The bracket is busted.
No. 1 Illinois is gone. No. 2-seeded Ohio State and Iowa have been eliminated as well. The same goes for No. 3 seeds Texas and Kansas.
And yet, Villanova is still standing tall after all the wreckage, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz after the twister touched down.
The Wildcats have been overlooked after losing their senior point guard and team leader Collin Gillespie to an injury in early March. But their seasons continues Saturday against Baylor in a 5:15 game on CBS.
And over at DraftKings Sportsbook PA, new users can get 100-1 odds on Villanova-Baylor, or any other game for the remainder of the tournament. March Madness betting is in full force, and we will keep you posted with all the sweet Sweet 16 promos here.
Villanova is an underdog in Saturday’s showdown with No. 1 Baylor
DraftKings has the Wildcats as 6.5-point underdogs in Saturday’s game, with a moneyline price of +250. The game’s total is 139 points. But if that game doesn’t grab your attention, there are seven other Sweet 16 contests across the weekend.
Here’s a list of the other matchups with the point spreads according to DraftKings:
NCAA Sweet 16 Games Saturday:
- No. 12 Oregon State (+6.5) vs. No. 8 Loyola Chicago; 2:40 pm
- No. 15 Oral Roberts (+11.5) vs. No. 3 Arkansas; 7:25 p.m.
- No. 11 Syracuse (+6) vs. No. 2 Houston; 9:55 p.m.
NCAA Sweet 16 Games Sunday:
- No. 5 Creighton (+13.5) vs. No. 1 Gonzaga; 2:10 p.m.
- No. 4 Florida State (+3) vs. No. 1 Michigan; 5 p.m.
- No. 11 UCLA (+6.5) vs. No. 2 Alabama; 7:15 p.m.
- No. 7 Oregon (+2.5) vs. No 6 USC; 9:45 p.m.
Futures odds for the tournament champion have also been updated now that there are only 16 teams remaining. Gonzaga is still the favorite at +155. Villanova is +3300 at DraftKings. And pricing is available on the rest of the field as well.
Sweet 16 promotions are live at Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks
In case a full weekend of basketball isn’t enough, PA sportsbooks are rolling out a healthy assortment of promotions too. In addition to the aforementioned DraftKings 100-1 odds promo, FOX Bet is giving away a free $10 bet for every day of college hoops in which you wager at least $10. Here are the details:
- Opt in within the ‘Challenges’ window before placing a $10+ wager (parlays are included) on a qualifying game each day on the NCAA Men’s Tournament
- Qualifying wagers must be placed -200 minimum odds (-200 on each parlay leg)
- $10 Free Bet will be credited instantly and is ONLY available for use on that same day (expires 11:59 p.m.)
- Players can only take advantage ONCE per day
And FanDuel is giving new users 30-1 odds on any team to win its Sweet 16 game with the exception of the Loyola Chicago-Oregon State matchup. Find more info on the app.
Also, BetMGM Sportsbook is helping curb bad beats with its new “Buzzer-Beater Insurance.” Bettors can get a refund up to $20 if a bet loses because of a shot made in the final five seconds of the game.
Can the underdogs keep it going? Or will the chalk prevail?
It all starts Saturday afternoon. After an opening weekend that decimated the bracket’s top teams, the underdogs continue their uphill climb in the Sweet 16.
And Villanova is right in the middle of it. The Wildcats are often among the tournament’s favorites, but without their star point guard, this team seems a little different.
Perhaps they are survivors more than anything else, a collective group trying to overcome whatever expectations and obstacles are tossed in front of them.
So far, so good.
The tornado has touched down and the team is still standing.
The journey continues.
NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16 odds at PA Sportsbooks
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey