March Madness tournament looks wild even before it begins

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After football ended I started to write about how wide open this year’s March Madness tournament looked.

Little did I know how wild it was going to be even before the tournament begins. Just ask Ohio State, Kansas and Texas.

And while you are asking them, also mention how they like playing on the road – especially being ranked No. 1 and having to go into these wild venues to play a good team.

The outcomes have not been good for the visitor. But when the real deal starts Wednesday, March 16, the cream will come to the top when these teams all play at somewhat neutral sites.

Until then, we can still look for those road teams to have their hands full in front of those wild, crazed fans.

So what could possibly happen this week? I have been glued to the Big Ten station watching most of the games and see one real good play and one play we will need to make, but not bet from both pockets as I did on Sunday when taking Purdue.

The Boilermakers have the misfortune of going on the road this week, but are a little lucky as they only travel a short distance in Indiana from West Lafayette to Bloomington to battle the Hoosiers.

A lot of Purdue fans will be on the road with them and most likely the Boilermakers will pick up the road win. But I will be betting they don’t get the cover as they will still be celebrating their big wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State.

I do see Purdue looking ahead to Saturday’s road trip to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. That will not be a good thing, especially if the Spartans lose at Minnesota on Tuesday. Either we will be betting from both pockets on Saturday or taking the SPARTANS.

I may not know who is going to win all the time, especially when it comes to betting the ponies as that is one tough nut to crack, but there are two things I am absolutely sure of.

What are they? Well, I’ll tell you, and both concern Bob Scucci, director of race and sports operations at Coast Casinos.

First, I have known Bob for many years and I can say with certainty he knows how to run a book and really understands how to hold a horse racing handicapping tournament such as the one this past week at the Orleans.

The tourney was first class and run by a top notch staff. I was very impressed to say the least as I wandered around (looking for a few winners from Ralph Siraco and Jimmy V.). Everyone I talked to echoed the same sentiment: Great job, Bob!

The second thing I know for sure is something many wouldn’t realize. Those around my age will remember a great movie call “The Hustler” with Paul Newman playing Fast Eddie Felson and Jackie Gleason portraying the legendary pool hustler Minnesota Fats.

In the movie world, champion pool player Willie Mosconi shot most of Fast Eddie’s shots but Gleason shot all his own. Jackie was a top notch player and moved around a pool table like a gazelle. Well, if they ever do a re-make of that classic movie they could get Scucci to play Gleason’s role.

 Bob is also a top notch pool player, and if he ever asks you to play him for a double saw buck just decline and go to one of his windows at the Orleans. Make a three-team parlay using three road favorites in the Big Ten. You will have a better shot at winning your bet.

Just a little humor to end this week’s column. Did any of you ever see Rodney Dangerfield live? He was the funniest man I have ever seen. Here are a few tidbits he might say, if he were alive today, about how bad our economy is:

• It’s so bad I just got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

• It’s so bad the CEO’s are playing miniature golf.

• I bought a toaster oven and my free gift was a bank.

• Motel 6 won’t leave the light on anymore.

• A picture is now worth only 200 words.

• They just renamed Wall Street “Wal-Mart Street.

• When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

Next week I will start sharing some baseball future bets as I have normally done in the past. Remember, you got the Reds last year in this column.

last week since Oct. 25 PCT
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