Princeton Tigers Remain a Live Dog +10 Against Creighton
It might seem counterintuitive, but Creighton has struggled at times this season to defend the post, and Princeton is rolling right now as it exposes the paint against other bigger teams. It will be interesting to watch whether 6-8 Ivy League Player of the Year Tosan Evbouomwan gets matched up against Ryan Kalkbrenner, or some of the smaller but very skilled defensive wings for the Creighton Bluejays. Either way, taking 10 points with Princeton feels like the best value based on what we’ve seen.
Arkansas Razorbacks +4 Against UCONN is a Slam Dunk
This is where we start to follow the trail that led us here. What teams have these teams beaten to get here? Arkansas handled Illinois, another evenly ranked team. Then, they knocked off the #1 seeded defending champion Kansas Jayhawks in dramatic fashion mounting a comeback in the final minutes.
On the flip side, the UCONN Huskies beat an Iona team that had its coach clearly on the way out (see Rick Pitino). Then, they beat a St. Mary’s team that was probably the most vulnerable top 25 team in terms of its propensity for serious droughts on offense.
Taking Texas on the moneyline against Xavier
If you haven’t caught the trend, I don’t think that more than one team from the Big East will make the Elite 8. Texas put out the fire on a red hot Penn State team and looked superior doing it. Xavier struggled at times against 14 seed Kennesaw State and then again against 11 seed Pittsburgh on its third game in five days. Sure, Xavier won by several possessions, but if you watched the game you noticed that Pitt hung around. Senior (Graduate) starting guard Souley Boum struggled on offense and was held scoreless for a majority of the game. I think you’re starting to see the liabilities for Xavier and its lack of depth with Zach Freemantle unavailable for the tournament. It’s awesome to see coach Sean Miller back on the basketball sidelines, but I just don’t see him in the Elite 8.
So many giants have fallen, that the price for a ticket on any top team has increased. Houston and Alabama are now in the 4-1 or 5-1 territory with Arizona, Purdue and Duke all already eliminated.
Best NCAAB Future Values Remaining for March Madness – Sweet 16 Edition
Princeton Tigers 200-1 to Win Championship, 40-1 for Final Four
As miraculous as Princeton’s Sweet 16 run has looked, we have seen this movie before. The Tigers didn’t only beat Missouri in the round of 32, they dominated them. Ever since Princeton put on the gas pedal and blew past Arizona in the 15-2 matchup, the Tigers have had major swagger. This team is looking like the Dunk City Florida Gulf Coast team that shocked the world as a 15 seed. This type of upset is also becoming an annual tradition with 15 seed St. Peter’s going on an Elite 8 run just last season.
Florida Atlantic 50-1 to win NCAA Basketball Championship
This is the bizarre situation where an underdog actually becomes the heavy favorite. Depending on which sportsbook you visit, Florida Atlantic became anywhere between a 12 to 15 point favorite to beat Farleigh Dickinson in the round of 32.
Creighton 10-1 to win NCAA Championshop
The Bluejays competed last year in the Sweet 16 against eventual champion Kansas and this year they thoroughly routed another Big 12 team, in Baylor. Creighton’s odds to win it all have surged from 25-1 to 10-1, but could still be a great value for a team that has all the ingredients.
The chaos of March Madness doesn’t have to swallow you, or your modest sports betting budget, whole. Check out my top 5 tips to enjoy sports betting March Madness with some moderation.
Tip #1: Bet the Futures
Betting the futures is a great way to prolong your enjoyment of March Madness.
Tip #2: Shop around
If you like an udnerdog to actually win the entire tournament, shop around for the best price. You might be surprised to see the wide discrepancy. For example, an 8 seed that I like to win the National Championship is 75-1 at one casino, but 125-1 at a casino right across the street. Even on a five dollar bet, that can cost you $250!
Track injury updates, get under-the-radar analysis, and learn some fun facts about this year’s 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Links our top 5 trending articles are listed below.
BY MATTY D.
Filling out this year’s bracket was like putting my hand to a ouija board. I would have never expected having throwback teams like Memphis, Kentucky and Michigan State in this year’s Sweet Sixteen within one region. Alas, here is how my bracket revealed itself:
College basketball blogger Matt DeSarle (ie. yours truly) will return to Las Vegas for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic to track trends and hunt value during this March Madness. Follow on YouTube for sports betting tips and fun human interest stories. He will also be updating these articles to keep you up-to-date on these top 5 storylines.
