The Wichita State Shockers are 20-3 straight up and 17-5-1 against the spread over their last 23 games. The Shockers have played their way into the Round of 64, and will now try to shake up the bracket with an upset win over the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday.
Wichita State is a 1.5-point betting underdog in Thursday's contest at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Going up against Vanderbilt in a game to determine which team would be the No. 11 seed in the South Region, Wichita State cruised to a 70-50 win as a 4-point favorite to earn its spot against No. 6 Arizona.
From a talent perspective, Arizona is seeded much lower than analysts expected, but the Wildcats are just 3-3 SU and 1-5 ATS over their last six games.
Another intriguing No. 6 vs. No. 11 matchup on Thursday pits the No. 6 Seton Hall Pirates against the No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Seton Hall has been red-hot since late January with a 12-2 SU and 11-3 ATS record over its last 14 games, including outright upsets over Creighton, Georgetown, Xavier and Villanova.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are also 12-2 SU over their last 14 games with a 4-0-1 ATS record over their last five. Gonzaga is going off as a 1.5-point favorite.
Three No. 8 seed vs. 9 seed games take place on Thursday. No. 9 Providence is a 2-point favorite against No. 8 USC, No. 9 Connecticut is a 3.5-point favorite over No. 8 Colorado and No. 9 Butler is a 4.5-point favorite over No. 8 Texas Tech.
Over the last six years, No. 8 seeds going off as underdogs in the first round are 8-2 SU and ATS per the OddsShark College Basketball Database. Dating back to 2000, eighth-seeded underdogs are 16-7-1 ATS against No. 9 seeds.
College basketball fans who love scoring should be sure to catch the game between No. 4 Iowa State and No. 13 Iona. Iowa State ranks 15th in the nation in scoring with 81.8 points per game and 257th in defense with 75 points against per game. Iona is 31st in scoring with 79.6 points per game, and 227th on defense, allowing 73.7 points per game.
The total in this game is set at a sky-high 166.5 points, over 10 points higher than any other game on the board at the sportsbooks on Thursday.