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And then there were four in New Jersey – Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler and VCU, with both games looking to be a toss up in what is one of the most contentious series of games I have seen in a long time.

If I were Kentucky or UConn, whoever wins this game better not take either VCU or Butler lightly. Both have ice water in their veins and plenty of talent. I am rooting for UConn for the pocket but I have a soft spot in my heart for both Butler and VCU.

The “boys of summer” get into action this coming Thursday with six games slated to go. I am really looking forward to baseball especially for my 2 for Tuesday selections.

If you have any money just sitting in a bank collecting little or no interest, you still have some time to put it in action on a few future bets in baseball, here are some of my views on the up coming season.

The best pitching:

Giants: Last year’s champs, but repeating is almost impossible. No money will be bet on the Giants as a repeater but throughout the year they are a good bet to win. Look for unders, especially at home with Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sanchez and Zito.

Red Sox: My choice for the best team in baseball and the best futures bet. I can’t see them having a repeat year full of injuries to Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia, a lack of production from Josh Beckett and John Lackey plus the addition of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Beckett, Lackey, Buchholz, Lester and Matsuzaka a great five.

White Sox: Be on the lookout for them as the Central Division is a little weaker with injuries to the Twins’ Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Francisco Liriano plus the unknown recovery of Joe Nathan. The Tigers are getting older. Chicago’s Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, Jackson and Peavy are solid.

Yankees: Rotation a huge question mark after CC Sabathia, but have means to go out and get pitchers. Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Mitre and Nova good for now.

Phillies: Huge off season move with the acquisition of Cliff Lee to round out their rotation. Their closer, Brad Lidge, is always a question mark as is the loss of Jayson Werth. Mostly a left-handed hitting lineup.

A’s: Best ERA in the AL last year but their lineup is still a question mark. Cahill, Gonzalez, Braden, Anderson and Harden are formidable.

Are the Phillies headed the way of the 2010 Red Sox? Everybody is expecting big things from the Phils, but I am just not sure. Reasons:

• Werth signs a huge contract with the Nationals and takes his right handed bat out of the lineup.

• Chase Utley has not played in spring training. Will this keep him from playing this year or limiting his playing time? You may not be able to count on him in the final third of the grueling season.

• Roy Oswalt takes a liner to the head in a spring training game. Ouch! Roy was being heavily counted on as a part of this starting rotation. Last year Justin Morneau of the Twins suffered a concussion and was lost for the year.

• Is this rash of injuries a sign of things to come for the Phils?

Just don’t rush out and bet them over 97½ wins. Take a shot and ease over to the betting window and bet them under 97½ total wins. If you look hard enough you may even find a 98.

Other future bets I’ve made with my money that was collecting no interest in the bank – Baltimore OVER 76½, Yanks UNDER 91½, Tampa Bay UNDER 86½.

It is just two weeks until our first Kentucky Derby seminar at Palace Station on Friday, April 8.

We will go all out with our Derby Prep seminar. The hosts: myself, as usual the brains of the seminar, Vic Vivio, the serious one, and the all knowing and wise Ralph Siraco, anchor and chief of the hit radio shows Race Day Las Vegas and the new entertaining Bad Beats.

Free cocktail service and food starting at 5:30 p.m., and the excitement begins at 6 p.m., with our host and master of ceremonies Josh Poll kicking things off. Be there.

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