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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2019 NCAA Tournament Preview


There are really only two things I look at before going about filling out my NCAA Tournament brackets. Well, 3 things. If you count my brain. Which is crammed full of all sorts of college basketball whatnot from both this year and years past. But since I won't be loaning my brain out, I recommend you consult these 2 other tools before getting down to business.

1. Ken Pomeroy Ratings: Ken's "tempo free" analytical ratings are notorious both for identifying tournament teams that may have been "improperly valued" by the selection committee, and for pointing out which teams are obviously the best equipped to ultimately cut down the nets.

Example: Ken has Louisville @ #17, and Wofford @ #19. Yet both were given #7 seeds in the Tournament. Meaning the committee views them more as the 25th-28th best teams in the Tournament. Similarly, St. Mary's finds themselves as #31 on KenPom, yet were seeded #11, in the 41-44 range.  Finding "discrepancies" like that (AKA "value") can often help point you in the right direction in terms of which teams may overachieve...

AND

2. First Round Spreads: Target "upsets" in first round games with close spreads. Some 10+ point underdog will probably win outright. But attempting to identify that team is a futile enterprise. Stick to games with closer spreads, and try to identify any irregularities.

Example: #12 Oregon was a 2 point favorite against #5 Wisconsin, in a game that's seen wild swings in the spread (Oregon is now (+2)). The 3 other #5 seeds are 4, 5, and 6 point favorites, respectively. Not a huge discrepancy, necessarily. But value doesn't always come in massive helpings...

Remember. All 7/10 and 3/14 games aren't created equal. So if the spread looks closer than the seeding should suggest, then that game could very well present some solid value in terms of picking an upset...

OK, so. You've used KenPom to identify value, and you've scouted first round games for suspicious looking spreads. Nice! Now, all that's left, is to avoid picking Duke to win, and you should be all set!

I say that half jokingly, of course. Duke could certainly win. In which case you would most definitely need them as your champion in order for you too to cut down the nets. And if you're entering lots of different brackets (weeeeeee!), it's certainly OK to throw the blue Devils in there, somewhere. Just know that, when you do pick Duke, you'll also need a relatively clean bracket heading into the title game in order to expect a big payday. Barring that, you'll likely be devoured by the myriad of other Duke entries in your pool, who had you pipped by 1 or 2 picks like 3 weeks earlier. And if that's your poison, by all means. But I'm all about value. And with Duke clearly being the champion of choice among the masses (nearly 50% of brackets are projected to have them as the winner), that value lies pretty much anywhere other than Durham, North Carolina...

And that philosophy doesn't just apply to Duke. More often than not, you want to fade ( or avoid) what you feel will be the more popular selections. Not because they're more likely to be the right selections. But because the payoff will be more than high enough when they are right, to make up for all of the times when the chalk and the public prevail. Again, it's all about value. And there's no value in riding with all of the most popular squads. No matter what that "bracket expert", whose only success came when all 4 #1 seeds made the Final Four in 2008, will try to tell you...

Sorry, I just couldn't resist that final shot. Had to do it. And now Duke's gonna win, just to spite me. Oh well...

OK. Now, without further dudes, here's what I got when I put my aforementioned strategy into place. Enjoy! And good luck!


SOUTH

Sleepers: (7) Cincinnati; (9) Oklahoma; (11) St. Mary's; (12) Oregon; (13) UC Irvine

Winner: (1) Virginia


WEST

Sleepers: (8) Syracuse; (10) Florida; (12) Murray St.

Winner: (1) Gonzaga


EAST

Sleepers: (7) Louisville; (11) Belmont; (14) Yale

Winner: (2) Michigan St.


MIDWEST

Sleepers: (6) Iowa St.;  (7) Wofford; (13) Northeastern

Winner: (1) North Carolina


FINAL FOUR

(2) Michigan St. vs (1) Gonzaga

(1) Virginia vs (1) North Carolina


2019 NATIONAL CHAMPION

Virginia Cavaliers


Friday, March 15, 2019

The Calm Before the Whatnot...



Full NCAA Tournament primer coming on Wednesday. Be there!


