Surprises bound to strike again in second round of men's NCAA tournament

Lance Pugmire
USA TODAY Sports+

History shows surprises prevail in the second round of the men's NCAA basketball tournament. 

Key action to watch includes top-seeded entries and the lower ranked teams. Here is what the history books say about the second round of action.

No. 8 or No. 9 seed upsetting a top-seeded team

It's happened in eight of the last 11 tournaments. The most vulnerable of those No. 1 seeds playing today is Baylor, favored by 5.5 points over No. 8 North Carolina in the East region (12:10 p.m. ET on CBS), according to Tipico Sportsbook. 

The Baylor Bears look to advance to the Sweet 16 in the men's NCAA tournament.

While North Carolina has made 29 appearances in the Sweet 16 since 1975, Baylor looks to become the first defending national champion to reach the Sweet 16 since Duke in 2016. Caesars Sportsbook notes North Carolina are 7-1 in their last eight games and 6-2 against the spread. 

Caesars also reports that 93% of dollars wagered are on the Tar Heels and the points. 

Kansas is a more comfortable -11.5 over No. 9 Creighton in the Midwest region (2:40 p.m., CBS). In the West, sportsbooks favor No. 1 Gonzaga by -10.5 over No. 16Memphis (9:40 p.m., TBS).

On Sunday, No.1 Arizona is favored by 9.5 points over No. 9 TCU (9:40 p.m., TBS), which trounced Seton Hall, 69-42, Friday. 

With Creighton missing center Ryan Kalkbrenner, Kansas attracted 72% of Caesars' tickets after getting blasted in their past two second-round games. Creighton has gone 10-2 against the spread in its last 12 games. 

The Kansas Jayhawks celebrate against the Texas Southern Tigers during the first half in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Dickies Arena.

Gonzaga could qualify for the Sweet 16 for the seventh consecutive season, something that hasn’t been done since Duke went nine times from 1998 to 2006.

PENNY FOR THOUGHTS: Memphis primed for challenge against top-ranked Gonzaga in Round of 32.

The Bulldogs are 4-7 when favored by 10 or more points in the tourney. As a result, Memphis has generated 62% of dollars wagered at Caesars Sportsbook. 

At minimum, one team seeded No. 11 or lower advances to the Sweet 16

Four of those teams play Saturday. 

No. 11 Michigan is a +5.5 underdog to No. 3 seed Tennessee (5:15 p.m., CBS) in the South. Midwest No. 12 Richmond is just +2.5 against No. 4 Providence (6:10 p.m., TNT).

New Mexico State, a West No. 12, is +6.5 over No. 4 Arkansas (8:40 p.m., TNT). And East No. 15 Saint Peter’s is +9.5 against Murray State (7:45 p.m., CBS). 

Saint Peter’s can become just the third 15th seeded team in tournament history to reach the Sweet 16, and the game has drawn equal action at Caesars. 

Arkansas is 1-5 against the spread in its last six tournament games against double-digit seeds while New Mexico is 5-0 in its last five games as an underdog.  

Michigan trails Gonzaga with four straight Sweet 16 appearances while compiling 22 tournament victories since 2013. This helped compel 83% of bettors’ dollars to go to the Wolverines Saturday, according to Caesars. 

Richmond is no stranger to upsets. The Spiders boast a record seven tournament triumphs as a No. 12 seed or lower. As Providence seeks a first Sweet 16 trip since 1997, Richmond convinced the bettors with 94% of the Caesars money on the Spiders. 

CINDERELLA RUN: Can 12th-seeded Richmond and New Mexico State reach Sweet 16 on national stage? 

On Sunday, West No. 11 Notre Dame is a +7.5 underdog to Texas Tech (7:10 p.m., TBS) and Midwest No. 11 Iowa State is just a +3.5-point underdog to Wisconsin, which battled fiercely to escape No. 14 Colgate Friday night. The game is on TNT at 6:10 p.m. Eastern. 

Also of note: East No. 4 UCLA, a 2.5-point favorite over fellow Californian Saint Mary’s (7:10 p.m., TBS) is 7-0 straight up and 5-2 against the spread in its last seven tournament games against lower seeds. That said, Caesars reports 89% of its dollars in this game is on the respected Gaels. 

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