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March Madness Bracket Analysis

The first round of the bracket has been filled in, and now the fun begins. The No. 1 seeds Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and Syracuse weren’t much of a surprise, but will they be able to match last year’s No. 1 seeds and all make it to the Elite Eight?

Let’s start breaking things down in the Midwest, where the Kansas Jayhawks are the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Jayhawks are also the favorite to win the Big Dance, with the oddsmakers locking them in at +200. Kansas should have no problem in their tournament opener against No. 16 Lehigh as a huge 26.5-point favorite at Bovada.

Looking through the rest of the Midwest the top contenders trying to stop Kansas from steamrolling their way to the Final Four appear to be No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Georgetown. Don’t count out No. 6 Tennessee, though. The Volunteers were one of two teams to beat Kansas this season and they also upset Kentucky.

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The Wildcats are No. 1 seeds in the East region and Bovada.have them listed as a +400 underdog to win the Big Dance. Kentucky opens up against No. 16 East Tennessee State as a 20-point favorite.

No. 2 seed West Virginia just missed out on a No. 1 seed so they’ll be a dangerous foe to whomever they come up against in the tournament. No. 3 New Mexico is also worth remembering even if casual college hoops fans may be wondering why they’re such a high seed. The reason is the superb play of Darington Hobson. The team to watch in the East could be No. 5 seed Temple, which may have deserved a No. 4 seed after their stellar season in the Atlantic 10.

The No. 1 seed in the West region belongs to Syracuse. That could be rough news for the Orange, as they’ll have a long way to travel for their opening games in Salt Lake City. The Orange get No. 16 Vermont in their first-round matchup as an 18-point favorite. On the futures odds Syracuse is +600 at Bovada to win it all.

The No. 2 seed, Kansas State, showed how ferocious they can be with their run to the final in the Big 12 Tournament last week. The No. 3 seed Pittsburgh beat a lot of good teams during the regular season, but their inexperienced roster could catch up to them in the tournament. Don’t overlook No. 5 seed Butler, who have become a mainstay in the tournament and are riding a 20-game winning streak.

In the South region the No. 1 seed Duke Blue Devils await the winner of the play-in game between Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Winthrop. The Blue Devils are a +800 underdog on the latest futures at Bovada as they try to claim their first national title since 2000.

Villanova was handed a No. 2 seed despite losing five of their last seven games. They could still go deep in the tournament if they get Scottie Reynolds going. The wild card in the region looks to be Purdue. The Boilermakers are the No. 4 seed, but with their second leading scorer Robbie Hummel done for the season they could be done in the first round. Since Hummel went down Purdue is 3-2 SU and 0-4-1 ATS.

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