March Madness 2024 Updated Odds & Picks after Second Round 3/24: UConn cements status as overwhelming favorite

Connecticut Huskies players celebrate after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium.
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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And just like that, the NCAA Tournament field has dwindled down from 68 to 16. The contenders have separated themselves from the pretenders now that the Sweet 16 is set for March Madness.

Teams like Oakland, Yale, Grand Canyon and James Madison fell by the wayside this past weekend. Only one team with a seed worse than #6 is still alive, and it’s not like it’s some kind of mid-major Cinderella. No, it’s the tournament champion of perhaps college basketball’s proudest conference, the ACC. The N.C. State Wolfpack, the #11 seed in the South Region, booked their spot in the Big Dance by cutting down the nets in the ACC Tournament and are still alive.

Will the Wolfpack and conference rival Clemson Tigers, the #6 seed in the West, keep their runs going? Will the top seeds – all 4 #1s are still in it – continue to take care of business this weekend en route to the Final Four? Let’s take a look at what the updated odds have to say about it following the first 4 days of the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament winner odds

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • UConn +210
  • Houston +500
  • Purdue +650
  • Arizona +900
  • North Carolina +1100
  • Tennessee +1300
  • Marquette +1600
  • Iowa State +2000
  • Duke +2200
  • Gonzaga +2500
  • Creighton +2500
  • Illinois +3500
  • Alabama +3500
  • Clemson +7000
  • San Diego State +7000
  • NC State +9000

Final Four odds

Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook

South Region winner odds

  • Houston –105
  • Marquette +220
  • Duke +380
  • NC State +1300

Midwest Region winner odds

  • Purdue +135
  • Tennessee +230
  • Gonzaga +450
  • Creighton +450

West Region winner odds

  • Arizona +120
  • North Carolina +160
  • Alabama +475
  • Clemson +1100

East Region winner odds

  • UConn –230
  • Iowa State +400
  • Illinois +600
  • San Diego State +1600

NCAA Tournament winner best bet: North Carolina (+1100)

UConn is the best team in the nation and has been dominant so far. But the Huskies’ odds were already too short before the tournament started (+400) and now that number has basically sliced in half (+210). No thanks!
North Carolina was my best bet in the Pickswise experts’ futures roundtable last week and there is no reason to get off the bandwagon. The Tar Heels disposed of Wagner and then rolled over Michigan State, a perennial danger team in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Tom Izzo. UNC captured the ACC regular-season title and it’s safe to say that the ACC was vastly underrated. Four representatives are in the Sweet 16 (Carolina, Duke, Clemson and N.C. State) and the conference owns an 8-0 record in the real tournament (not including the play-in round). Star guard RJ Davis earned Player of the Year honors in the ACC and big man Armando Bacot also brings a ton of experience to the table. This is a team that is built to win it all.

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