NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 Preview — West Region

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 Men’s Final Four Preview
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 9: A March Madness sign displayed on I-465 interstate before the 2021 NCAA Men’s Final Four as seen on March 9, 2021 in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire)

Given the nature of the NCAA tournament and how common upsets are, it is even more surprising when a bracket goes according to plan. This is exactly what happened in the West Region, as the top 4 seeds are who are remaining heading into the Sweet 16.

This is not to say the region has entirely gone according to plan as 12th seeded New Mexico upset 5th seeded UConn and 11th seeded Notre Dame upset 6th seeded Alabama in the opening round. Regardless it will be Gonzaga, Duke, Texas Tech, and Arkansas facing off for a chance to advance in the NCAA’s Sweet 16 and will tip-off tonight at 7:10 and 9:40 PM EST.

Gonzaga (1) vs. Arkansas (4)

There have been questions about Gonzaga’s strength of schedule, but it is impossible to ignore their talent. They have one of the most unique players in basketball in Chet Holmgren, who stands over 7 feet tall but can handle the ball like a guard and is closer in weight to one as well. The Zags cruised past Georgia State in the first round and took down a Solid Memphis squad in the round of 32. Gonzaga showed some resiliency as they were down 10 points at halftime before finding a way to get back on top. 

The Arkansas Razorbacks will be the toughest test of the NCAA tournament for Gonzaga so far. Arkansas ranks first in the country in free throws made per game and also plays some high-quality defense which is crucial to tournament success. The Razorbacks are not afraid to push the pace, and this strategy could give Gonzaga some issues as they rely on a much more post-heavy offense. 

Gonzaga is favored by 8.5 points in the matchup, which is the second-highest spread in this round. Arkansas is +300 on the money line, and the over-under is set at 156.5.

NCAA Betting Lines

Per Draft Kings, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the favorites to win tonight’s matchup.

  • Spread: Gonzaga -8.5
  • Gonzaga Moneyline: -450
  • Arkansas Moneyline: +300
  • O/U: 156.5
Draftkings Sportsbook
States: NY, LA, AZ, CO, Il, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
New Player Bonus
$50 Risk-Free Bet
up to $1,000 Deposit Match

Texas Tech (3) vs. Duke (2)

Another Sweet 16 heavyweight matchup will be seen in the East bracket as 2nd seeded Duke against 3rd seeded Texas Tech. The Red Raiders went 27-9 on the season and are known for their hard-nosed style of defense. They hold the team to the 4th lowest team FG% across all NCAA teams at 38.2% and also allow the 8th fewest points per game. 

This will be put to the test against Duke, who is putting their best effort forward to end Coach K’s 46 years at Duke on the right foot. The Blue Devils are led by projected top-5 pick Paolo Banchero, and the team has posted some impressive defensive numbers this season. The 6’10 Banchero will produce some matchup issues for Texas Tech, and this is one that could end up going either way.

Duke has had no trouble scoring the basketball this season as they are 8th in the country in points per game with 80.3. All five regular starters average in double figures for scoring, including 17 per game from Banchero and 13.5 points per game from Wendell Moore. The Blue Devils are also 9th in assists and blocks per game. Texas Tech matches up better with Duke than most teams but will have to bring it from the start to control the tempo and take control.

This is shown by Vegas, who considers this NCAA tournament game to be a “pick’em.” The over-under is listed at 137.5 for the matchup.

NCAA Betting Lines

Per Draft Kings, the game is currently considered a “pick’em.”

  • Spread: Pick’em
  • Texas Tech Moneyline: -110
  • Duke Moneyline: -110
  • O/U: 137.5
Draftkings Sportsbook
States: NY, LA, AZ, CO, Il, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
New Player Bonus
$50 Risk-Free Bet
up to $1,000 Deposit Match

Odds to Win Region

Gonzaga entered the NCAA tournament as the favorites to win it all, and this has not changed after their first two victories. The Zags are -175 favorites to come out of this region and advance to the Final Four. It is somewhat surprising, but Texas Tech is next up on this list with +430 odds while Duke is just behind them at +450. Lastly, Arkansas is listed as +1000 odds to win the West; however, if they are able to get by Gonzaga in tonight’s matchup, they certainly should not be counted out against Texas Tech or Duke.

More from our Sister Sites