Final Four Odds Favor Gonzaga and North Carolina, but Cinderellas Oregon and South Carolina Remain
Posted on: March 27, 2017, 11:00h.
Last updated on: March 27, 2017, 10:47h.
The Final Four odds favor the remaining No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and North Carolina to meet in the championship game on April 3. But Cinderellas No. 3 Oregon and No. 7 South Carolina still have a chance to disrupt that potential one-on-one showdown.
The Zags, now 36-1, had the easiest of the Elite Eight games by matching up against No. 11 Xavier. The Bulldogs cruised 83-59, and are now the odds-on favorites in Las Vegas to win their first-ever NCAA men’s basketball title.
Gonzaga has never been to the Final Four, but oddsmakers believe now is their time. The Westgate SuperBook puts the Zags at 7-5 to win it all. UNC follows closely at 8-5, followed by Oregon (4-1) and South Carolina 8-1.
“It’s been a long, hard journey to get this program here,” coach Mark Few said. “We’ll go down there (Phoenix) and try to win the thing.”
Both games of the Final Four are on Saturday, April 1, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. South Carolina plays Gonzaga first, with the tip scheduled for 6:09 pm ET. Oregon and UNC have the nightcap at 8:49 pm ET.
For those who believe the Zags have two more wins in them, bettors can find better odds on the Bulldogs at Bovada. The online site has UNC as the favorite at +140, followed by Gonzaga (+180), Oregon (+550), and South Carolina (+750).
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament began with 68 teams, but of the four remaining, two are from the Carolinas. It’s no surprise that the Tar Heels (31-7) are in the Final Four, but few could have predicted the Gamecocks’ success.
At the start of the year, South Carolina opened as a 200-1 long shot to win the NCAA basketball championship. By comparison, UNC was at just 15-1.
Their Cinderella run continued by upsetting No. 4 Florida 77-70 on Sunday, as USC beat their three-point underdog spread by 10. They’ll need another great performance when they play Gonzaga. The SuperBook has the Gamecocks spotted 6.5 points.
Like Gonzaga, South Carolina’s Final Four appearance is its first in program history.
No Sitting Duck
Gonzaga and South Carolina are rookies in the Final Four, and by all means, so is Oregon. The Ducks haven’t been to the finals since 1939, and back then there was no such thing as March Madness.
While we’re calling them a Cinderella for their storied bracket run that includes a thumping 74-60 win over No. 1 Kansas, the Ducks have the talent to go all the way.
But if they’re going to win the program’s second title, the team will need to play their best during their second to last chapter against UNC. Westgate puts UNC as a five-point favorite, as the Tar Heels certainly know a thing or five about winning the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina is chasing its sixth national championship, and third under coach Roy Williams.
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