From cars to bars: Here’s
a toast to Ohio State

Mar 13, 2007 4:20 AM

NASCAR has left Las Vegas, but they had a great week. Super weather and 180,000 strong having a blast drinking and partying at the Speedway as Jimmie Johnson drove to another victory.

And, there was little or no trouble on the Strip! The betting on the race was strong as usual and, yes Mr. Stern, you could actually bet on this sport in Vegas was little or no trouble. I do think that one guy threw a beer bottle at someone. Still, we will take NASCAR any time over the NBA’s not so All Star Game!

Now the yelling and rooting will be in high pitch starting Thursday as March Madness takes over with all the earmarks of being one of the most exciting runs I can remember. After the getting the matchups Sunday afternoon, I went right to work happy to see Ohio State receive a No. 1 seed.

The Buckeyes look to have one of the easiest roads to the Final Four. Their biggest roadblock looks to be Memphis, but they will have to get by either Louisville or Texas A&M. I do think either one will take Memphis. The Tigers are a tough running and gunning team, but poor free throw shooting is their biggest drawback. After Ohio State wins the South, there is a likely matchup with North Carolina or Georgetown.

If the Buckeyes continue on, there’s a possible shot at Florida in the Championship game and a chance for big revenge after the Gators thrashed of the OSU football team in the national final. The ironic thing, one that sends chills down my spine, is Florida beating Ohio State. Knocking off both the No. 1 football and basketball school in the same year has never been done.

A lot has to happen for that matchup to occur, but it’s one really made for TV hype. The Gators also received a great No. 1 seed draw and looks to have an easy road to the Final Four. The toughest teams in their region are most likely Oregon and Wisconsin.

UNLV faces Georgia Tech in its first game. If the Rebels manage a win, next up is probably Wisconsin and a ticket back to Vegas after getting shafted as a No. 7 seed. I guess every time the committee hears UNLV, they still remember the Tarkanian years. Maybe they don’t know this is 2007. I guess once an idiot, always an idiot.

Anyway that was a great win UNLV got over BYU, an achievement deserving of a better seed. The Rebs deserve to be in the Big Dance and I wish they can win at least one game. Florida will win the Midwest and go to the Final Four and that possible classic matchup with Ohio State.

The West looks to be wide open with Kansas, Pittsburgh and UCLA all having a shot at facing Florida. I would have liked UCLA except for the letdown late in the season. Pitt has the guns to beat anyone if they on its game. Kansas showed a ton of grit in a big comeback against Texas, down more than 20 in the first half. The Jayhawks made a big run to get within five at halftime and pulled out the big win in OT. What KU has is the ability to sink free throws when the game is on the line.

Final Four teams do that.

Is it Thursday yet? I can’t wait! Next week, I hope I can still talk about that Ohio State/Florida game — the basketball one, not football.

Futures is Station!

You still have time to bet futures. Make sure to visit a Station Casinos Sports Book and enter the big March Madness Last Man Standing contest. Only $25 for a shot to win big money just by picking winners against the posted point spreads each day of the tournament. When you lose, you’re out. Just don’t lose. And, read GamingToday!

It’s also parlay card time again, even though it’s not football season. The Sports Books will be offering parlay cards this week for the tournament games. Some will also have teaser cards and the MGM-Mirage properties will offer a money line card.

I will sneak into one of those MGM-Mirage books and place a 10-teamer money line card. Might as well go for the gusto since it isn’t likely our stay in the Last Man Standing will be long.

When my Mother Mary would ask Dad (Broadway Bennie) why he would bet everyday, he would not even lift his head and just say "You gotta bet everyday. You could be walking around lucky and not even know it"!

Good luck to all.