Upon the conclusion of Day 1 of the 2014 NCAA tournament's first round, the final field of 64 is just about set. Now that two more teams have entered Round 2 of March Madness, we saw shifts in tournament odds.
Getting off to a hot start on your tournament bracket is an essential component for March Madness success. Knowing the odds and making strategic predictions will give you the upper hand.
Let's break down the latest odds and go over updated predictions for the entire second round of the NCAA tournament.
|San Diego State||65/1|
|North Dakota State||1000/1|
|Field (Any Other Team)||100/1|
All odds current as of 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 18.
Beware of the Midwest Region. This is already being widely heralded as the "Region of Doom." This is because there are more than a handful of teams that could find themselves in the Final Four.
@JalenRose Said it 2 weeks ago that it wouldn't surprise me if Selection Committee would put Wichita State in REGION OF DOOM!!!— Freddie Coleman (@ColemanESPN) March 16, 2014
No. 1 Wichita State is on a great run, No. 2 Michigan put together a very solid late-season stretch, No. 3 Duke can always do some damage, No. 4 Louisville is one of the hottest teams entering the tournament and teams like St. Louis and Kentucky can't be counted out.
No matter the odds, look to other regions to place your bets.
Florida may be the "safest" bet in the 2014 NCAA tournament. They enter March Madness after finishing the season with a perfect 18-0 conference record and sweeping the SEC tournament. It's been quite some time since Florida lost, and it may not lose in the near future due to the recent struggles of No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Syracuse.
Michigan State could be an interesting bet this year. There's not a great deal of competition in the East Region, and the Spartans could get a huge head of steam on their way to the Final Four.
No. 2 Villanova has looked awful lately. No. 3 Iowa State has a great offense but can be contained by better defenses. No. 1 Virginia looks strong, but it has survived many close contests lately—it appears that the team's defense won't be able to keep them in games forever.
Round 2 Predictions
Keep in mind that every year upsets will happen early in the NCAA tournament. 2014 will be no different, as there are some very intriguing matchups that could give the underdog the upper hand. Predicting these games correctly will allow your bracket to go a long way.
Let's take a look at updated projections for the entire second round of tournament action.
|South||Albany vs. Florida||Florida|
|South||Pitt vs. Colorado||Pitt|
|South||Stephen F. Austin vs. VCU||VCU|
|South||Tulsa vs. UCLA||UCLA|
|South||Dayton vs. Ohio State||Ohio State|
|South||W. Michigan vs. Syracuse||Syracuse|
|South||Stanford vs. New Mexico||New Mexico|
|South||E. Kentucky vs. Kansas||Kansas|
|West||Weber State vs. Arizona||Arizona|
|West||Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State|
|West||North Dakota State vs. Oklahoma||Oklahoma|
|West||New Mexico State vs. San Diego State||San Diego State|
|West||Nebraska vs. Baylor||Baylor|
|West||Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Creighton||Creighton|
|West||BYU vs. Oregon||Oregon|
|West||American vs. Wisconsin||Winsonsin|
|East||Coastal Carolina vs. Virginia||Virginia|
|East||George Washington vs. Memphis||Memphis|
|East||Harvard vs. Cincinnati||Cincinnati|
|East||Delaware vs. Michigan State||Michigan State|
|East||Providence vs. North Carolina||Providence|
|East||NC Central vs. Iowa State||Iowa State|
|East||St. Joe's vs. UConn||St. Joe's|
|East||UW-Milwaukee vs. Villanova||Villanova|
|Midwest||TBD vs. Wichita State||Wichita State|
|Midwest||Kansas State vs. Kentucky||Kentucky|
|Midwest||NC State vs. St. Louis||St. Louis|
|Midwest||Manhattan vs. Louisville||Louisville|
|Midwest||TBD vs. Massachusetts||Massachusetts|
|Midwest||Mercer vs. Duke||Duke|
|Midwest||Arizona State vs. Texas||Arizona State|
|Midwest||Wofford vs. Michigan||Michigan|
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions