How to Find Upsets in the Sweet 16

Wayne Root: How to Find Upsets in the Sweet 16

You will hear longtime followers of the NCAA Tournament say the following: "Sure, there are upsets and surprises in the first weekend of the Big Dance...but, after that, form holds and the favorites usually win."

For many years, that was true. And, who knows, maybe it will be true again this season when we have favorites who the market sees as much superior to their Sweet 16 opponents. But, THE KING OF UPSETS is here to remind you that a lot of people thought favorites were going to rule the latter rounds last year. Do you remember what happened?


I'm guessing you don't. You probably remember that Connecticut beat Kentucky for the championship in a battle of teams seeded #7 and #8. That was a historic rarity. It came on the heels of several days of historic rarities.

Last the dozen games comprising the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, underdogs were an astonishing 9-2-1 against the closing numbers, with an equally surprising 7-5 record straight up. Underdogs won more games straight up than favorites did!

Let's review. We had one push when Michigan (-2) beat Tennessee 73-71. In the other seven Sweet 16 games, underdogs went 5-2 ATS, winning four games outright...


*Dayton (+3.5) jumped out to a 10-point halftime lead against Stanford, then held down the fort for an 82-72 victory that launched the Flyers into the Elite 8

*Michigan State (+2.5) exposed Virginia in a hard fought 61-59 battle that was similar to the rematch you watched last weekend (though, more competitive).

*Kentucky (+4.5) beat state rival Louisville 74-69 on its way to a surprise run to the Finals. Remember, Kentucky was only a #8 seed last year...and was stuck in a brutal regional with Wichita State and Louisville.

*Connecticut (+1) beat Iowa State 81-76, holding on after watching much of a 10-point halftime lead evaporate. Of course, Connecticut would go on to win the National Championship. Think about that for a second...the two teams destined to meet for the championship were both UNDERDOGS in the Sweet 16! That tells you how competitive college basketball is these days, and how hard it is for the market to get a true read on different squads even though we're so deep into the season.

*San Diego State (+8) was able to earn a hardfought 32-28 halftime lead before fading against powerful Arizona. The underdog did hold on to cover in a 70-64 loss.


*Baylor (+4) fell way behind Wisconsin early...and was never much of a factor in a 69-52 loss. The Bears were a popular darkhorse pick, but disappointed in a way that foreshadowed another disappointment in 2015. Many TV pundits guessed wrong on Baylor, and then missed other great underdog opportunities.

*UCLA (+4.5) had trouble staying with Florida, ultimately falling 79-68 even though they had a few chances to make it interesting in the ebb and flow of the evening.

That's not exactly "form holding" after the first weekend is it? The dynamics of playoff style basketball are complex, and the market tends to make the mistake of trusting computer ratings rather than how skill sets match up head-to-head. Serious handicappers like WAYNE ALLYN ROOT are grateful!

What happened in the Elite Eight when those survivors met? All the dogs barked, and three of the four advanced...

Connecticut (+5.5) beat Michigan State 60-54
Kentucky (+2.5) beat Michigan 75-72
Wisconsin (+3.5) beat Arizona in overtime 64-63
Dayton (+10.5) covered in a 62-52 loss to Florida

If you're like most bettors, you've probably circled almost all the favorites Thursday and Friday because you just can't help yourself. Those lines seem so small compared to the regular season! There's no way surprise teams can keep winning! Hopefully my review of last year's results helped put your feet back on the ground.

I have to tell you...I think this is a fairly tricky set of games. Perhaps blindly taking the points is going to come close to matching last year's dog pound. But, each game has its own unique dynamics in play. And, there are certainly reasons to be concerned about getting peak performance from at least a few of these underdogs.

I can't tell you here in my web article who I'll be betting. That information is for paying customers! Paying customers had a great first week, including a 7-3 weekend that saw a PINNACLE sweep on Butler and West Virginia. I'm going to pick up right where I left off Thursday and Friday, click here to get all 8 of the Sweet-16 games right here online. Purchase all my daily BASKETBALL BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my long term programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to my representative in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Call any time Thursday to get locked in for more big play blockbusters from the only man in the sports betting industry to have a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas.

I'll see you again early next week for another basketball article. I may be reviewing the Dance weekend...I may be talking about the NIT...I may take a side step into the NBA because we haven't had a chance to talk pro hoops for awhile. Then, I'll be back a week from now to talk about upset potential over Final Four weekend.

The NCAA Tournament is the biggest betting event in all of sports. We're on fire battling these very soft tournament lines.'s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!


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