The No. 1 Louisville Cardinals are the only remaining first seed in the Big Dance, and are two wins away from being crowned the 2013 NCAA tournament champions.
The Final Four trends say that pretty much guarantees the Cardinals will cut down the nets next Monday.
"The higher seeds almost always win at this stage of the bracket and they almost always cover the spread in the national title game, too," according to Jack Randall, a basketball analyst at OddsShark.com, who was interviewed Tuesday morning.
Since 2005, higher seeds are 12-1 (Three games—like the Michigan vs Syracuse game Saturday which features a pair of No. 4 seeds—involved teams with the same seed). In the final, the higher seeds are 7-2 since 2001 (with three games involving No. 1 vs. No. 1 clashes).
Louisville is currently a -150 favorite to win the national title, but first they must get through the No. 9 Wichita State Shockers. The Cards are 10.5-point favorites at most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com, and they are 12-4 ATS in 16 recent games as a big favorite (8.5 points or more).
Louisville has won 14 straight games en route to a Big East conference title and a Final Four berth and is also a dominant 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games with double-digit wins in seven of its last eight games.
The Cardinals saw teammate Kevin Ware go down with a vicious leg injury in the first half of their Elite Eight matchup against No. 2 Duke, but went on to outscore the Blue Devils by 19 points in the second half to secure the 85-63 win.
Louisville is outscoring its opponents by an average score of 81 to 59 so far in the tournament.
Can No. 9 Wichita State pull off one more thrilling upset? The Shockers topped No. 8 Pittsburgh and No. 1 Gonzaga to advance to the Sweet 16, and then surprised the nation again with a 70-66 win over No. 2 Ohio State in the Elite Eight.
Wichita State is a big underdog against Louisville, and will need to play a near-perfect game to potentially upset the Cardinals.
No. 4 Syracuse and No. 4 Michigan have both shaken off lackluster regular season endings to get hot at the right time in the NCAA tournament. While both are 4-0 and have each upset a 1-seed, they have done it in different ways.
Syracuse is winning with its zone defense, which held high-powered No. 1 Indiana to just 50 points and overall has held opponents to under 48 points per game in the tournament.
Michigan, meanwhile, is blowing teams out with its fast-paced offense, averaging just under 80 points per game in the tournament. The Wolverines were favored by two points as of Tuesday.
Michigan’s late three-pointer to tie the game against No. 1 Kansas was one of the most thrilling moments of the tournament so far, as the Wolverines went on to win it in OT. Michigan is a slight favorite at -2.5 over Syracuse.
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