Breaking down the upsets and eventual NCAA champion
March 14, 2017 3:00 AM
by Dave Valento
March Madness! The term was coined years ago to describe the frenetic excitement surrounding the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. For those looking for wild stories and major upsets, there is nothing like the first and second round games.
We’re likely to see a 14 or 15 seed pull off an unthinkable upset over a blue-blooded school. This might be the year a 16 seed pulls off a win (never been done in the history of the tournament).
The East looks to be the most chalky of the four regions. Only SMU and South Carolina will go down in the round of 64. From there, it will go strictly to form with Villanova coming out of the region to the Final Four. FINAL FOUR TEAM: No. 1 Villanova; MAJOR UPSETS: No. 11 Providence or USC over No. 6 SMU.
Iowa State and Oregon will get bounced by Nevada and Iona in the first round. Iona, as a 14 seed, will produce the biggest upset of the tournament when they get by Oregon and again Creighton, only to lose to Louisville in the Sweet 16. FINAL FOUR TEAM: No. 2 Louisville; MAJOR UPSETS: No. 14 Iona over No. 3 Oregon; No. 12 Nevada over No. 5 Iowa State
Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed here and despite the feeling among many that they are vulnerable, they’ll be playing in this tournament for a long time. Florida State, at times this season, looked like the most well-rounded team. This region will be true to form for the most part but will see another 12 over 5 upset with Princeton beating Notre Dame. FINAL FOUR TEAM: No. 3 Florida State; MAJOR UPSETS: No. 12 Princeton over No. 5 Notre Dame
Many people like the chances of Kentucky, the No. 2 seed in the South. However, they’re in for the biggest early round upset when No. 10 seed Wichita State knocks them off in the round of 32. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State will be the most popular upset pick over No. 5 Minnesota. But the feeling is Minnesota will prevail in a close game and then roll into the Sweet 16 vs. North Carolina. No. 3 seeded UCLA will be very dangerous from the South. FINAL FOUR TEAM: No. 3 UCLA; MAJOR UPSETS: No. 13 Winthrop over No. 4 Butler; No. 10 Wichita State over No. 2 Kentucky in the round of 32.
No. 1 Villanova will play No. 3 Florida State with Florida State knocking off the defending champions. No. 2 Louisville will match up with No. 3 UCLA in the other semi-final. UCLA will get by Louisville. Florida State will defeat UCLA in the Championship Game. Currently, the Seminoles are 30/1 to win it all.
The top horse racing bet of the week comes in the 6th race at Tampa Bay Downs on Wednesday. It is a maiden claiming $25k race going six furlongs on the dirt.
No. 5 FUJIMO is a first time starter for trainer Ron Potts. Potts is 2 for 3 with first timers in a maiden claiming race at Tampa. Both of the winners had extremely slow works coming into their first race. This runner has been working rather quickly. He is a four-year-old who was gelded last month. He is a sibling to two stakes winners. Fujimo is 4-1 on the morning line.
Post time for race 6 at Tampa Bay on Wednesday is 12:25 p.m.