College Basketball 2014 March Madness Preview – The Final Four

march-madness-2014This year’s March Madness tournament has to go done as one of the wildest in recent memory. The vaunted powerhouse college basketball favorites have fallen by the wayside – Duke, Kansas, Villanova, Georgetown, Michigan, Arizona and Michigan State just to name a few. We also saw an incredible amount of drama with overtime games – in fact a tournament record four games went to OT in just ONE DAY. You can’t talk about the Madness that was without also tipping your cap to the teams that achieved far above expectations. An incredible amount of low seeds made it through to the round of 32, and the Sweet 16 saw unlikely names like Dayton and Tennessee still hanging around looking for more magic. It wasn’t until Dayton ran into Florida in the Elite 8 that their luck ran out against #1 seed Florida – who are in fact the only #1 seed still left out of all four regions. For those who have been overlooking the Florida Gators until now, you can officially stop sleeping. With an overall record of 36-2, an impressive 18-0 run in the SEC, and double digit margins of victory in every round of tournament play, these Gators have plenty of bite. Senior guard Scottie Wilbekin put up 23 points and shot 60% from three en route to the 82-72 win over Dayton, and senior forward Casey Prather has more than doubled his PPG average over last season from 6.2 to 13.8 points a game while averaging 10 more minutes on the floor per game. Where they lead their teammates follow, and it has led to impressive on court success. That makes them a -310 money line favorite over UConn at +255 on Saturday. The irony of course is that of their two losses this entire season, Florida’s last defeat came against UConn on December 2nd. If you’re wondering why the spread between these two teams isn’t wider right now that’s your answer. Shabazz Napier may be the single biggest difference maker I’ve seen this whole tournament. He’s small by NBA standards at 6’1″, 180 pounds, but he averages over 17 PPG and seems to make the clutch shot every time UConn needs a score. I like his NBA prospects and I like what I’ve seen of the Huskies, who have consistently played above being ranked #7. I think Florida avenges their loss from 2013 in this game, but betting the literal dogs is awfully tempting. The other half of the Final 4 finds the surprising 8 seed Kentucky riding the momentum of their 75-72 win over 2 seed Michigan, taking the Midwest region and probably busting even more brackets than Tennessee and North Dakota State. On the strength of the play of the Harrison twins and the super talented freshmen Julius Randle and James Young, these Wildcats are actually the -125 favorites over the higher ranked 2 seed Wisconsin Badgers at +105. The line’s not heavy either way though which suggests this is going to be a tight game that much like Kentucky’s win over Michigan may come down to the last minute and the last shot. Don’t sleep on the potential of Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky being the one to drill it and send Wisconsin to the championship game. MMA Oddsbreaker will return with one last preview for the 2014 tournament championship. Please remember to gamble responsibly and only wager what you can afford.

Written by Stevie J

Leave a Reply

Gabe Killian’s Plays for Cage 26 in Finland

Bellator 115 Closing Odds & Results