College Basketball March Madness – Round of 32 Preview

march madnessHave you had your fill of upsets? I know I have. All of my brackets are completely busted to bejeezus and back. On the other hand if you’re the kind of person who plays longshots on a whim, you made out really good in the first round of the NCAA “March Madness” tournament. (Second round if you consider the “First Four” to be an actual round.) If you took the +800 on #14 seed UAB to knock off Iowa State, or Georgia State knocking off #3 seed Baylor, congratulations! Actually the first round wasn’t that good to the Big 12 in general as Texas fell to Butler (although Butler was the higher seed) and Oklahoma State fell to Oregon, although West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma and survived to play another day. As long as we’re talking about the Big 12, here’s how the lines look for action this weekend. In an intrastate rivalry game, Kansas is a slight favorite (-135) over Wichita State (+115). Even though the Cyclones have been knocked out of the tournament, it’s worth noting that Iowa State beat Kansas in 2 out of 3 meetings this season including the Big 12 conference finals, which goes to show a well motivated team that’s hot at the right team can knock off the Jayhawks. West Virginia vs. Maryland is a complete push on the money line – though check again before tipoff as that might change last minute. There’s no line yet on Oklahoma vs. Dayton on Sunday so you’ll have to check back for that one as well. If you’re wondering who the heavy favorites are though, look no further than the teams in this paragraph. Big East tournament winner Villanova smoked Lafayette 93-52 in the opening round, so they’re a heavy favorite over #8 seed NC State at -525 to +415. #1 seed Kentucky was similarly dominant against #16 Hampton 79-56, so they’re an even bigger favorite over #8 Cincinnati in the next round at -2300 to +1350. Kentucky is still the heavy favorite to go all the way to the national championship, but given the number of upsets we’ve seen already picking the dog when Kentucky plays is going to get increasingly tempting going forward. Arizona looms large over Ohio State -500 to +400, and Xavier is -335 over Georgia State at +275. Since UAB is already going further than anybody projected in their brackets (feed those worthless scraps of paper into the shredder right now) you might just want to pick them to do it again against UCLA. The line is actually pretty close – UCLA is -260 and UAB is +220 – that’s a pretty good line for an upset. #5 seed Utah and #4 seed Georgetown are pretty close as well at -185 and +160 respectively. The winner is likely to face Duke so they’re up the creek without a paddle either way, so you might as well make money on one of the two now. The same goes for the winner of UNI vs. Louisville (-130 to +110) having to most likely play Villanova, so why not take a chance on the dog or play it as a parlay to see if it pays off? Please remember all previews are for entertainment purposes and to only wager what you can afford.

Written by Stevie J

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