March Madness 2019 Odds: Duke Favored to Win Title Ahead of Sweet 16

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

Duke's RJ Barrett (5) drives while defended by Central Florida's Terrell Allen during the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Richard Shiro/Associated Press

Duke came within a rotation of a basketball of being upset by UCF.Β 

However, that has not tamed the oddsmakers' faith that the Blue Devils will eventually be cutting down nets.

Duke remains the betting favorite to win the 2019 national championship heading into the Sweet 16 at +300 and is followed by Gonzaga at +400. Zion Williamson and Co. entered the Dance as +225 favorites, so it's clear the books have still been a little shaken by Duke's near-loss Sunday.

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B.J. Taylor's driving bank shot missed, andΒ Aubrey Dawkins' tip-in attempt circled the cylinder before falling out to give Duke a 77-76 win over UCF in the second-round matchup. The Devils struggled to contain 7'6" center Tacko Fall in the middle before he fouled out in the final minute, and Dawkins had 32 points for UCF.

"When he tipped it, you talk about microseconds, when that ball rolled around the rim, it looked like it was going in, but as Coach K talks a lot about the basketball gods, they had our back tonight," Williamson said, perΒ David M. HaleΒ of ESPN.

Gonzaga and North Carolina looked the best of the No. 1 seeds in their first two games, each winning in blowout fashion. Virginia trailed at halftime to 16-seed Gardner-Webb and struggled to score in its second-round matchup against Oklahoma but will play the tournament's lowest-remaining seed, No. 12 Oregon, in the Sweet 16.

LSU, which struggled to wins over Yale and Maryland, has the highest-remaining odds at +7500.Β