The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will try to continue their unlikely run to the Final Four of this year’s NCAA Tournament when they take on the Kansas State Wildcats in Elite Eight action Saturday as a 1.5-point underdog on the March Madness odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Loyola-Chicago bolstered its Cinderella credentials with a 69-68 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack as a 1.5-point underdog in its first trip to the Sweet Sixteen since 1985 and now rides a 13-game straight-up win streak into Saturday evening’s Ramblers vs. Wildcats betting matchup at Philips Arena.
Pegged as the No.11 seed in the South Region, the Ramblers have claimed victory by the narrowest of margins at this year’s tournament, edging out opponents by a combined four points including a stunning 63-62 win over the third-seeded Tennessee Volunteers as 5-point underdogs in Round of 32 action.
The Wildcats punched their ticket to the Elite Eight for the first time in eight years with Thursday’s 61-58 win over No.5 Kentucky as 5-point underdogs, establishing their first three-game SU win streak in over a month. No. 9 Kansas State also has posted three straight victories over the Ramblers, including a 74-61 victory as 14-point home chalk in their last meeting in November 2011, but has failed to cover in its past two.
Later Saturday night, No.3 Michigan aims for its first Final Four berth since 2013 when it battles the surprising Florida State Seminoles as 4.5-point betting favorites. The Wolverines outclassed No. 7 seed Texas A&M in a 99-72 Sweet 16 victory as 2.5-point favorites in their 12th straight SU win, and have emerged as a reliable wager during their current tear, covering in 10 of their recent victories.
The Seminoles have emerged as giant slayers at this year’s tournament. After disposing of No. 8 Missouri with a 67-54 opening-round win, FSU stunned the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers in a 75-70 victory as a 5.5-point underdog and continued to silence the naysayers with a 75-60 Sweet 16 win over No.4 Gonzaga as a 6-point underdog.
The Seminoles have produced mixed results in dates with Michigan, losing SU in two of three including an 82-80 loss as 3-point underdogs in their last clash in November 2013.
In Sunday’s two Elite Eight matchups, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks take on the Duke Blue Devils in the Midwest Regional final, while early tournament favorite Villanova battles Texas Tech in the East Regional final. The winners of this weekend’s contests then move on to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas next Saturday.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
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