Sweet 16 Tournament Odds + Predictions

Ray MonohanContributor IMarch 22, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 20:  John Wall, right, of the Kentucky Wildcats goes to the basket against Tony Woods, left, of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 20, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Dave Martin/Getty Images

2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Sweet 16 Predictions

In what was probably the best four days of college basketball action in a number of years, the 2010 NCAA Men’s Tournament field of 65 teams has been narrowed down to the Sweet 16.

The first two rounds had it all; dramatic comebacks, shocking upsets, buzzer beating game winning shots, and a few controversial calls that had a major impact on the game’s outcome.

With Kansas, the number one team in the country sent packing in the second round this tournament is suddenly wide open with a number of teams having a good shot to win it all.

The following are my predictions for the Sweet 16 Round this Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26th.

Thursday March 25th

Cornell Big Red vs. Kentucky Wildcats -9
Current Over/Under 145.5

The #12 seed Big Red (29-4) have already stunned #5 seed Temple (78-65) and #4 seed Wisconsin (87-69). Look for them to utilize their experience to keep this one close against Kentucky’s youth. Take the Wildcats (34-2) straight up but take Cornell to cover.

Washington Huskies vs. West Virginia Mountaineers -4.5
Current Over/Under 142

The #11 seed Huskies squeezed by #6 Marquette (80-78) but hammered #3 seed New Mexico 82-64.With players like Da’Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks, #2 seed West Virginia looks like they are just getting warmed up. Take the Mountaineers straight up and ATS.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Syracuse Orange -7
Current Over/Under 137.5

Wes Johnson and Andy Rautins are carrying the #1 seeded Orange (30-4) right now and I do not see anyone on #5 seed Butler’s roster that can stop them. The Bulldogs (30-4) will be game but Syracuse pulls away down the stretch. Take the Orange straight up and ATS.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Kansas State -4.5
Current Over/Under 153.5

#2 seed Kansas State (28-7) won their first two games by an average of 21 points and have yet to be tested. #6 seed Xavier (26-8) is coming off a big 71-68 win over #3 seed Pittsburgh and is good enough to give the Wildcats a run for their money. Take Kansas State straight up, but take the Musketeers plus the points.

Friday March 26th

Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Michigan State Spartans -4 
Current Over/Under 124

It is hard to tell how #9 seed Northern Iowa will react after their humongous 69-67 upset of #1 seed Kansas, but #5 seed Michigan State (26-8) is just flat out lucky to be here. The Panthers have already proved they are for real and should win this game straight up with the four point spread not even coming into play.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes -5
Current Over/Under 135

The #6 seed Volunteers (27-8) have beaten a #11 seed (San Diego State 62-59) and a #14 seed (Ohio 97-83). They are stepping way up in weight class against #2 seed Ohio State (29-7). Remember that Tennessee does have wins this season over Kansas and Kentucky and has a good chance to add the Buckeyes to this list. Take Ohio State straight up, but play the Volunteers to cover the five.

St. Mary’s Gaels vs. Baylor Bears -3.5
Current Over/Under 145

The #10 seed Gaels (28-5) beat #7 seed Richmond 80-71 and knocked #2 seed Villanova out of the tournament by beating the Wildcats 75-68. #3 Baylor (27-7) is a decent team, but has not looked overly impressive so far. This is an excellent opportunity for St. Mary’s to continue their run to the Elite 8. Take the Gaels to win this one straight up.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Duke Blue Devils -8
Current Over/Under 129.5

In the absence of Robbie Hummels, guys like Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant stepped up their game to get #4 seed Purdue (29-5) to the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in 12 tournaments. #1 seed Duke (31-5) has been quietly rolling along with two routine wins. Against a solid team like the Blue Devils, Hummels production will be missed. Take Duke to win this game both straight up and ATS.

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