Las Vegas picking Ohio State in NCAA tourney

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 PM ET

TORONTO - Vegas is backing the Buckeyes.

Top overall seed Ohio State has been given the best odds of winning the NCAA tournament, despite being put into a draw that appears to be more challenging than those the other No. 1 seeds are facing.

The Buckeyes would possibly have to get past Kentucky and either North Carolina or Kentucky — standouts all — to reach the Final Four.

Most noticeably, fellow

No. 1 Pittsburgh has a much more palatable road to the Final Four.

Vegas sports books have given Ohio State odds ranging from 6-1 to 7-2 to win it all and some have said they might even go as low as 5-2 by tipoff.

The Buckeyes went 33-2, won the Big Ten regular season and tournament and boast an exceptional two-way big man in Jared Sullinger.

Vegas deems Pittsburgh less likely to win it all than Ohio St., Kansas and Duke despite its less-challenging draw.

Ohio State is trying to become the second team since the NCAA first started assigning a top overall seed in 2004 to win the tournament.

San Diego State has the best odds of the No. 2 seeds.

HOYAS GET HELP

Georgetown point guard Chris Wright will return for the tournament.

Wright broke his non-shooting hand on Feb. 23, but has been cleared to practice and said he will play against the winner of USC and Virginia Commonwealth on Friday.

The 21-10 Hoyas have lost four straight since Wright went down and have looked terrible on offence minus their floor general.

WASHINGTON TOO

Washington star Isaiah Thomas will get some much-needed assistance as his backup, point guard Venoy Overton has been reinstated by the team.

Overton was charged with providing alcohol to a minor and suspended for the Pac-10 tournament, forcing Thomas to play 123 out of a possible 125 minutes in the tourney, which Washington still

won.

OUT IN OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma has fired head coach Jeff Capel following consecutive losing seasons - the first time that has happened there since 1967.

With phenom Blake Griffin, Capel and Oklahoma were outstanding ˆ Capel was 79-33 his first three seasons with the Sooners (two of those with Griffin), but just 17-36 in the two years since Griffin left to become the first pick of the NBA draft.


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