Men’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Trends Report

Wendell Moore Jr. #0 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates after defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders with a final score of 73-78 in the Sweet Sixteen round game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chase Center on March 24, 2022
Image Credit: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

For the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament, a 15 seed advanced to the Elite Eight when Saint Peter’s pulled off yet another stunning upset,  this time of 3 seed Purdue in the Sweet 16. With the matchups set for this weekend, here is BetPrep’s elite eight trends report.

No. 5 Houston (-2.5) vs. No. 2 Villanova

Saturday, 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS (O/U: 128)

The first of four Elite Eight matchups tips off at 6:09 p.m. ET on Saturday night when 5 seed Houston takes on 2 seed Villanova from AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX on TBS. The two teams are a combined 6-0 ATS thus far in the tournament, as the Cougars covered as 8.5-point favorites against UAB, 3.5-point favorites against Illinois and as a 2.5-point dog versus Arizona in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats, meanwhile, cashed as 15-point favorites against Delaware in the opening round, as 5-point favorites versus Ohio State in the second round and as 4.5-point chalk against Michigan in the Sweet 16.

According to FOX Sports, underdogs are 80-60-2 against the number in the Elite Eight overall and 20-13-1 ATS in this round since 2016. That said, the 5 seed is 8-1 ATS and 7-2 straight up in the Elite Eight since 1985.

Unfortunately for Villanova (and Duke, for that matter), 2-seeds are just 32-31-2 ATS and 30-35 straight up since 1985.

Houston Key Trends

  • The Cougars are 39-19 ATS in their last 58 games overall.

  • Houston is 6-2 ATS in its last eight NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

  • The Under is 4-1 in the Cougars’ last five NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

Villanova Key Trends

  • The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.

  • Villanova is 20-6 ATS in its last 26 NCAA Tournament games.

  • The Under is 5-1 in the Wildcats’ last six games overall.

No. 4 Arkansa (+4) vs. No. 2 Duke

Saturday, 6:49 p.m. ET, TBS (O/U: 147.5)

After slaying Gonzaga – the top seed in the entire tournament – in the Sweet 16, Arkansas is once again an underdog in the Elite Eight to Duke on Saturday night. The Blue Devils have five potential NBA draft picks and appear to be peaking at the right time. They overcame a 4-point deficit at halftime in the Sweet 16 against the best defensive team in the country, Texas Tech, and made their final eight shots from the field to advance to the Elite Eight.

After failing to cover as an 18.5-point favorite against CS Fullerton in the first round, Duke rallied and cashed as a 6-point favorite against Michigan State in the second. Then came the Blue Devils’ slight upset over the Red Raiders in the Sweet 16 as a 1-point underdog.

As for the Razorbacks, they failed to cover as a 4.5-point favorite against Vermont in the opening round, then lost again at the window as 6.5-point chalk against New Mexico State in a 53-48 victory. That said, the Hogs pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the tournament, downing Gonzaga 74-68 as a 9.5-point underdog on Thursday night in the Sweet 16. This makes for an interesting matchup against Duke in our Elite Eight trends report.

Arkansas Key Trends

  • The Razorbacks are a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.

  • Arkansas is 15-5-1 ATS in its last 21 games overall.

  • The Under is 7-2 in the Hogs’ last nine NCAA Tournament games.

Duke Key Trends

  • The Blue Devils are 2-7 ATS in their last nine NCAA Tournament games.

  • Duke is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite.

  • The Over is 13-3 in the Blue Devils’ last 16 games overall.

No. 10 Miami (+6) vs. No. 1 Kansas

Sunday, 3:20 p.m. ET, CBS (O/U: 147.5)

The ACC will square off against the Big 12 in the Elite Eight on Sunday afternoon when 1 seed Kansas takes on 10 seed Miami at 3:20 p.m. ET. The Hurricanes have been one of the more impressive teams in the tournament, covering first as a 2-point underdog against USC in the opening round, then as a 6.5-point dog against 2 seed Auburn in the second. On Friday night, Miami had little to no problems covering as a 3.5-point favorite versus Iowa State in a 70-56 rout.

Kansas, however, hasn’t been as kind to its backers. While the Jayhawks did cover as 21.5-point favorites versus Texas Southern in the opening round, they failed to do so as 13.5-point favorites against Creighton in the second round. Then, in their Sweet 16 matchup with Providence on Friday night, they appeared to have the Friars down and out but a lousy shooting performance cost KU bettors that laid the 7 points with the Jayhawks.

The Hurricanes have been underdogs in 13 games this season and won nine of those contests outright.

Miami Key Trends

  • The Hurricanes are 5-1 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games as an underdog.
  • Miami is 15-5-1 ATS in its last 21 games overall.
  • The Under is 4-0 in the Hurricanes’ last four NCAA Tournament games.

Kansas Key Trends

  • The Jayhawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games.
  • Kansas is 2-5 ATS in its last seven NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
  • The Under is 27-13 in the Jayhawks’ last 40 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

No. 15 Saint Peter’s (+8) vs. No. 8 North Carolina

Sunday, 6:05 p.m. ET, TBS (O/U: 137)

As previously mentioned, Miami has been one of the more impressive teams in this year’s tournament. Then again, the Hurricanes’ performance pales in comparison to what the Saint Peter’s Peacocks have accomplished over the past two weeks.

No 15 seed has ever advanced to the Elite Eight before the Peacocks stunned Purdue on Friday night in a 67-64 victory as a 13-point underdog. It was Saint Peter’s third straight outright win as an underdog and the second time the Peacocks were victorious as a double-digit underdog.

Standing in Saint Peter’s way of making even more history is a North Carolina team that rallied to knock off UCLA on Friday night in the Sweet 16. The Tar Heels are a perfect 3-0 ATS in this year’s tournament but only one of those victories, a 95-63 rout of Marquette in the opening round, weren’t a sweat for backers. They blew a massive second half lead to Baylor in the second round before composing themselves in overtime to beat the Bears 93-86 as 5.5-point underdogs. Then against the Bruins, the Tar Heels trailed at halftime and virtually the entire second half before a late rally propelled them to a 73-66 victory and an appearance in the Elite Eight.

Saint Peter’s Key Trends

  • The Peacocks’ 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
  • Saint Peter’s is 38-15-1 ATS in its last 54 games as an underdog.
  • The Under is 33-16 in the Peacocks’ last 49 games overall.

North Carolina Key Trends

  • The Tar Heels are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine neutral site games as a favorite.
  • North Carolina is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
  • The Over is 16-7-1 in the Tar Heels’ last 24 games overall.