After the first two rounds of NCAA March Madness, there were some nice results for teams in neighboring states of West Virginia. Two of those, Virginia and Virginia Tech, even punched tickets to the Sweet Sixteen.
It’s true, West Virginia sports betting doesn’t have a betting app at the moment. It is also true, the state is down two retail sportsbooks. Even so, there is no denying the madness that is sweeping the nation, including right here at home in the Mountain State.
WVU and Marshall may not be on the dance floor, but that isn’t stopping sports bettors from getting in the action. Legal March Madness sports betting is still alive and doing well at three WV sportsbooks:
March Madness Continues for Cavaliers and Hokies
After becoming the first top seed losing to a 16 seed last year, Virginia again gave fans a scare. Ranked second in the country and a No. 1 seed in the college basketball tournament, the Cavaliers struggled in their first game.
Gardner-Webb looked to repeat the dishonor in the first round and led by six at the half. Virginia recovered, however, with guard De’Andre Hunter scoring 17 second-half points. The 71-56 win advanced the Cavaliers on to Round 2 against Oklahoma.
Virginia seemed to regroup a bit against ninth-seeded Sooners, winning 63-51. The squad now moves on to the Sweet Sixteen after such a disappointing end to the 2018 season.
Having put the ghosts of 2018 behind, the Cavaliers are now set to battle Oregon on Thursday, Match 28. The team appears in the driver’s seat and hoping that continues.
In its first NCAA tournament in 12 years, Virginia Tech made it count. The Hokies showed they belong as a No. 4 seed and routed Saint Louis in the first round 66-52.
Two days later, the Hokies faced Liberty and took down the Flames 67-58. Forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the team in scoring with 19 to help advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
There was plenty of celebrating and the win had some extra meaning. It marked the 100th win for head coach Buzz Williams.
The Cavaliers will have a tough road to the Elite Eight, and square off against Duke on Friday, March 29. The Blue Devils cruised in their first games against North Dakota State, winning 85-62.
However, the Devils just survived their matchup with ninth-seeded University of Central Florida, 77-76. The Hokies may be buoyed by that as they hope for the upset.
The University of Maryland was locked in two close early-round games, coming up just short in Round 2. In their first matchup, the sixth-seeded Terrapins squared off with Belmont.
After trailing by 6 after the first half, Maryland rallied to pull off a 79-77 victory. Forward Jalen Smith led the team in scoring with 19 points.
In Round 2, the Terrapins battled in another close one against No. 3-seeded LSU. The Tigers came out ahead 69-67 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
With some young talent, coach Mark Turgeon is happy where the team is headed. The Terrapins didn’t qualify for the tournament in 2018.
Turgeon told the Baltimore Sun:
“We’ve recruited pretty well, some things will happen in the spring that will add some pieces, you know, and we’ll get even better. So I’m looking forward to coaching this group again next season.”
After a 28-7 regular season record, the Bearcats suffered a second-straight first-round defeat. The team, seeded No. 7 this year, had double-digit leads in both games.
This year, No. 10-seeded Iowa ended Cincinnati’s season with a 79-72 upset. The Hawkeyes dominated late in the game and hit some big shots.
The team ends its season with 31 total wins and head coach Mick Cronin is pleased with the season overall.
Cronin spoke to Cincinnati.com about the season:
“I don’t think they could have accomplished much more than they did this year. They stayed together, they overcame, they never doubted and they kept scrapping and fighting without a lot of experience. What they accomplished was unbelievable.”
More March Madness sports betting ahead
Along with the two Virginia teams advancing, other favorites advancing include:
- Michigan State
- North Carolina
Here’s a look at the complete Sweet Sixteen matchups:
Western Region – March 28
- Gonzaga (1) vs. Florida State (4)
- Texas Tech (3) vs. Michigan (2)
Southern Region – March 28
- Virginia (1) vs. No. 12 Oregon
- Tennessee (2) vs. Purdue (3)
Midwest Region – March 29
- Kentucky (1) vs. Houston (3)
- North Carolina (1) vs. Auburn (5)
Eastern Region – March 29
- Duke (1) vs. Virginia Tech (4)
- LSU (3) vs, Michigan State (2)