The joints will be jumping, the round balls will be dunking, the bettors will be thumping and the cash registers in the sports books will be ringing as the madness begins this week.
As everyone knows, all the talk will be about undefeated Kentucky who looks to sail through the tournament to the Final Four. Looking at the bracket they drew, it looks like an easy task as they appear to have no danger of getting to the Great Eight.
It looks like the only teams they will need to really take serious if meeting up with them on the way will be Purdue, West Virginia or Maryland. It does look like a walkover, but the pointspread will come into play. One interesting stat is that Kentucky has gone 0-6 ATS in their last 6 NCAA tournament games when favored by 19 or more points. We will be taking the lumber when they play the winner of the Tuesday game.
Notre Dame, who could meet up with the Wildcats along the line, really surged late winning the ACC tournament. They will handle 14 seed Northeastern and meet up with either Butler or Texas. If the 11 seed Longhorns happen to beat Butler they could be a very dangerous team in this field.
Kansas will most likely meet up with Wichita State and should move on to meet the winner of the Notre Dame/Texas or Butler game. If the Jayhawks play the Irish, that will be the game to watch.
No. 1 seed Villanova also looks to have drawn an easy road to the Great Eight. The Wildcats will beat Lafayette and play the winner of the NC State/LSU game and then face the winner of the UNI/Louisville game.
No. 3 seed Oklahoma looks to have a real good shot. The Sooners should get by their first two games with no problem and then meet up with either Michigan State or, most likely, Virginia. Oklahoma and Virginia would be another real good game to watch.
How good is Wisconsin? The Badgers almost lost their 1 seed but got the win in the Big Ten tournament when shutting out Michigan State in the overtime. Some professional bettors think the Badgers are the only team that would have a shot at beating the Wildcats. Well they must get to that game first and it may not be that easy. North Carolina could be the team they will need to beat and they could be very dangerous.
No. 2 seed Arizona says don’t count them out, and I for one will not. They will get by their first two games and play Baylor, who should get past their first two. The Baylor/Arizona game will be another great one to watch if it happens the way I see it.
No. 1 seed Duke also looks to have drawn a cake walk to the Great Eight. The Blue Devils would have no problem with St. John’s if the Jonnies can beat San Diego State. The Aztecs could make a game of it but the Blue Devils will move on to meet up with either Utah or Georgetown.
What would this tournament be like without Gonzaga? It seems they are always here. This time the Zags are a 2 seed and have drawn perfectly. They will most likely meet up with the 3 seed Iowa State and that would be just another super game.
This will be one great tournament on the way to see who plays Kentucky, but after watching the Cats play, it would take a perfect game on defense and offense to beat them – provided Kentucky does not have a good game. This bettor will be looking to take some points in any bet that comes my way. I will be doggin’ it out as long as my green holds.
The NIT tournament starts this Tuesday and as always the home team will have an advantage. Again we will be looking for live dogs and you can get all GamingToday daily selections plus our play of the day on www.gamingtoday.com. Sign up; it is easy, just go on line or call us at 702-798-1151. You can also get in our free online $100k bracket contest. Free is the word.
You know, after watching this tournament for over 50 years we know crazy things can happen and they usually do. Not since UCLA and Lew Alcindor has there been such a dominant team as Kentucky. John Wooden could argue, if he were here, that Bill Walton and his Bruins were ok.
It’s a huge week here in Vegas so get out and have fun. Make some round robins on those dogs that you like, you just could be walking around lucky and not even know it.
The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner and with all the talk about Kentucky there is also talk of potential greatness coming to this year’s Derby and Triple Crown in a horse by the name of American Pharoah. AP just demolished an overmatched group of 3yo colts in the Rebel Stakes this past Saturday, despite losing a shoe. If he can stay healthy, race fans could be in for a real treat.
As always, we will be having our Kentucky Derby Seminar in the Palace Station race book on Thursday, April 30. Myself, raceday Las Vegas host Ralph Siraco and the astute race handicapper/analyst Professor Gordon Jones who gave us the trifecta in last year’s seminar. I will be passing on more details as we get closer.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].