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NCAA Tournament is wide open after Gonzaga falls
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After entering the tournament as the favourite, the No. 1 seed Bulldogs were ousted in the Sweet 16
Brackets everywhere likely took another hit Thursday when the Gonzaga Bulldogs were eliminated from the NCAA Basketball Tournament in shocking fashion.
The Bulldogs entered Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks as 9.5-point favourites at PlayNow.com but were sent packing following a 74-68 defeat in which the underdogs from Arkansas took control in the second half and never relinquished it.
The upset win puts the Razorbacks through to the Elite 8 round of the tournament. The loss marked the end of the tournament for another No. 1 seed and meant another year of coming up empty for Gonzaga despite expectations of a championship.
Every year, the NCAA Tournament authors a dizzying array of twists and turns, and this year has been no different. This tournament is now wide open after the Bulldogs were ousted.
The defending champion Baylor Bears were eliminated in the second round. The No. 2 seed Kentucky Wildcats, another pre-tournament favourite, were knocked out in the first round by Cinderella 15 seed Saint Peter’s. And shortly after Gonzaga fell on Thursday, the Arizona Wildcats, another No. 1 seed, were eliminated by the Houston Cougars.
The Kansas JayHawks remained as the only No. 1 seed heading into Friday’s Sweet 16 matchup with No. 4 seed Providence.
Houston, as of Friday morning, had emerged as a favourite to win the national championship, with odds of 4.50 at PlayNow.com. Duke and Villanova, the other winners on Thursday, weren’t far behind the Cougars in terms of their NCAA Basketball futures odds.
Saturday’s Elite 8 matchups are now set. Houston was a two-point favourite over Villanova as of Friday, while Duke was a four-point favourite over Arkansas.
The Duke Blue Devils, under an intense spotlight in this tournament with their long-time coach Mike Krzyzewski – or ‘Coach K’ as he’s affectionately known as – set for retirement after this season, overcame their toughest test of the tournament by roaring back in the second half against Texas Tech on Thursday to score a massive win in.
Dolphins NFL Outright odds on the move after blockbuster trade
The Miami Dolphins made headlines this week, acquiring star wide receiver Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs for a package of draft picks.
The move to acquire the speedy receiver boosted the Dolphins’ odds of winning the Super Bowl from 46.00 at the beginning of the month to 39.00 on PlayNow.com as of Friday. The deal also boosted their odds of winning the AFC and the AFC East, although in all three cases, the Dolphins are still a relative long-shot compared to the frontrunners in the conference.
The Dolphins have made several moves to bolster their offence around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as he enters his third season in the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs lose their primary playmaker in that high-flying offence led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Still, Kansas City remained among the Super Bowl favourites, as well as favourites to win what should be an incredibly competitive AFC West Division when the season kicks off in September.
They also received a first-round pick in the deal, giving them two selections at the end of the first round, and 12 picks in total. It’s an enviable position to be in, as they look to restock their talent pool, with additional opportunities to do so after this week.
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