Duke is now one of the favorites to win the men’s NCAA tournament thanks to Fairleigh Dickinson’s historic upset of Purdue.
The Blue Devils are at +1200 to win the tournament at BetMGM entering the second round of the tournament on Saturday. Duke was +3000 to win the national title before the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the East region.
By being the No. 5 seed, Duke was in line to potentially play Purdue in the Sweet 16. But now Duke would play either Fairleigh Dickinson or Florida Atlantic if it beats Tennessee on Saturday. The No. 16 Knights became the second No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 when they beat the Boilermakers 63-58 on Friday night. No. 9 FAU then took advantage of a late controversial jump ball call by officials to grab a one-point win over No. 8 Memphis.
While Duke is a seed lower than Tennessee, the Blue Devils are favored by 3.5 points Saturday afternoon. Tennessee is without point guard Zakai Zeigler after he suffered a torn ACL late in the season and Volunteers coach Rick Barnes is one of the worst college basketball coaches against the spread in the NCAA tournament.
Alabama now the favorite
Overall No. 1 seed Alabama is now the favorite to win the national title at +500. The Crimson Tide beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday without any points from Brandon Miller. Alabama coach Nate Oats said after the game that Miller had injured his groin in the SEC title game. If Miller is seriously hurt, Alabama’s chances to win the national title are significantly worsened.
No. 1 seed Houston is now the No. 2 title favorite at +550 despite some injury questions too. AAC player of the year Marcus Sasser didn’t play in the second half of the Cougars’ win over Northern Kentucky after aggravating his groin injury and Jamal Shead has been dealing with a knee injury. Both players said they’re planning to play against No. 9 Auburn on Saturday.
UCLA is the No. 3 favorite to win the title at +1000. The Bruins are ahead of both No. 3 Gonzaga (+1200) and No. 1 Kansas (+1200) in the West as the No. 2 seed. Kansas draws Arkansas in the second round on Saturday while Gonzaga will play TCU on Sunday. The Bruins play Northwestern on Saturday night.