The NCAA Tournament wouldn’t be referred to as March Madness if it weren’t chock full of upsets every year for hoops bettors.
Here’s a look at some of this year’s potential first-round upsets at the Big Dance, with all betting lines below provided by .
No. 9 Villanova (+4.0) over No. 8 North Carolina
UNC finished the season on an 8-2 SU run, but has an 0-5 SU record in its last five games against ranked opponents. Villanova isn’t ranked, but it is a quality team featuring two players in Ryan Arcidiacono and Mouphtaou Yarou that are capable of getting hot and leading the team to an upset here in the Round of 64 and maybe even against No. 1 Kansas.
No. 12 Oregon (+3.0) over No. 5 Oklahoma State
Playing relentless defense and getting balanced scoring across the board, Oregon is exactly the type of team you hate to draw in the first round. After ending the regular season in a slump, Oregon rallied to win the Pac-12 (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) and looks to be geared up for a nice run in the tournament.
No. 11 Belmont (+4.5) over No. 6 Arizona
After starting the season off on a 14-0 run, Arizona turned out to be pretty pedestrian down the stretch with a 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS record over its last 10 games. Belmont enters the game with six straight wins (3-3 ATS), and as a great 3-point shooting team going up against Arizona’s shaky offense, should be able to put up enough offense to give Arizona a run.
No. 12 California (+3.0) over No. 5 UNLV
A mix-up by the NCAA selection committee landed Cal this virtual home game played in San Jose. Cal finished the season on a low note with two losses but was 7-0 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in its previous seven games including wins over Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon. A favorable crowd could get Cal back on track and make them a serious threat to UNLV.
No. 15 Iona (+14.0) over No. 2 Ohio State
Looking for a home run upset? This could be it. Obviously a team like Iona would have to catch Ohio State sleeping for an outright upset. However, if Ohio State comes in over-confident after winning the Big Ten Tournament and gets caught looking ahead, Iona has the offense (second in the nation averaging 80.7 PPG) to pull off a stunner.