This year’s March Madness betting tournament has been unlike any other and Thursday’s Sweet Sixteen action was no exception. Usually, this late in the tournament, victories are won by last-second buzzer beaters. But Thursday, when three of the four contests came down to the closing seconds, nobody was able to beat the clock and good defending on behalf of Gonzaga, Oregon, and Xavier ensured that these programs would advance to the Elite Eight.
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In those three contests, the combined margin of victory was 6 points, which means that bettors who bet the spread came up short in all of Thursday’s contests except the Jayhawks’ 32-point rout of Purdue. But even accounting for some losses, those who place basketball bets will unanimously agree that seeing Xavier deliver yet another basketball betting upset was a defining moment in this year’s tourney.
The Madness Continues
Those who tuned in for the contest between Xavier and Arizona were treated to one rollercoaster of a show. Throughout the game, both teams exchanged the lead several times, thanks to impressive point-streaks from Arizona, and an unwillingness to give up from the Musketeers.
Heading into the half the score read 37-35 Wildcats. In the second half, Xavier would outscore Arizona 38-34 to win the March Madness betting contest 73-71. While sportsbook players were expecting an upset in the Sweet Sixteen round, few were expecting it from the Musketeers who faced the steepest odds of the lot.
The bookmakers even ended up giving West Virginia a bigger shot at upsetting Gonzaga, who is widely considered to be the best team remaining in the tournament. Likewise, Purdue faced +178 odds on the moneyline against Kansas, which is a walk in the park compared to the +285 odds Xavier was facing. Nevertheless, it was the Musketeers who were able to deliver a dramatic upset.
To help overcome the Musketeers, Xavier turned to none other than Trevon Bluiett who is leading the team in points. Bluiett turned in a 25-point performance that included 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Bluiett got some help from Malcolm Bernard who added 15 points to the scoreboard for the Musketeers, in addition to 6 rebounds. Xavier also had a double-digit scorer in JP Macura who was able to net the program 14 points on Thursday. Macura also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists on the night.
The Wildcats were lead in points by Allonzo Trier Thursday night. Trier scored 19 points, and also had 9 rebounds and three assists. Unfortunately for Arizona, the Wildcats only produced two double-digit scorers in their contests against Xavier. The second being Dusan Ristic who had 17 points on the night, as well as 4 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.