(The Spread) – The Sweet 16 got underway on Thursday night and if you took the underdogs to cover, then you had a glorious night.
The night got started with three-seeded UConn beating San Diego State outright. Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com opened this game at UConn –1, but the line moved to SDS –1, and then –2 at kickoff. With their 74-67 victory, the Huskies covered by 9.
Florida was the only favorite out of the four Sweet 16 games that won and covered on Thursday. But the victory didn’t come easy. Led by Alex Tyus (19 points, 17 rebounds), the Gators beat BYU 83-74 and covered as a 2.5-point favorite, but the Cougars forced overtime by defending a last-second Florida opportunity. BYU ran out of gas though, and were outscored 15-6 in OT.
In perhaps the shock of the night, five-seeded Arizona used a 55-point second half to down Duke, 93-77. The top-seeded Blue Devils were 9.5-point favorites coming into the game, and built a 44-38 halftime lead. But Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams scored a career-high 32 points as Arizona advanced to face UConn in the elite eight.
In another surprising finish, eighth-seeded Butler knocked off fourth-seeded Wisconsin, 61-54. The Badgers entered the game as a 4.5-point favorite, but their offense never got going as the Bulldogs cruised into the elite eight. They’ll now face Florida on Saturday.
Four games, three of the underdogs covered so far in the Sweet 16. Maybe it’ll be the favorites’ turn tonight when action resumes. North Carolina is a 4.5-point favorite over Marquette at 7:15PM ET, Kansas is an 11-point favorite over Richmond at 7:27PM ET, Ohio State is a 6-point favorite over Kentucky at 9:45PM ET and Florida State is a 4-point favorite over VCU at 9:57PM ET.Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!