With the NCAA Tournament field thinned to its Sweet 16, the favorite’s role has shifted to Kansas, the Big 12 champion and top seed in the Midwest Region. The Jayhawks (30-4) were given 19-4 odds Monday by Bovada Sports Book to claim this year’s NCAA title, tops among the remaining teams in the field now that Villanova, the pre-tournament favorite and defending national champion, has been eliminated.
Baylor, the top remaining seed in the East Region, saw its odds improve Monday to 16-1 after the Bears (26-7) knocked off Southern California in Tulsa, Okla. to earn a Sweet 16 matchup in New York against South Carolina. Baylor, the No. 3 seed in the East, will be joined in New York by South Carolina (No. 7 seed), Wisconsin (No. 8 seed) and Florida (No. 4 seed) in the only region that has lost its top seed.
Others with the best updated odds to win the title, per Bovada: North Carolina (5-1), Arizona (13-2), Gonzaga (13-2), UCLA (9-1) and Kentucky (10-1). West Virginia (28-8), the third Big 12 team in the Sweet 16, received updated odds of 18-1.
With three teams headed to the Sweet 16, the Big 12 has as many remaining teams in the national title hunt as any conference. Other Power Five leagues with three teams headed to the Sweet 16 included the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. The ACC, which received nine tournament bids, has only one Sweet 16 survivor: North Carolina, the top seed in the South Region.
Other Sweet 16 participants hail from the Big East (Butler, Xavier) and West Coast Conference (Gonzaga).
The longest updated odds for Sweet 16 survivors belonged to Purdue (20-1), Butler (40-1), South Carolina (50-1) and Xavier (75-1), the No. 11 seed in the West Region.