Saturday, March 29, 2008

I can't resist

I have been riding Louisville all year, and I can't jump off the bandwagon now. I do feel that they can beat UNC, but they will have to hit a good percentage of their 3 point shots (over 35%) and limit the turnovers they have. If I think about it logically, I have to think that UNC wins, but it is hard to get Louisville out of my heart. I may be wrong on this one but at least I am going down swinging.

LOUISVILLE +6 vs. North Carolina

I don't like the way UCLA is playing right now. There is the notion that they turn it up a notch today because they know what is at stake. I don't buy it. They are simply not playing up to the level that they should be. I like Xavier's balanced attack and I think this will be close. Who has UCLA beaten badly?

XAVIER +6.5 vs. Ucla

I am probably wrong on both of these, but as I said, I can't resist.


Friday, March 28, 2008


Wow, UCLA looks awful right now, don’t they? There are two schools of thought here. They are a team of destiny and are capable of winning all types of games; fast paced, slow defensive battles, ugly turnover games that they want to forget. Or they are picking the wrong time to suck and when they play someone good they will lose. I am now leaning towards option 2. Collison (aside from last night) has been playing great and Kevin Love is terrific, but the rest of the team, namely Shipp needs to play an impact role, starting now if they expect to win the tournament. The early UCLA line opened up at -8.5 and I think it has now settled in at -6.

Dick Vitale said last night that he believes UCLA will be focused and take care of business tomorrow and get to the Final Four. I don’t feel the same way. Starting with the lucky win vs. Stanford and the last second shot from Shipp to beat Cal, they have really been struggling.

I know I picked UCLA to win it all prior to the tournament, but the winner is coming out of the East or Midwest bracket; Kansas, UNC or Louisville.

Friday’s picks

4:10 pm
WISCONSIN -5.5 vs. Davidson
I like Stephen Curry. I like his hot mom even more, but they won their national championship last weekend by getting to the sweet 16. That was their goal at the beginning of the season.

4:30 pm
STANFORD +2 vs. Texas
This is the game I am most worried about. These teams are evenly matched but have totally different strengths. I am picking Stanford based on the Lopez twins playing 32 minutes together on the floor and staying out of foul trouble, Goods and Hill making 15 points collectively and Augustin, who has been struggling of late to not be completely effective. Over the last three games, Augustin has shot just 41 FG% from the floor, and scored an average of 12.7 points, as compared with his seasonal averages of 51.8 FG% and 19.2 ppg.

If you disagree with my assumptions here then bet Texas.

6:40 pm
KANSAS -12.5 vs. Villanova
Villanova is vulnerable on the perimeter and their strength is stealing the ball from their opponents. KU has a good backcourt and will not be impacted by this. I will take the over 144.5 in this game as well, as Nova will be shooting a ton of threes.

MICHIGAN STATE +5 vs. Memphis
Free throws won’t cost Memphis this game, but their misses will affect the spread. If both Raymar Morgan and Drew Neitzel have a good game, then an upset is possible.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rough couple of days

It has been a rough couple of days waiting the NCAA hoops action to begin again. The good thing that happened over the last couple of days is the firing of Ben Braun. I think we all saw this coming. The two important questions are 1) who will replace him and 2) is Ryan Anderson coming back for another year. As it stands now, Anderson is likely a late first round pick, so I would imagine he will leave Cal. Possible replacements include (in order of Money’s preference)

Show them the Money;

Jamie Dixon – Ben Howland clone will make Cal great.
Lon Kruger – Proven winner every place he goes.
Mike Montgomery – Maybe a little rusty, but still a great choice
Mark Few – Waiting for Ernie Kent to get fired.

Playing it cheaply;

Randy Bennett – Hate to steal him, but would.
Bill Grier – Cheap up and comer.

I will pass on Eric Musselman and will puke if it is Bobby Knight.

Thursday games;

4:10 pm
XAVIER +1.5 vs. West Va
These two teams are about as evenly matched as you can get. This game will be decided by the free throw line and who gets there more. Edge Xavier.

