Sweet on Ohio State, sour on UNLV basketball

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Get those pens and pencils out and let’s fill out some brackets! That is what will be going on this week all over the country on the Internet and at offices everywhere.

Here’s a quick look at what could take place.

Midwest

Hot Louisville looks to have a good path to the Sweet 16 playing their first two games just down the road in Lexington. They get the winner of Liberty/NC A&T and then the Colorado State/Missouri victor. The Birds will beat all of the above.

Oregon faces Okie State in San Jose. The Ducks, who we think will pull off the little upset, will meet Saint Louis. The Billikens who will beat New Mexico State, will be a good play plus the points (we think around 5) against Louisville. If the Cardinals get the win, things don’t get any easier from there.

Memphis takes on the winner of the Middle Tenn/St. Mary’s (Calif.) game. Neither team will get by Memphis in Auburn Hills (Mich.) but the Tigers need to be at their best in facing the winner of Michigan State/Valparaiso. We suggest taking Valpo with the points.

Tom Izzo and his Spartans crew, with the home court advantage, will get by Valpo and move on to meet the winner in Philly. Creighton will be in a dog fight with a real good Cincy team that could pull off the little upset and play the winner of Duke/Albany.

The Blue Devils then have their hands full with either Memphis or Cincy. In the long run we must stick with the Spartans as this is Izzo time. Bottom line: We see a Louisville/Michigan State matchup in Arlington, Texas, with the winner heading to the Big Show at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

West

Gonzaga for the first time gets a No. 1 seed and is happy about it. They will beat Southern at Salt Lake City and play the winner of Pitt/Wichita St. The Panthers could give the Zags all they want. If they can pull off the upset, they’ll put on the shoes of Cinderella!

In Kansas City, Wisconsin takes on Mississippi who surprised them all in the SEC tourney beating Florida in the final. That was there. This is Wisky getting frisky. The Badgers will move on and play either Kansas State or the Boise St./LaSalle play-in game winner. K-State should emerge, but will not beat Wisconsin, who will move on to meet either Gonzaga or Pitt.

Back to Salt Lake City; we have Arizona beating Belmont to face the winner of New Mexico/Harvard. We see the Lobos advancing and then giving Arizona all they want, even with their top freshman big man Ben Carter moving in and out of the lineup.

The winner of the “toss-up” plays THE Ohio State Buckeyes who will beat Iona but not cover. The Buckeyes should then face either Notre Dame or Iowa State. That will be a good one to bet OVER as it could go into overtime. I see Ohio State then facing Arizona or New Mexico and advancing to La La Land. Then after defeating either Pitt or Gonzaga it’s off to the Final Four.

South

In Kansas City, Kansas beats W. Kentucky to play the winner of North Carolina/Villanova, which could go either way. Whoever wins they won’t beat Kansas.

Back in Auburn Hills, VCU (a team I really like) will beat Akron and play the winner of Michigan/South Dakota State. The Wolverines handle that one, but will not get by VCU who pulls the upset and plays Kansas. Kansas gets the win over VCU but not the cover to move into the Sweet 16.

In Austin (Texas) the UCLA Bruins take on Minnesota in a game that is a toss-up. The winner will play Florida, who gets a soft touch with Northwestern State. The Gators move on and face the winner in Philadelphia.

In Philly, San Diego State meets Oklahoma in a game that could go either way. Neither team can beat Georgetown, who plays Florida Gulf Coast. G’town moves on to play Florida for the right to meet Kansas. Hoyas/Gators will be one tough game. The winner could beat Kansas in this very tough region.

East

In Dayton, we like Indiana to reach the Final Four. First step for the Hoosiers is playing the winner of Long Island/James Madison on Wednesday and then either NC State or Temple.

Back in San Jose our UNLV Rebels take on Cal. If the real Rebs show up they win and face either Syracuse or Montana. We think the Orange will defeat the Rebels and then fall to Indiana.

In Lexington, Butler takes on Bucknell in what will be a good game. Look for the Bulldogs to get the win and face the winner of Marquette/Davidson – another good one.

Back in Austin we have Illinois playing a real good Colorado team who is getting 12. We will be taking the points, but think the Illini will get the win and face Miami. The Hurricanes, also a 12-point favorite, get the best of Pacific and hopefully can beat Illinois to keep my future bet alive.

It will be Indiana and Miami moving on to the Sweet 16. Good luck, and have a great time!

Prologue: Last week was huge for hoops in Vegas with two hometown players sporting their stuff.

The aforementioned Carter and Jonathan Lloyd made us proud. Oregon’s Lloyd was voted tournament MVP last Saturday at the MGM Grand as he led his Ducks to the conference championship.

We’re rooting for Lloyd to lead Oregon to victory this week against Oklahoma St. “Big Ben,” a freshman at Arizona, played great displaying ability far beyond his years. He will be for the Wildcats for at least the next two years and Bill Walton praised him.

We’re pulling for Arizona to advance as well.

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].

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