Elite 8 2014: Last-Minute Picks and Updated Odds for March Madness Round 5

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Elite 8 2014: Last-Minute Picks and Updated Odds for March Madness Round 5
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Could the 2014 NCAA tournament possibly get any more intense?

Friday featured four thrilling games that each came down to the wire.

Just how close were these contests? The four winners defeated the four losers by a combined total of just 14 points. That's some inspiring basketball all the way around.

Saturday marks the beginning of the Elite Eight as No. 1 Florida squares off against No. 11 Dayton and No. 1 Arizona faces No. 2 Wisconsin.

Get your popcorn ready.

All Your Bracket Essentials:

Last-Minute Picks

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

2014 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Picks
Region Team 1 Team 2 Pick
South No. 1 Florida No. 11 Dayton Florida
West No. 1 Arizona No. 2 Wisconsin Wisconsin
East No. 4 Michigan State No. 7 Connecticut Michigan State
Midwest No. 2 Michigan No. 8 Kentucky Kentucky

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

Dayton has shocked the nation on several occasions now; however, that will end on Saturday. The Flyers have been fantastic, but they have yet to face a team with Florida's strength.

Don't expect Dayton to get blown out in this one though. Even though Florida is the superior team and should take home the win, the Flyers are up for the challenge and will make a game of it.

Arizona is officially on upset alert. After just squeezing past San Diego State in the Sweet 16, the Wildcats don't look invincible.

On the other hand, Wisconsin does. The Badgers defeated a well-rounded Baylor team decisively in the Sweet 16 and will continue riding their hot streak into the Final Four.

Connecticut was fantastic against a high-octane Iowa State team, though the Huskies will have their work cut out for them against a very stout Michigan State defense that held No. 1 Virginia to just 59 points.

The Spartans will be too much for Connecticut to handle here.

Michigan has been playing some great basketball of late; however, Kentucky has been playing better.

The Wildcats continue to mature and grow with each passing game, and that will carry them past a Wolverines team that had their hands full with No. 11 Tennessee in the Sweet 16.

Updated Odds

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

No surprises here.

Florida continues to be the oddsmakers' favorite to take home the title of national champion. After beating Virginia, Michigan State saw its odds change in a very favorable manner as well.

The middle of the pack remains murky at best as plenty of highly contested matchups are about to ensue.

Dayton and Connecticut remain the underdogs to go the distance.

2014 NCAA Tournament Updated Odds
Team Odds
Florida 2-1
Michigan State 18-5
Arizona 18-5
Kentucky 6-1
Michigan 8-1
Wisconsin 8-1
UConn 20-1
Dayton 50-1

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