Handicappers
  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:45:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    NY Rangers' Derek Stepan
    returns to practice

    New York Rangers center
    Derek Stepan is back on the ice
    for practice Friday, the first time
    since breaking his fibula in
    training camp.
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:43:43 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    No. 5 Oregon looks to break
    Stanford's streak

    EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Fifth-ranked
    Oregon hosts Stanford on Saturday
    afternoon, and no doubt there are
    several Ducks who have considered
    that for the...
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:44:49 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Hamilton tops 1st practice at
    US Grand Prix

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Formula One
    championship leader Lewis Hamilton
    posted the fastest time in Friday's
    first practice for the U.S. Grand
    Prix,...
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:15:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Classic SI shots of the New
    York City Marathon

    SI's classic photos of the New York
    City Marathon, which celebrates its
    44th running on Sunday, Nov. 2,
    2014
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:49:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Book excerpt: Al Michaels
    reflects on his time with
    Howard Cosell

    From YOU CAN?T MAKE THIS UP:
    Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect
    Marriage of Sports and Television
    by Al Michaels with L. Jon
    Wertheim. Copyright ©...
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:00:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Childhood Halloween Photos of
    Athletes

    In the spirit of Halloween, we
    present childhood photos of
    athletes dressed for the occasion.
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:23:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    The new reality: Behind the
    scenes of ESPN's first playoff
    rankings show

    In the new era of the College
    Football Playoff, no one really
    knows how the selection committee's
    process will work out, not even the
    ESPN analysts of the p
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Kentucky ranked first in
    preseason AP poll followed by
    Arizona, Wisconsin

    John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats
    are No. 1 in the preseason AP top
    25 followed by the Arizona Wildcats
    and Wisconsin Badgers.
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:15:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Week 9 NFL picks: Can Cowboys
    avoid their first losing
    streak of the season?

    Will the Dallas Cowboys avoid their
    first losing streak of the season
    by beating Arizona Cardinals? Will
    rookie receivers continue to make
    an impact for the
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    SI.com's 10 most popular
    stories from the week ending
    Oct. 31

    Here is a roundup of SI.com's 10
    most popular stories this week. Be
    sure to read to the bottom for a
    bonus story from the SI Vault.
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    NFL's elite battle each other
    Sunday


    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:15:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Russell Westbrook's injury
    puts Thunder's season in early
    jeopardy

    We're just three days into the
    regular season and already the
    Thunder are in hot water. Oklahoma
    City's two games to date --
    competitive and...
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    SI Now Friday October 31, 2014

    On Friday's SI Now, host Maggie
    Gray welcomes New Orleans Saints
    tight end Jimmy Graham, former NBA
    player John Starks, professional
    tennis player...
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:47:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    Natasha Barnard's Sexy
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    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

  • Breaking SPORTSNEWS News
    @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:57:00 -0400

    By: Sports Illustrated

    MLB's best unofficial mascots

    Now that the World Series is over,
    we can take a retrospective look,
    not just at baseball, but at the
    characters that surround it. The
    first and...
    …. read the rest by clicking HERE

Click to read more news.
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Posted At: 03/22/2011 @ 12:07PM

How Sweet it is - The Final 16

By Tony George

 

Here we go gents.  After all the heart attacks, cussing in public bars, and violent tossing of remote controls, and throwing up of excess beer and chicken wings after Thursday through Sunday games in March Madness, it boils down to the Sweet 16.  Yes, many improbable results and teams like VCU, Marquette, Richmond and Arizona take their place alongside the most storied  basketball programs in sports like North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, and U Conn which these unlikeliest aforementioned teams killed many a bankroll from a sports gaming perspective along the way.  Morehead State killed more brackets than Attila the Hun did people!  

 

I would count Butler in there as a “out of nowhere team”, but remember, they are the NCAA runner up champions and not to my surprise, are still hanging around like a bad head cold. Many of you cannot see the forest because of all the trees in the first 2 rounds, but the picture, while much clearer, it still slightly cloudy with a chance of rain.

