The Midwest region’s Sweet 16 matchups are set, and several of the expected contenders in this group are no longer in the NCAA Tournament. With four teams left from the Midwest, three of the four are No. 8 seeds or higher. The No. 2 seed Houston Cougars survived the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Sunday and the No. 8 seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers shocked the tournament with a win over the top-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini. Meanwhile, the Syracuse Orange remain a dangerous double-digit seed at No. 11, and the Oregon State Beavers took down the Cade Cunningham-led Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Let’s take a look at the odds of some of its top contenders at DraftKings Sportsbook as we enter the second round of March Madness.
No. 2 Houston +100
Houston is a very slight favorite in what should be a competitive run to the Final Four, as they very narrowly advanced to the Sweet 16 in a 63-60 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Easily the top seed left in this region, the Cougars were given a gift with all the upsets that occurred, but it’s up to them to take advantage.
No. 8 Loyola Chicago +150
After seeing what Loyola Chicago did to a team like Illinois, there’s very good reason for the Ramblers to have a good shot at reaching the Final Four for the second time in the last three NCAA Tournaments. Loyola very well could have the best defense in the entire country, as it is ranked No. 1 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings.
No. 11 Syracuse +400
Never doubt the Orange as a double-digit seed or First Four participant as Syracuse is back in the Sweet 16 once again. After nearly missing the tournament altogether, they beat the Michigan State Spartans, San Diego State Aztecs and West Virginia Mountaineers to get this far, and they’ve got another tough one against Houston.
No. 12 Oregon State +700
The Beavers would not have made the NCAA Tournament without winning the Pac-12, but they’ve made the most of their opportunity. They now have double-digit upset wins over the Tennessee Volunteers and Oklahoma State Cowboys. They won’t be favored when they meet up with Loyola in the Sweet 16, but they’ve proved they can play with teams oddsmakers assume are better than them.
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