Here's what Vegas thinks of the marquee games on the first full afternoon of NCAA tournament action.
The only time all four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament advanced to the Final Four was 2008, when Kansas entered as the top seed in the Midwest Region and outlasted Memphis for the program’s third title. The Jayhawks once again tip off the tournament atop the Midwest, and they take the court on Thursday afternoon as 14.5-point favorites against 16-seed Penn, according to the 2018 March Madness odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Quakers will be playing in the tournament for the first time in more than a decade. They lost to Texas A&M as a No. 14 seed back in 2007, which marked their third consecutive appearance as the Ivy League representative. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks have gone dancing in all 15 seasons under head coach Bill Self, who has amassed a record of 443–95 (.823) in Lawrence.
Other notable first-round games on Thursday include No. 7 seed Rhode Island versus No. 10 Oklahoma in the Midwest Region and South Region 12-seed Davidson against the No. 5 Kentucky.
Rhode Island lost the Atlantic 10 tournament title game 58–57 to Davidson after the Wildcats upset St. Bonaventure in the semifinals. Oklahoma was a controversial choice for one of the last at-large bids and sits as a 1.5-point underdog against the Rams, while Kentucky is a consensus six-point favorite over Davidson after winning the SEC tournament for the fourth straight season.
The winner of the Davidson-Kentucky game may be facing another Wildcats team in the round of 32, as No. 4 seed Arizona is a nine-point favorite against the No. 13 seed Buffalo. Arizona and Buffalo both won their respective conference tournaments, but the Bulls will be trying to win for the first time in their third March Madness experience. The Bulls have gone 5–1 against the spread during their current six-game winning streak.