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Sweet 16 Weekend Preview

Sweet 16 Weekend Preview. The next few days will be crucial as we play both the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight legs of the tournament. As a sports bookie, you must be ready for all the games. The teams won’t rest until after the Elite Eight, and neither will your players.

Usually, all No. 1 and No. 2 seeds don’t make it past the first two rounds, but the Selection Committee must be getting better at choosing the top teams.

Sweet 16 Weekend Preview

Sweet 16 Odds for the No. 1 Seeds

East Region

No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 1 UConn (-10, 135)

South Region

No. 4 Duke vs. No. 1 Houston (-4, 133.5)

West Region

No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 UNC (-4, 174)

Midwest Region

No. 5 Gonzaga vs. No. 1 Purdue (-4.5, 154)

Assuming all of the No. 1 seed teams win their games on Thursday and Friday, how are the four matchups looking for the No. 2 seeds?

East Region – No. 3 Illinois vs. No. 2 Iowa State (-2.5, 146)

Iowa State might be the favorite for this game, but Illinois has a tremendous amount of firepower, and they’ve proven it by scoring at least 70 points in their last 20 games. In 15 of those, they netted 85 or more points.

Unfortunately, their defense doesn’t keep pace, and they can give up just as many points.

Iowa State has one of the best defenses in the nation, which will be put to the test against Illinois’ potent offense. Defense might win championships, but there still has to be a solid offense to get points on the board. Iowa State has difficulty defending three-pointers and doesn’t net many per game. That might make all the difference in this game.

Whichever team wins will probably have to take on UConn in the Elite Eight.

South Region – No. 11 NC State vs. No. 2 Marquette (-6.5, 150.5)

At No. 11, the North Carolina State Wolfpack is the lowest-seed team left in the tournament. That might seem like an easy win for the Marquette Golden Eagles, but the Wolfpack are hot right now, beating No. 6 seed Texas Tech in the First Round. If their top three players, DJ Horne, DJ Burns Jr., and Mohamed Diarra, all play well, they stand a chance at toppling the Golden Eagles.

Marquette has been lucky, drawing double-digit seeds to this point. This gave them time until Tyler Kolek could return from his oblique injury. He’ll match well with Cam Jones, who has been averaging 21.5 points per game since February.

Their weak point is rebounds, both offensive and defensive. They are in the bottom 25 percent in both categories and must improve if they hope to go deeper into the tournament. Both the spread and over/under are key bets to watch.

West Region – No. 6 Clemson vs. No. 2 Arizona (-7.5, 151)

After defeating No. 3 Baylor in the second round, the Clemson Tigers showed that they aren’t bothered by being called underdogs. They might not be able to pull off a win against the Arizona Wildcats, but they should be able to cover the spread, so keep your limits in or use your layoff account if necessary.

Arizona has the location advantage, with the next two rounds being held in Los Angeles. They’ll need that because they were a little shaky in the second round, turning over the ball 15 times against Dayton. If the Flyers had some depth to their bench, they would be the ones playing Clemson this week.

Midwest Region – No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 2 Tennessee (-2.5, 144)

The Vols have not played as well as they can in this tournament, but they’ve been winning. The key is their defense. It suffocates their opposition, causing them to focus on three-pointers.

That’s a key metric because Creighton wins when it is successful with its long shots. But the Vols have also been able to defend against three-pointers in recent games. They can secure the win if they continue that trend and increase their offense.

Creighton is 23-3 this season when it can make 30% of its long shots. They are a free-flowing team but don’t have the physicality they need to go up against Tennessee. These two teams haven’t met since 1937, but whichever one wins will likely have to bring its style of play against Zach Edey’s Purdue in the Elite Eight.

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