Not sure what happened with the post from yesterday. Either way, the only pick that didn’t get off in time was Yale +7 and that pushed. I tweeted out the Zags, so I hope everybody was on board there. The only regret was not putting more on it because that thing was a blowout.
All that you missed in the post was my ramblings of how Ingram scared me (he had 25) on the Yale pick and why I was putting less on it, I made from a certain former oddsmaker that I was listening to on a podcast at the time I was writing and he couldn’t have been more wrong on his predictions for Friday’s slate (he thought Green Bay had a chance to win), and I expressed my belief that Utah was a weak-minded group and had zero advantages over Gonzaga. Oh, and that Makai Mason was a star. He didn’t make me look good on that one.
I’ll be honest, I’m so far up in the tournament right now that I’ll probably be pretty conservative the rest of the way. I’ve still got the Oregon (80-1) and Miami (50-1) futures that could provide big payouts. If you walk away from the NCAA Tournament up big on the books, keep the puck. Also, after round one it gets a little tougher to get an edge. The public has now actually seen a lot of the dogs in round one for the first time.
But as always, if you’ve got anything you want a second opinion on, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Just remember it’s just my opinion and if I had a strong feeling either way I’d probably be betting it myself.
Stephen F. Austin (+2) over Notre Dame – 2 Units
Going into the tourney, I thought Notre Dame would win this game regardless of which team they faced because they had such similar styles. Why? Because the Irish had taken care of the ball so well all year. But then I looked at their game-by-game and the three highest turnover percentages they’ve had all year by a pretty good margin were in their last three games. That’s not even what Duke, UNC, or Michigan do to teams. To me, that just shows a carelessness with the ball and that’s not a good bug to have hit your team leading up to playing the best pressing team in basketball. I laid out in my preview stuff that Notre Dame’s struggles in defensive efficiency were a big red flag on their hopes of a deep tournament run. Not to mention, SFA might have the best player on the floor with Walkup.
Hawaii (+7) over Maryland
I considered taking the Bows in this one before the tournament. To be honest, I actually might have, but I can’t remember and I don’t really care. Maryland’s been a disappointment all year. Even when they’ve played good games, they always seem to let teams back in it. Hawaii matches up pretty well because they can take advantage of Maryland’s turnover issues and they’re a decent rebounding team, which the Terps are pretty poor at considering their size. I’ve watched them a ton over the last few years and they play with a swagger like they’re as good as anybody. Mentality matters in these types of games. Cal was shorthanded on Friday, but the Bows basically led the whole way and they absolutely locked up Jaylen Brown. And to be honest, there were still two lottery picks on the floor and it wasn’t close to the best game I’ve seen Hawaii play. Rod Bobbitt is gonna relish the opportunity to go against Trimble and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he outplayed him.
Xavier (-4.5) over Wisconsin
I don’t think the Badgers have enough offense to win this one. We all saw how far the sport was set back by their game with Pitt the other night. Xavier’s not just going to let Wisconsin make this a grinder. The Muskies have the guys to matchup with Hayes and Happ. Wisconsin’s offense relies so much on getting offensive rebounds and free throws. Xavier just won’t allow what Pittsburgh did on the glass. On the other end, Xavier’s strength relies on its ability to score in so many ways. They’ve got drivers, shooters, and dynamic bigs that score on the outside and inside. They’re just a more athletic group. I’m a believer in Chris Mack. It’s the best team he’s had and he’s already made the second weekend in three out of his five tries in the NCAA Tournament.
First Four: 0-1
Round 1, Day 1: 10-1
Round 1, Day 2: 9-0
Round 2, Day 1: 1-0-1