4:30 pm
WASHINGTON STATE +8.5 vs. North Carolina
This will be an interesting game. WSU will slow down UNC. The cougars are an incredibly efficient team on offense that will wind the clock down on each possession, and take a good shot. They better make it though, as they will not crash the boards. They will focus on getting back on defense and guarding UNC. I don’t think they will win it, but they will keep it close.

6:40 pm
UCLA -12 vs. Western Kentucky
The Hilltoppers are a perimeter oriented team and that is the strength of the UCLA defense, guarding the perimeter. Collison and Westbrook will focus on their guards and ensure that Courtney Lee is accounted for throughout the game. They have no frontcourt, so Kevin Love will have his way with them.

7 pm
LOUISVILLE -3 vs. Tennessee
I fear Tennessee as an underdog, but changing your point guard during the tournament prior to a game against Louisville and their press smells like disaster. UT will need a huge game from Lofton, who has not delivered in this tournament and will have a tough time getting his shot off with 6’8 bodies flying at him from the zone. I am taking the under (146) in this game. UT is not going to get into a track meet in this game.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Sweeeet Sixteen!!!!!!!!!

B. Anthony and Money have done the same as the rest of you,..... we have donated to the almighty. But who wants to bet favorites and be right all the time!

This is another great tournament, and this 16 is really the true tournament. Here are teams who either, played great all year and gave themselves the right to have an easier road, or teams who peaked at the right time, and they deserve to be here.

Two teams that we wrote about early in the year, then most people wrote off, are Michigan State and Washington State. I wrote 3 weeks ago, that these two teams would perform well in the tourney. I also think Louisville will win one more game but UNC just has too much talent.

My season long pick, Memphis, is in good shape. They will not only beat Michigan State, but they will soon be underdogs in the their last couple games, and they will relish the role. They do suck from the Free throw line, but I am still hoping they can slide by with out them.

Here are the winners for the next 8 games. Lines first and outright winner afterward!

Wisconsin -4 vs Davidson. Good story is over. Bo Ryan and Wisconsin are the best TEAM left and they will win again, handily!

Stanford +2 vs Texas. Stanford's girth will pull this off. I have each team advancing in my pools, but I think Stanford's luck will propel them to a win. ( I know some of my Austin readers will hate me for this one!)

Michigan St +5.5 vs Memphis. Tigers will win this game, but as we saw on Sunday they can't beat anyone by 6 points because of the poor free throw shooting! Take the points.

Louisville -2 vs Tennessee. Pearl will be crying at the end of this one, and I will enjoy it. They should have lost to Butler and were terrible against American. The third time is the charm. They are out!

UNC: Note: this game has moved to -8.5, the new best bet is Washinton St. +8.5 !)
This is probably the best game of the week. UNC is playing a dominant role as the top overall seed in the tournament, and WSU is playing like a top 5 team. UNC can't be stopped, but they will never lead by more than 10 all game. The last few minutes of fouling will keep this right at the line, but Washington St will prevail lose by 8 or less. The 3's in the closing minutes make this 8.5 points a gift.

Villanova +11.5 vs Kansas. Just too many points. Nova shoots the 3 well, as the momentum and will figure out a way to keep it under 10, but Kansas Advances.

Western Kentucky +12.5 vs UCLA. This will be another low scoring affair, because UCLA can't score. They make college basketball ugly. They will win, but 13, please they can't score that much!

West Virginia -1 vs Xavier. Probably the 2nd best game of the tourney. West Virginia has been playing great, and Alexander is due for a breakout game. I don't think Xavier will double team him, and that will be a problem. He gets 30 to lead them to the final 8

Good Gaming
B. Anthony

This exciting tournament will be mostly, if not all 1,2, and 3 seeds by the elite 8.

Look for a great UNC vs Louisville game, a boring UCLA vs whomever game, a great Kansas vs Wisconsin Battle. And Memphis vs Stanford will be interesting, but Memphis vs Texas will be a race track worth watching!