College Basketball Stories

March Madness 2009

March Madness is the most exciting time of the year here in Las Vegas. The Sportsbooks will be jam packed, people will take time off from work and the betting boards will be loaded with options for college basketball fans.

This is one of the most wide open college basketball tournament in many years as there can be at least 10 to 20 teams or more with a legitimate shot at bringing home the title.

This season we have seen number one ranked teams drop like never before and there will be teams that will get hot at the right time and be crowned champion.

Keep in mind only one team in the last 13 years that was ranked number one at the end of the regular season has went on to win the championship.

As of this writing the top four teams have suffered losses over the last 10 days, I still feel we have a solid four number one seeds.

Connecticut, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Oklahoma have been the best teams over the course of a long season but if anyone of the four falls short in their conference tournaments things can and will change in a hurry with the NCAA committee.

Selection Sunday will be on March 15 and we will as always have some surprises and disappointments by the selection committee. This year’s tournament starts with first round action on March 19th and 20th.

I believe because the Big-East is the best conference they will get the most selections with at least eight teams, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia and maybe even ten with Notre Dame and Providence on the bubble.

The ACC should follow with around seven invites and then the Big-10 next in line with about six.

As far as future wagers go I like UCONN at 5/1, Pittsburgh at 6/1 and Louisville at 10/1 from the Big-East. I also think there is value with Memphis at 20/1 from C-USA and Michigan State at 35/1 out of the Big-Ten.


How to win your Bracket Contest

This is a little lesson in how to be successful in picking your bracket pool whether at the office or a more serious contest with friends or even one of the many on-line contests where you are competing with thousands of other people.

Look at the conferences first and foremost. Teams playing from a power conference like the Big-East or ACC will always have the advantage over teams from lower conferences like the MWC or Atlictic-10.

The public almost always bets on the high profile schools. I recommend looking for value with some of the lower seeded teams getting big points early on. We have seen many teams we don’t know much about play with a big heart over the last several years.

Here is a look at the odds for the 20 teams I feel are contenders to win the 2009 championship.


Team Open Current
North Carolina 5/2  17/10 
Connecticut 15/1  5/1 
Pittsburgh 8/1  6/1 
Louisville 10/1  10/1 
Duke 10/1  12/1 
Oklahoma 30/1  12/1 
Wake Forest 40/1  18/1 
Memphis 15/1  20/1 
Texas 15/1  25/1 
Arizona State 25/1  35/1 
Michigan State 15/1  35/1 
Marquette 25/1  35/1 
Kansas 35/1  40/1 
Villanova 30/1  40/1 
West Virginia 40/1  40/1 
Purdue 20/1  40/1 
Florida 35/1  45/1 
Kentucky 40/1  50/1 
Syracuse 50/1  55/1 
Clemson 30/1  60/1 




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