaining to close out the regular season.
The Seminoles (+2500) were one of three teams in the conference tied for second place heading into their visit to Durham on Tuesday night.
The two others tied for second in the ACC are the Louisville Cardinals (23-6, 11-5) and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-7, 11-5), with the former a much more legitimate national title contender at +1400 compared to +7500 for the latter.
Three more top teams to watch include the Kentucky Wildcats (24-5, 14-2 SEC) at +1200 and the Oregon Ducks (26-4, 15-3 Pac-12) and the Arizona Wildcats (26-4, 15-3) at +1200 and +1600, respectively.
The Ducks and Wildcats are tied for first place in their conference, and both of them have beaten the Bruins, although they have each lost to them as well.