No. 16 Seed Finally Makes History
The answer to the trivia question is the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
No. 1 seeds were 135-0 all-time heading into first-round games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last week. The Virginia Cavaliers, the top-ranked team in the nation and South Region, opened as 23-point favorites and -10000 on the money line.
That means someone would have to wager $10,000 to make $100 profit. It also means that same person would have lost 10 grand.
The Retrievers made March Madness history when they destroyed the Cavaliers by 20 points and ruined pool brackets everywhere. The celebration was short-lived, however, as the Kansas State Wildcats ousted the Retrievers on Sunday.
None of the South Region’s top four teams made it into the Sweet Sixteen. The No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats are the highest seed left after a week of stunning upsets and buzzer-beaters throughout the championship.
VGB went 34-18 (65.4 per cent) in first- and second-round games and the First Four, including 10 of the Sweet Sixteen teams.
Let’s try to pick a winner in both of the games on Thursday and the Final Four representative from the South from Saturday’s regional final (odds provided by Bovada).
***VGB’s Final Four Pick — Nevada
Kentucky Owns Eight National Titles
(5) Kentucky vs. (9) Kansas State — The Wildcats (26-10) and their all freshmen starting lineup are not looking intimidated by the big stage at all. Kentucky squeezed past Davidson before thumping Buffalo to earn a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has taken over as leader of the Wildcats. The guard has averaged 23 points in the two victories after scoring about 14 points a game during the regular season.
Kentucky has won the national title eight times, the most recent in 2012. Kansas State has never won a championship. The best finish in the last 30 years for K State is the Elite Eight in 2010.
Kansas State (24-11) earned this date with Kentucky by eliminating Creighton and Maryland-Baltimore County. Dean Wade and Barry Brown are the scoring leaders for K State, both averaging more than 16 points a game.
Kentucky is 2-0 against the spread (ATS) in the championship, while Kansas State is 1-1.
VGB’s pick — Kentucky
Don’t Ever Count Out Wolf Pack
(7) Nevada vs. (11) Loyola-Chicago — The Wolf Pack (29-7) obviously like to keep their fans on the edge of their seats. Nevada dumped Texas and Cincinnati from the tournament, but they certainly did it the hard way.
The Wolf Pack erased a 14-point, second-half deficit and rallied to beat the Longhorns in overtime. Two days later and trailing by 22 points with 11 minutes to go, the Wolf Pack shocked the Bearcats with the second-largest comeback in NCAA tournament history.
The team from Reno dropped from 500-1 to win the championship down to 25-1. It’s only the second time in school history Nevada has made it to the Sweet Sixteen. The Wolf Pack lost in 2004 to Georgia Tech.
Cody Martin scored 25 points to drive the Wolf Pack in an incredible rally against Cincinnati, which led by 12 at halftime.
“That locker room right now, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman said after Sunday’s victory. “It’s the happiest I’ve ever seen. It’s the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”
The Wolf Pack meet a team that has also been taking the tournament by storm. The Ramblers from Loyola-Chicago (30-5) knocked off Miami and Tennessee by a total of three points to gain their second berth ever in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Ramblers, who won the national title 55 years ago in 1963, have five players who average double digits in points per game, led by Clayton Custer (13.3).
Nevada is 2-0 ATS in the tournament, while Loyola-Chicago is also 2-0.
VGB’s pick — Nevada