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How about those Wildcats?

Or maybe, the Bears and Cougars.

It was a good weekend for Texas animal mascots (except those Longhorns), as South top seed Baylor and Midwest second seed Houston both advanced to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 amidst a lot of March Madness.

The Bears (+400 odds to win the tournament) and Cougars (+700 odds to win the tournament) are now the second and third choices to hoist the trophy on April 5. Gonzaga is still the 2/1 favorite to win it, and might, much like Houston, see its bracket disintegrate to the benefit of the Zags.

How about Abilene Christian? The Wildcats bracket busted third-seeded Texas right out of the tournament Saturday, before falling Monday to UCLA

So for fans in Texas, the big question now becomes, can a team from the Lone Star State take home the title?

Right now, Baylor and Houston look set to be on a collision course for the Final Four on April 3. The two teams both play Saturday in the Sweet 16: Baylor at 4:15 p.m. CDT against a banged-up fifth-seeded Villanova team that has clawed its way into another Sweet 16, and Houston at 8:55 p.m. CDT against 11th-seeded Syracuse, with eighth-seeded Loyola-Chicago and 12th-seeded Oregon State the other two teams left in the bracket.

Baylor is a -6.5 favorite with most sports books, with the money line odds -315. Houston is a -6 favorite, with the money line odds -265. That money line parlay for the two games gives you odds of -122, which looks to be a very decent bet for next Saturday.

The two other games Saturday have Loyola-Chicago, which went to the Final Four in 2018 as an 11 seed, as a -7 favorite over Oregon State (-315 ML odds), and Arkansas as a -10.5 favorite over 15th-seeded Oral Roberts (-625 ML odds). If you wanted to bet on the two underdogs, you can get pretty long odds on a two-team parlay (+1615).

Can Oral Roberts get to the Elite 8 as a 15th seed? The Golden Eagles are already in mostly unchartered territory: the only other 15 to make the Sweet 16 was Florida Gulf Coast in 2013. No 15 has ever made the Elite 8, so Oral Roberts is staring at history.

So the main question is for next weekend, will the tournament start to normalize with the higher seeds moving on, or will the March Madness become April Absurdity?

For fans around Texas, they are hoping it is Baylor and Houston.

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