It’s often said that “this year’s tournament will be unlike any other.” While that is always true, this March it will especially be the case. The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will feature a high number of mid-major teams and a wide spectrum of ages. This tournament will feature kids who reclassified in high school to start playing college hoops at 17 years-old. Conversely, this will be one of the only tournaments you’ll ever see so many 24 and 25 year-olds (not to mention 26-year-old DeAndre Williams).
The week before Selection Sunday gives clarity on college basketball’s rising and falling stock.
BY MATTY D.
On the morning of Thursday, March 9th CBS Network bracketologist Jerry Palm had Michigan in and Rutgers out. Mississippi State was also on the edge of the March Madness bubble. And as quickly as games could tip on that day, the tournament landscape shifted again.
Michigan lost to Rutgers by 12 points, effectively losing its place on the bubble.
Conversely, Rutgers raised its stock on the right side of the bubble.
In the SEC, Mississippi State effectively punched its ticket with a close win against the Florida Gators. The Bulldogs will now play Alabama where it’s academic who wins. Both teams should be tournament teams.
Oklahoma State is another bubble team that couldn’t pop through its own glass ceiling. The Cowboys lost in the 7 vs. 2 matchup against Texas in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. With Joe Lunardi listing them as one of the last four in, this loss almost certainly ensures they’ll show up as an 11 seed in a play-in game (if at all).
The ACC has a similar dynamic on its hand. None of its “bubble teams” are seizing the moment. Clemson, UNC, and Pittsburgh are all showing their warts within the final chapter of conference play.
Mid-major teams take care of business as bubble teams drop the ball
The team that is remiss from the bubble conversation on both Palm and ESPN bracketologist’s Joe Lunardi’s projection mid-way through Championship Week was Florida Atlantic. The Owls were a mainstay in the Top 25 before getting into the meat of its own difficult Conference USA schedule. They avoided this bubble conversation because they simply took care of business. Having only 3 losses on the season, FAU had slowly risen out of bubble talks and into the 9 or 10 seed on projections. Having played the likes of a talented North Texas and UAB squad, FAU’s regular conference season was not without its NET-boosting opportunities. The few losses that the Owls had suffered were respectable. The Owls were also able to upset the aforementioend Florida Gators in one of its few Quad 1 opportunities. FAU was still battling for its conference title heading into the weekend, but looking solid for an at-large bid regardless. Another mid-major team that took care of its business was College of Charleston. The Cougars went into Championship Week also as a 3 loss team. Joe Lunardi had them out of the tournament if it weren’t for a conference championship. But the Cougars took care of business. They beat a respectable challenger in Towson during the quarterfinals then capped off the crown with a win against UNCW. Teams like College of Charleston and FAU should be seen for what they are. They are hardened by a conference schedule where they were the hunted. And they survived. These teams should be much more fear than a fledurling Michigan or Wisconsin “bubble team” from the Big 10. (Wisconsin lost to a pathetic Ohio State team in the conference tournament).
Mountain West climbs towards five tournament teams as Selection Sunday nears
Utah State is considered a bubble team, although Aggies fans shouldn’t worry. Very rarely does a team within the top 25-30 of the NET not make the NCAA Tournament. This year, their losses are a lot more justified with the Mountain West ranking higher than the ACC in a lot of categories. Conference mate Boise State is also technically on the bubble line, although the Broncos are in a similar power position. Utah State could be the fifth tournament team from the Mountain West, joining Boise State, San Diego State (regular season champions), New Mexico and Nevada or San Jose State.
Other news and notes from NCAAB’s Championship Week:
Baylor is officially in damage control mode after getting swept this season by the Iowa State Cyclones of all teams. ISU beat the Bears three times total this season, including a conference tournament win Thursday afternoon in Kansas City.
Marquette messed around and was losing to 8 seeded St. John’s at halftime before conference player of the year Tyler Kylek and the Golden Eagles came back to win.
UCLA got great contributions from Amari Bailey and Adem Bona in their PAC-12 Tournament win against a fiesty Colorado Buffs program. Bailey and Bona are going to be crucially important as the Bruins just lost Jaylen Clark, likely out for the season.