College Basketball 2014 March Madness – Saturday Action

march-madness-2014Here we go again! The field of contenders has been whittled in half as we move on to what was traditionally called the second round of March Madness – which now thanks to the “First Four” is technically considered to be the third. My tongue trips over it just trying to say it. My brain can not think that it’s the third round unless we’re down to the vaunted Sweet Sixteen. In another couple of days though we’ll get there, by which point there will be a lot of crumpled sheets of bracket paper lying next to trash cans nationwide, scribbled all over and discarded in disgust. Anybody who had Duke advancing feels that way right now, but I feel somewhat vindicated that out of three impossible longshots, the Mercer Bears were the only one I really found “tempting.” Maybe you the reader played it – and if you played it most certainly paid. Upsets will come fewer and farther between from this point on. The biggest dog of the day might surprise you though – that’s 5 seed Saint Louis playing 4 seed Louisville in the Midwest region. On the one handed you’d expect a lot of betters to take Louisville simply because they ran the table last year, and Saint Louis looked vulnerable playing 12 seed NC State – needing an 83-80 win in overtime on Thursday to prevent the Wolfpack from becoming another dog in the hunt. Overcoming that kind of adversity doesn’t necessarily make you week though – if anything it prepares the Billikens for what Louisville brings to the table. The money line may drop before the 2:45 PM tip time, but at +415 on the book, that looks like a pretty good value. On the other hand if you’re going to bet your bracket based on who you had advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, the Cardinals are as close to a sure thing at -525 as today’s action gets. Odds makers like some of the other longshots who advanced considerably more than the birds of Louisville – perhaps there’s an ornithological bias. North Dakota State is practically a coin flip at +135 going against San Diego State at -155 in the West. Part of that may be that Taylor Braun of the Bisons averages 18 PPG. He only had 11 against Oklahoma, but given the magnitude of that upset, it’s not entirely shocking that the pressure made him 3 for 11 from the field. He’ll settle down and find his rhythm against the Aztecs. Syracuse is a fairly strong favorite at -320 on the money against the +260 Dayton, but since the Flyers already busted your bracket once, they may pay on today’s play. Either way we’re done with the lopsided long odds in today’s action – nobody is over or under by more than three digits. I hope you got the getting while it was good, but it never hurts to parlay a few favorites too. I like Florida at -260 over Pittsburgh at +220, and Michigan at -210 over Texas at +175. As always remember these previews are for entertainment purposes and if you make wager you should only play what you can afford.

Written by Stevie J

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