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Yale, Iowa State Among March Madness Cinderellas

Final Four betting Odds

The Yale Bulldogs have emerged as a candidate to pull off an opening-round upset when they return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 with an East Region clash with the LSU Tigers on Thursday as 7.5-point underdogs on the March Madness odds.

Yale punched its ticket to March Madness in impressive fashion, rebounding from a 2-3 straight up and against the spread swoon with a march to the Ivy League Tournament championship, and is pegged as the No. 14 seed in the East going into Thursday night’s  game at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Bulldogs enjoy recent history as an NCAA Tournament spoiler, including a 79-75 first-round win over Baylor as a No. 12 seed in 2016. Yale also tallied 80.6 points per game this season, leaving them ranked just behind LSU at No. 25 in the nation.

Conversely, the Tigers enter the Big Dance embroiled in controversy following a campaign that earned them the SEC regular-season title and the No. 3 seed in the East Region. LSU was forced to close out its schedule without head coach Will Wade, who remains suspended indefinitely after being implicated in an FBI investigation of improper recruiting activities.

LSU subsequently made an early exit from the SEC Tournament, falling 76-73 to Florida as 3.5-point chalk, and has tumbled to a +1100 bet to win the East, and a lengthy +5000 to win the national championship on the NCAA Tournament odds. The Tigers have also enjoyed little success when seeded on the top half of the bracket at March Madness, getting past the Sweet Sixteen just once on 10 occasions while seeded eighth or higher.

 

Iowa State Looks for Midwest Region Spotlight

 

Following an unexpected run to this year’s Big 12 Tournament title, the Iowa State Cyclones are also poised to make a Cinderella run at this year’s Big Dance. ISU is pegged as the No. 6 seed and a +900 wager to win the Midwest Region on the March Madness betting odds.

The Cyclones overcame a 2-6 SU and ATS slump down the stretch that featured five outright losses as betting chalk to mount an impressive conference tournament run. The team followed up an 83-63 rout of the Bears with a 63-59 win over top-seeded Kansas State, before knocking off the perennially favored Kansas Jayhawks 78-66 as 1-point underdogs in the final.

Iowa State enjoys a favorable opening-round matchup with Ohio State as a 5.5-point favorite on the March Madness lines. No. 3 Houston and No. 4 Kentucky have also been massive betting disappointments of late, which could aid the Cyclones in their march towards a potential Elite Eight clash with top-seeded North Carolina.

The Tar Heels are one of three ACC squads among the top four teams on the national championship odds. UNC lags behind the leaders on the odds board at +750 after dropping a narrow 74-73 decision to Duke as 4.5-point underdogs in the ACC Tournament final.

With Zion Williamson showing no ill effects from the knee injury that sidelined him for six games, the Blue Devils lead the way as strong +225 national championship favorites, followed by the Virginia Cavaliers, who sit knotted with the Gonzaga Bulldogs at +600.

*Odds as of March 19, 2019

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