With the first day of the NCAA Tournament in the books, bettors did not see as many upsets as they usually do. In fact, you needed to tune in to the late games on Thursday in order to see the Alabama Crimson Tide and Buffalo Bulls become just the second and third lower seeds to advance to the next round. The 12th-seeded Bulls pulled off the biggest shocker by knocking out the fourth-seeded Arizona Wildcats, setting up a clearer path to the Final Four for the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the South Region.
The 11th-seeded Loyola Ramblers were the other low seed to move on in the South before the ninth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide later joined them from the East. The Ramblers and Crimson Tide are both capable of winning at least another game in the Big Dance, although the latter has a much bigger challenge in facing the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats next on Saturday. Buffalo also has a solid shot of upsetting the Kentucky Wildcats, so consider betting on at least one of those Cinderellas to make the Sweet 16.
Heading into Friday, it is hard to say which sleepers will follow suit, but there will likely be more upsets than Thursday. The NCAA Tournament seldom disappoints, and while many brackets may look great right now, you can expect that to change shortly. Many people picked at least 14 of the first 16 games correctly straight-up, but losing a Final Four contender like Arizona on the first day hurts. I can feel your pain because I had the Wildcats on a couple future tickets and making the championship game in one bracket.
The West Virginia Mountaineers and Clemson Tigers are two teams to watch on Friday that might go down in upsets as No. 5 seeds because the other two No. 5 seeds both won on Thursday (Kentucky in the South and the Ohio State Buckeyes in the West). Only twice in the past 18 years have all No. 5 seeds advanced, and 10 No. 12 seeds have won over the previous five seasons combined.
Just a friendly reminder to manage your bankroll carefully throughout the weekend and keep coming back to BangTheBook.com!