Totally worn out, exhausted, drained, overwhelmed, amazed are just a few words I can come up with as how I feel this Monday morning after watching all of those amazing games last week.
Madness just doesn’t do this year’s tournament justice. The sports books here in Las Vegas were all jam packed from Thursday through Sunday – and very loud.
I just need to give a big yell out to all the sports writers out there for the great job they did in not only taking the bets, big and small, but answering all the questions from novice bettors who come out on these big days.
They don’t get paid a lot for handling all the money that they handle and if they make a mistake it’s usually bye-bye. So be kind to your writer, it’s not as easy as it looks. I know because my first days were behind the counter punching tickets or back then writing them by hand.
Yes, a good job by all, including the supervisors, managers and super writers. That is what keeps these huge crowds coming here to this great city, Las Vegas.
Now it’s Sweet Sixteen time as we head to the Great Eight and the Final Four, so let’s take a look at what we have.
UCLA +5 vs. Florida: The Gators, first of the three remaining 1 seeds and just about everyone’s pick to make it to the final game, won’t have a walkover with the 4 seed Bruins. UCLA crushed Tulsa and hammered Gary Austin, my mistake, it was Stephen F. Austin. This game will be fun to watch. The winner gets with Dayton or Stanford. FLORIDA.
Dayton +2½ vs. Stanford: Talk about Cinderella, well the Flyers proved their huge win against the Buckeyes was no fluke as they came right back and pounced on Syracuse. The 11 seed has already put away a 6 and a 3 seed. Now it’s No. 10 Stanford. The Flyers are now 8-0 ATS as a nonconference dog. Whoever advances will lose to Florida. We’ll pass.
Baylor +3½ vs. Wisconsin: No. 6 Baylor has played back-to-back very good games and faces 2 seed Wisconsin who has won easily twice to get to the Sweet Sixteen. This is the 13th straight appearance for the Badgers, who lead the country in fewest turnovers. Wisconsin has played the third toughest schedule and will be a tough out. A goodie to watch. Again, a pass.
San Diego St. +6 vs. Arizona: They are chanting the Wildcats “can do, can do!” Sean Miller has led Zona to a 14-2-1 ATS record in the first three rounds of the NCAA tournament. We will not be betting against them here even though we respect San Diego State. ARIZONA.
East, New York City
UConn +1 vs. Iowa St.: Third seeded Iowa State got a huge win on Sunday when outscoring North Carolina, 85-83, despite being without one of their best players. No. 7 UConn has been playing with a vengeance coming off last year’s suspension and has all five returning starters, led by top NBA candidate G. Shabazz Napier. Their win against 2 seed Villanova was huge. Cyclones, though, will put points on the board. OVER 146.
Michigan St. -2 vs. Virginia: Great matchup with the winner headed to the Final after beating either UConn or Iowa over the weekend. Both teams on a tear, but wonder how Maryland beat Virginia in the regular season finally? The 1 seed Cavs will need to be perfect if they want to beat Sparty. If you happened to watch ESPN before the tournament started, all five of their experts picked Michigan State to go all the way, including the top talking head Dick “the pick” Vitale who said, yea man the Spartans all the way!
Tennessee +1½ vs. Michigan: The 11 seed Tennessee had to win three games last week to get here, beating Iowa on Wednesday, 78-65, as a 2½ point dog, UMass by 21 as a 4 point dog and Mercer by 20. Talk about a hot team! The 2-seed Michigan now is just a 1½ point favorite against an 11. Times are changing. The Wolverines fell to Louisville in the final last year, so they are no stranger to this spot, and laying just 1½ points. They beat up Wofford, crushed Texas. Vols go down in a blaze. MICHIGAN.
Kentucky +5 vs. Louisville: It would be fitting for Michigan to get the rematch they are looking for if the Cardinals can take the other team in Kentucky. Great story line as we get “slick Rick” hooking hair with John Calipari and his Kentucky team, who played the second toughest schedule in the country. This will be one hard fought battle with two great teams and two great coaches. We’ll sit back and watch.
If you saw the late games on Sunday night, well as they say, cream always comes to the top, and that is what happened.
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].