(The Spread) – We’ve reached the Sweet 16 for the 2011 NCAA Tournament and while some college basketball fans have already set their brackets on fire, others are gearing up for an exciting finish.
So which teams are hot heading into the Sweet 16? Obviously every team has won at least two games (duh) to get to this point, but which squads should bettors be keeping a close eye on heading into the weekend?
Eighth-seeded Butler is certainly turning some heads again. They downed an Old Dominion team that most people thought would knock off the Bulldogs in the second round. Then Butler pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament by beating top-seeded Pittsburgh. That made 11-straight wins for the Bulldogs as they get ready to face Wisconsin in the Sweet 16.
In the Southwest Region, Kansas took care of Boston U. and Illinois in the first two rounds and has now won 10-straight. The Jayhawks will play one of the biggest surprises of the tournament, Richmond, in the Sweet 16.
The top-seeded team in the East, Ohio State, has cruised to easy victories over UT-San Antonio and George Mason in the first two rounds. The Buckeyes (whom are favored to win the entire tournament) have now won eight in a row. Interestingly, the team they face in the Sweet 16, Kentucky, has also won eight in a row.
The red-hot UConn Huskies won five in a row to win the Big East tournament and after beating Bucknell and Cincinnati over the weekend, have now won seven straight. They’re also 7-0 against the spread over that span as well.
With all that said, the hottest team might be the aforementioned Richmond Spiders, who are now 9-0 straight up and 9-0 against the number in their last nine contests. Here comes the tricky part for bettors though: No 13-seed has ever reached Round 4 of the tournament. That doesn’t mean the Spiders won’t go down swinging and at least produce a cover, but it’ll be interesting to see where oddsmakers from online sports book Bodog.com release the point spread knowing that 0% of 13-seeds advance past the Sweet 16.