Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Careful what you wish for

I warned of this exact scenario, but I have to admit, I did not see Kansas being the one to fall down. Everywhere I look I keep hearing about how great “Cinderella” is in this tournament. I am all for a few upsets especially in the opening rounds, but don’t crash the Final Four. The opening games on Thursday and Friday were the best I can remember. 12 of the 16 games featured the underdog winning or covering. However, if this trend keeps up I fear we will be in for a really bad Final Four.

Will you watch this Final Four? Northern Iowa, Kansas State, Cornell and Baylor. I still probably would, but most reasonable viewers will flip over to Dancing with the Stars. It appears that nobody is learning from their mistakes and still picking the Chalks to make it the Final Four; Ohio State, Syracuse, Kentucky and Duke. I will say it again. This is not going to happen.

I still like Syracuse and feel like this is their tournament to lose. Kentucky and their “Fab Five” will pull a Chris Webber and make a freshman gaffe to cost them a game. Duke is better than I thought, but I am not ready to anoint them yet and I give Baylor a shot to make it here. The West is a mess. I am not convinced that OSU will get there. In fact, I am calling for the upset against Tennessee. I know that B Anthony has some real “Altar Boy” hatred for Pearl, but it is time to let those feelings go. He is a great big game coach with some time to prepare. He beat Kansas and Kentucky this year. Nobody else can say that. Tennessee will beat OSU and then have to get by either MSU or Northern Iowa where they will be a favorite.

Picks for Thursday and Friday

SYRACUSE -6.5 vs. Butler
This is my favorite game of the next rounds for both days. This is also the first game. I love it! Load up on this and stick them in parlays everywhere. This is a mid-major mismatch.

WEST VA -4 vs. Washington
I love it that the PG Bryant broke his foot. It lowered the line to 4. He won’t be missed in this game, but will be in the next one. Washington is playing great now, but who isn’t if you are in the Sweet 16? Washington has been shooting the 3 well, but that is not their strength and they won’t keep this up. WVU will clean the glass on the offensive end and the Huskies won’t be able to stop them.

KANSAS STATE -4.5 vs. Xavier
I like KSU to keep things going here against Xavier. Sleeper team to win it all.

NELLIE +8.5 vs. Kentucky
I am not calling for the upset but I do think Nellie can keep this close. Kentucky is capable of running these guys out of the gym if they make their 3’s but I don’t think they will. I will go with the Bookworms here. I like the over 147 in this game too.


TENNESSEE +4.5 vs. Ohio State
As stated above, I am calling for the upset here. Bruce Pearl is the Man!

BAYLOR -4 vs. Saint Mary’s
Baylor has 4 guys over 6-10 that they will throw against Samham. They have good guards and shooters as well. This is not a good matchup for SMC.

NORTHERN IOWA +1 vs. Michigan State
This game has me worried. Tom Izzo is so good in these situations; it is tough to bet against him. However, Sparty was so bad when Kalin Lucas was injured earlier in the year. I have a Siena feeling about this game where it seems so obvious to pick the underdog. For now, I am going with No Iowa but I may flip this one closer to game time.

DUKE -8.5 vs. Purdue
This is another mismatch of talent. Purdue is gutty but so is the dead possum on the side of the freeway.

Good luck!


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