I will break down a few games and throw in some stats and takes here that might open your eyes.  Teams that lay 6 points or more in the Sweet 16 are an amazing 31-2 Straight up in wins and covered the spread 21 times out of those 33 games.  What does this mean?  That means that Cinderella’s sometimes face reality.  But then again it is all about matchups, and while power teams like Duke, NC, Kansas and U Conn prevail more times than not, there are teams like VCU and Butler that are like a cold sore, they appear at the worst time and are hard to get rid of.

At day’s end in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, the matchups are much easier for a pro handicapper like myself to handicap.  You do not have a 2 day turn around to either play the game or handicap.  You time to breakdown teams with stats and film, just like coaches and the results many times are more predictable.  Better teams win more times than not.   Do not count out Mr. Fisher and the Aztecs, however the noose is tight now and we are not playing Mountain West teams anymore.  So many scenarios to consider and so little time.

One other factor to consider.  Look at the list of experienced coaches who have huge success in the post season.  Who can coach and win big games, you need to seriously consider this when looking and handicapping the remaining games.  There are some newbie’s in the pool and some veteran studs in the mix as well.  The one wildcard is Marquette who is hot at the right time, but loaded with JUCO players, and against the nation’s elite now, you may see some separation.  VCU simply does not know any better are kicking peoples butt with sheer hustle and no fear, and Butler thinks they are suppose to be here, again!  Jimmer Ferdette simply thinks he can shoot three’s from any point across the half court line, and he does and makes them.  Oh how sweet it is! 

 

A Few Takes on upcoming Sweet 16 games

 

Duke -8.5 vs. Arizona – So going with the fact that Duke struggled to beat an average Michigan team where they let them hang around, that could be the game they talk about after potential national title win as the one that woke them up.  One thing about Arizona, they are deep and rotate,  not sure that matters against Duke who’s second string 5 players on the bench could start for Arizona with the exception of Williams.  Better team here is Duke by far, and unlike Texas who is very poorly coached, Duke has the best big game coach in history.  Duke may win by 15 or more. 

Ask yourself this question?  Does one player carry a team this late in the season on the biggest stage in sports or does a complete team win Sweet 16 games?  Enter BYU and Butler into this equation and you may in fact have a fat wallet.  North Carolina will garner a lot of public attention and money, but they are young and at day’s end cannot beat either Kentucky or Ohio State. Duke showed everyone who is any good at coaching how to dismantle them in the ACC Championship. Did I mention Wisconsin yet?  Well I won’t for long because there is a serious question about their offense now that they are this deep, but Butler provides one of the most interesting matchup’s of all, a real coin toss.

Kansas looked as good as anyone in the second round outside of VCU who has dominated every single opponent they have played, even USC in the play in game. VCU a 4 point puppy against Florida State in a mismatch of styles, and defense more times than not wins in a game like this, just an FYI.  Then again how do you really stop VCU and their style of play? 

Kansas is a potential blowout in the making against a Richmond team that does rely heavy on sharpshooters from the outside, and KU will defend that well.  I am leaving Kentucky out of the mix here, they are too young and have just skimmed by the entire way, that does not hold water now. Ohio State gets over on Kentucky, but one big man in the paint cannot win from this point forward.

 

Final Four Projections – Un-Point Spread Related

Kansas, Florida, Ohio State and Duke.  That’s right, three #1 seeds and a # 2 seed, rare but not impossible this year!  You cannot discount U Conn and their huge run the Big East Tourney and having the best player in College Basketball is a huge plus.  Kansas is in for sure here, Florida should end Butlers run and U Conn and SDSU should be epic if they meet in the  South Region, but I lean to Duke to beat U Conn with an easier path.

All Good teams and it is anyone’s game in the Final Four as all teams who make it here are massive studs and well coached.  Since I had Pitt winning it all and they took a pee down their leg, I will stick to my first love, the Big 12 and a Kansas national title, the Morris twins are a handful!   You ask for a wild card shocker to end up here as a long shot, I would lean to VCU over Butler and Marquette, they are impressive to this point. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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