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Wisconsin opens as sizable betting favorite over No. 12 seed James Madison in NCAA Tournament round of 64

Wisconsin basketball opens as a 5.5-point betting favorite over No. 12 seed James Madison in the 2024 NCAA Tournament round of 64.

The Badgers enter the tournament having won three of four during the Big Ten Tournament — a blowout win over a top-70 Maryland team, a comfortable win over Northwestern without point guard Chucky Hepburn, an electrifying upset of Purdue and a narrow loss to Illinois.

Related: Wisconsin Badgers vs. James Madison Dukes: TV channel, betting line, game notes for NCAA Tournament Round of 64

James Madison enters even hotter. The Dukes have won their last 13 games and 16 of 17 dating to mid-January. The team finished No. 59 in KenPom’s ratings, but Badgers fans are still unhappy with the tough draw.

The contest, which tips at 9:40 p.m. Eastern on Friday in Brooklyn, New York, should be a true test of whether Greg Gard’s team is a true contender. A win and Wisconsin looks to be one of the more dangerous teams in the tournament. A loss, and it’s another disappointing postseason for a Gard-coached team.

Related: Where Wisconsin basketball stands in Las Vegas odds to win 2024 NCAA Tournament National Championship

Wisconsin being a 5.5-point favorite is a bit of a surprise, especially if you ask the CBS college basketball panel. James Madison seems to be a popular upset pick among the public.

(Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook)

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire