At first glance, this South Region bracket looks pretty weak compared to a couple of the other ones.
Top-seeded Baylor is the favorite to come out, and it is one of two teams (Gonzaga) to have minus-money odds to win its region.
It is not often you get a second-seeded team with nine losses, but Ohio State played in the Big Ten, which has teams littered throughout this bracket in high places. There are some teams further down the bracket that could make deep runs as well.
Favorite: 1-Baylor (22-2), -135 odds to win South Region, +500 odds to win National Championship (second favorite)
Contenders: 2-Ohio State (21-9), +400 odds to win South Region; 6-Texas Tech (17-10), +600 odds to win South Region, 4-Purdue (18-9), +800 odds to win South Region
Cinderella Shot: 8-North Carolina (18-10), +1200 odds to win South Region. The Tarheels have underperformed all season, but have some good wins, and the size/talent combo to beat anyone in the bracket. They could lose opening night, too.
First Round Best Bet: 4-Purdue -7 (-110) over 13-North Texas. The Boilermakers are battle tested from the Big Ten, and it would be no surprise to see them playing in the second weekend of the tournament.
First Round Upset Pick: 12-Winthrop +6 (-110) over 5-Villanova. By now, the 12-5 games are known trick spots. This Winthrop team is 23-1 and no joke, and this will be a truly tough test for a Villanova team that was looking at a second seed a couple weeks ago but has now fallen to a fifth seed.
Where to bet:
- William Hill (use code WHGAMBLERRF)
- BetMGM (use code AMERICANGAMBLER)
- bet365 (use code NJGAMBLER)