Louisville has lost as a No. 4 seed twice in recent years and could be in trouble against Davidson, while many handicappers think South Dakota State has a chance against Baylor.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s matchups featuring the top four seeds as well as the potential college basketball betting bracket busters that they must face in the second round.
No 16-seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament has ever upset a 1-seed, but the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers hope to be the first. [ List of best bracket contests ]
No. 16 UNC Asheville is a 15-point underdog against No. 1 Syracuse at while No. 16 Western Kentucky will also be a large underdog against No. 1 Kentucky after beating Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday to get into the second-round matchup. Syracuse will be without starting center Fab Melo, who has been ruled ineligible for the tournament.
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No. 15 Loyola is a 17.5-point underdog against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes at 5Dimes. While Ohio State had a somewhat inconsistent year this year with a 27-7 overall record, many still consider them to be one of the big favorites to win the NCAA Tournament.
No. 3 Marquette will take on the BYU Cougars, who won a Play-In game on Tuesday night. In the other matchup on Thursday featuring a No. 3 seed, the No. 3 Baylor Bears are an 8-point favorite at TopBet over the No. 14 South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
South Dakota State won the Summit League with a 27-7 straight up record, and feature exciting guard Nate Wolters who averaged 21.3 points per game this season.
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Three 4-seeds will be in action on Thursday night. The best defensive team in the country, the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers, are a 9-point favorite over the No. 13 Montana Grizzlies.
The Big East Champion No. 4 Louisville Cardinals are a 7.5-point favorite over the No. 13 Davidson Wildcats. And in the closest game on paper in this batch, the No. 13 New Mexico State Aggies are just a 6-point underdog going up against the Indiana Hoosiers. New Mexico State won nine of its last 10 games down the stretch.