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NCAA Tournament 2016 First Four betting preview: Wichita State among favorites

March Madness starts on Tuesday and Wednesday as the teams in the First Four try to play into spots in the main NCAA Tournament bracket.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In three all-time NCAA Tournament games, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles are 2-1 straight up and 3-0 against the spread. The Eagles will try to make the most of their latest March Madness bid with a win in their play-in game this Tuesday.

Florida Gulf Coast is a 5.5-point betting favorite against the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights this Tuesday, according to sportsbooks monitored by With a 7-2 SU record down the stretch, the Eagles were able to win the Atlantic Sun Conference and earn this spot in March Madness.

Fairleigh went 5-0 SU over its last five games en route to a Northeast Conference championship. These two teams are playing for a No. 16 spot to face No. 1 North Carolina.

Playing for a No. 11 seed and a first-round matchup against the Arizona Wildcats, the Vanderbilt Commodores clash with the Wichita State Shockers on Tuesday night. In 18 games as the betting favorite this season, the Shockers are 13-4-1 ATS, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. They'll be a favorite again on Tuesday going off as 3.5-point chalk.

Vanderbilt is just 1-5 SU in its last six games and 2-7 SU in nine games as an underdog this season.

The First Four continues on Wednesday as the Holy Cross Crusaders take on the Southern Jaguars for a No. 16 seed in the West Region. Southern went just 4-4 SU over its last eight games, but picked up three straight wins in its last three games to score the SWAC title.

Holy Cross is 4-0 SU and ATS with four outright upsets over its last four games, and the Crusaders will be in the underdog role again as a 2-point betting underdog in this one. The winner will advance to play against No. 1 Oregon.

Rounding out the play-in games is Wednesday night's matchup between the Michigan Wolverines and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Michigan is 6-0 SU and 5-0-1 ATS in its last six NCAA Tournament games as the betting favorite since 2013.

Tulsa isn't likely to go down without a fight, though, with a 4-3 SU record as an underdog this season and a 7-2 ATS record in its last nine NCAA Tournament games. No. 6 Notre Dame awaits the winner of this game in the East section of the March Madness bracket.