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Sweet 16 Betting: Friday Games

The Southwest has been the bracket-busting region so far in the Big Dance, with three double-digit seeds advancing to the Sweet 16. Is that good news or bad news for the region's No. 1, the Kansas Jayhawks?

The Jayhawks can look at their remaining road to the Final Four in one of two ways: Smooth sailing through some lower seeds, or a rough road against teams that have already dealt out a few upsets.

Coming up for Kansas on Friday in the Sweet 16 is a date with the No. 12 Richmond Spiders. [ Matchup Stats ]

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The Jayhawks' tournament began with an easy game against No. 16 Boston University, which they won handily 72-53 as a 23.5-point favorite. In the Round of 32 Kansas met up with Illinois and rode the Morris brothers to a 73-59 win as 8-point favorites. Marcus and Markieff dominated in the win and combined to score 41 points and pull down 24 rebounds.

Richmond's tournament run began against No. 5 Vanderbilt, and they upset the Commodores 69-66 as a 3-point underdog. In the Round of 32 they faced another high seed in No. 13 Morehead State and ended the Eagles' tournament with a 65-48 win as 4.5-point chalk. Justin Harper led the Spiders in that win with 19 points.

The Jayhawks are a heavy 10.5-point favorite for Friday's matchup at Bovada, but don't immediately count out Richmond. Seven years ago the Spiders faced the Jayhawks as a 14.5-point underdog and stunned them 69-68. The Spiders are also riding a 13-2-1 ATS streak past 16 games as underdog, while Kansas has faltered as a favorite.

In the other Southwest matchup on Friday night the No. 11 VCU Rams take on the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles as a 3.5-point underdog at Bovada. [ See the Matchup Report ]

The Rams have recorded three straight upsets to reach the Sweet 16. They started in the First Four with a 59-46 upset of USC as a 4-point underdog, and followed it up with a 74-56 win over Georgetown as a 5.5-point underdog. In the Round of 32 six VCU players scored in double digits, led by Bradford Burgess, as the Rams shocked Purdue 94-76 as a 9-point underdog.

The Seminoles have also been upset mavens, starting out with a 57-50 win over Texas A&M as a 1-point underdog. Last round they silenced Notre Dame 71-57 as a 4.5-point underdog, as Bernard James led the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Noles are 8-0 SU and 6-1-1 ATS past 8 games as a favorite.

In the East region on Friday the Sweet 16 tips off with No. 11 Marquette vs. No. 2 North Carolina. The Golden Eagles have knocked off two higher seeds already, taking down No. 6 Xavier 66-55 as a 1-point 'dog in their opener and defeating No. 3 Syracuse 66-62 as a 4.5-point underdog in the last round.

The Tar Heels steamrolled through their tournament opener, blasting Long Island 102-87 as an 18.5-point favorite. They had a tougher time in the Round of 32, but slipped past Washington 86-83 as 4-point chalk.

Tyler Zeller deposited 23 points against the Huskies after dropping in 32 points against Long Island. Beware the Marquette underdog trend - 16-4 ATS past 20 as underdog. [ Best Marquette line, see Bovada for 50% signup bonus and best dog point spreads ]

The Tar Heels and Golden Eagles last met in 2001, and it wasn't even close as North Carolina dominated in an 84-53 win as 15-point favorites. UNC is a 4.5-point favorite on Friday at Bovada.

The other East region matchup should be a great one, as the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats take on the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Wildcats started the tournament off a  little shaky with a close 59-57 win over Princeton as a 13-point favorite.

They quickly found their game in the Round of 32 and took care of West Virginia 71-63 as a 3.5-point favorite. Brandon Knight broke out for 30 points in that win after being limited to two points versus Princeton.

Ohio State hammered Texas-San Antonio 75-46 in their opener as a 25.5-point favorite. Their Round of 32 matchup against George Mason wasn't any closer as they crushed the Patriots 98-66 as 11.5-point chalk. David Lighty netted 25 points that day, and Jared Sullinger chipped in with 18 points and eight boards.

The Buckeyes are a 5.5-point favorite at Bovada for Friday, but the last time they faced the Wildcats 15 years ago it was all Kentucky in an 81-65 rout. Underdog bettors should be wary of the recent trend involving No. 1 seeds -

No. 1 seeds are 8-3 ATS past 11 games at this stage.