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NCAA Tournament 2016 betting preview: Odds underdogs seek Madness wins on Friday

Underdog teams like Northern Iowa and Hawaii will be looking to prove themselves in Friday's March Madness betting action.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Iowa Panthers are 12-1 straight up and 11-1-1 against the spread in their last 13 games including a successful run through the Missouri Valley Tournament. The Panthers will try to prove themselves against a major conference team this Friday against the Big 12's Texas Longhorns.

Northern Iowa is a 4-point betting underdog as an 11-seed according to sportsbooks monitored by With two regular season upsets over Wichita State, one over Iowa State and one over North Carolina, the Panthers have established themselves as a potential bracket buster coming into the NCAA Tournament.

No. 6 Texas is just 4-5 SU and 5-4 ATS over its last nine games, and will need to play at a higher level on Friday to avoid an upset.

Another intriguing No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed matchup pits the No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines. Michigan finished the regular season on an unimpressive 5-7 SU and ATS run, but were still awarded a spot in the play-in game against Tulsa. The Wolverines beat Tulsa 67-62 and covered the spread as a 2-point favorite, improving to 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 March Madness games.

Notre Dame is 3-4 SU and ATS over its last seven games and 1-4 SU in its last five games against Michigan.

The No. 4 seed was a comfortable favorite in all three of Thursday's 4-seed vs. 13 seed matchups, but that isn't the case on Friday when the No. 4 California Bears are just a 4.5-point favorite against No. 13 Hawaii.

The Warriors dominated the Big West this season with a 27-5 SU record and passed the eye test in a competitive 84-81 loss to Oklahoma back in December. Cal is 2-0 SU and ATS in its previous two games against Hawaii per the OddsShark College Basketball Database, and is 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games overall.

The No. 8 Saint Joseph's Hawks are 16-4 SU and 14-6 ATS over their last 20 games including a 3-0 SU and ATS run through the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Saint Joseph's is a 3-point underdog against the Cincinnati Bearcats, who have an extremely dangerous player in junior guard Troy Caupain.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 16 Holy Cross, a game in which Oregon is the biggest favorite on the board on Friday at -23.