Friday, March 08, 2019

College Hoops Top 16 (3/8/19)

College Hoops Top 16

1. Virginia (27-2) 2

2. Gonzaga (29-2) 1

3. Michigan (26-4) 6

4. North Carolina (25-5) 7

5. Duke (26-4) 5

6. Michigan St. (24-6) 3

7. Kentucky (25-5) 4

8. Purdue (22-8) 8

9. Tennessee (27-3) 10

10. Texas Tech (25-5) 9

11. Houston (28-2) 11

12. Florida St. (24-6) 16

13. Auburn (21-9) 14

14. Wofford (26-4) NR

15. Maryland (21-9) 13

16. Wisconsin (21-9) NR


just missed: Kansas; LSU; Nevada; Virginia Tech

dropped: (12) Nevada; (15) Kansas

What to Watch This Week

3/8
Bowling Green @ Buffalo (6p ESPNU)
Minnesota @ Maryland (7p FS1)

3/9
Tennessee @ Auburn (12p ESPN)
Villanova @ Seton Hall (12p FOX)
Florida @ Kentucky (2p CBS)
Texas Tech @ Iowa St (2p ESPNN)
Baylor @ Kansas (2p ESPN)
Georgetown @ Marquette (230p FOX)
Louisville @ Virginia (4p ESPN)
UCF @ Temple (4p ESPN2)
Duke @ UNC (6p ESPN)
Oklahoma @ Kansas St. (6p ESPN2)
Michigan @ Michigan St. (8p ESPN)
San Diego St @ Nevada (1030p CBSSN)

3/10
Houston @ Cincinnati (12p TBD)
Wisconsin @ Ohio St. (430p TBD)




Friday, March 01, 2019

College Hoops Top 16 (3/1/19)

College Hoops Top 16

1. Gonzaga (28-2) 1

2. Virginia (25-2) 2

3. Michigan St. (23-5) 3

4. Kentucky (24-4) 4

5. Duke (24-4) 5

6. Michigan (25-4) 6

7. North Carolina (23-5) 7

8. Purdue (21-7) 9

9. Texas Tech (25-5) 10

10. Tennessee (25-3) 8

11. Houston (27-1) 13

12. Nevada (26-2) 12

13. Maryland (21-8) 11

14. Auburn (19-9) 14

15. Kansas (21-7) NR

16 Florida St. (22-6) NR


just missed: Wisconsin; Iowa St.; Virginia Tech; Buffalo

dropped: (15) Wisconsin; (16) Iowa St.


What to Watch This Week

3/1
Buffalo @ Miami (OH) (8p CBSSN)

3/2
Michigan St. @ Indiana (12p FOX)
LSU @ Alabama (12p ESPN)
NC St. @ FSU (12p ESPN2)
Kentucky @ Tennessee (2p CBS)
Ohio St. @ Purdue (2p ESPN)
UCF @ Houston (4p ESPN)
Texas Tech @ TCU (4p ESPN2)
UNC @ Clemson (6p ESPN)
Baylor @ Kansas St. (8p ESPN2)
Gonzaga @ St. Mary's (10p ESPN)

3/3
Michigan @ Maryland (345p CBS)

3/4
Virginia @ Syracuse (7p ESPN)
Texas @ Texas Tech (9p ESPN)
Kansas St. @ TCU (9p ESPN2)

3/5
Virginia Tech @ Florida St. (7p ESPNU)
Purdue @ Minnesota (8p BTN)
Kentucky @ Mississippi (9p ESPN)
Mississippi St. @ Tennessee (9p SECN)
Kansas @ Oklahoma (9p ESPN2)

3/6
Marquette @ Seton Hall (630p FS1)
LSU @ Florida (7p ESPN2)
Oregon St. @ Washington (9p PAC12)

3/7
Iowa @ Wisconsin (7p)
Cincinnati @ UCF (7p)
SMU @ Houston (9p ESPN)


Friday, February 22, 2019

College Hoops Top 16 (2/22/19)

College Hoops Top 16

1. Gonzaga (26-2) 2

2. Virginia (23-2) 3

3. Michigan St. (22-5) 4

4. Kentucky (22-4) 5

5. Duke (23-3) 1

6. Michigan (24-3) 7

7. North Carolina (21-5) 11

8. Tennessee (24-2) 6

9. Purdue (19-7) 10

10. Texas Tech (21-5) 14

11. Maryland (20-7) 12

12. Nevada (24-2) 8

13. Houston (25-1) 13

14.  Auburn (18-8) NR

15. Wisconsin (18-8) NR

16. Iowa St. (19-7) 10


just missed: Kansas; Florida St.; Villanova; Louisville; Marquette

dropped: (9) Villanova; (16) Louisville

What to Watch This Week

2/22
Kent St. @ Buffalo (7p ESPN2)
Indiana @ Iowa (915p FS1)

2/23
Virginia @ Louisville (12p ACCN)
Tennesse @ LSU (12p ESPN)
Marquette @ PC (12p FOX)
Auburn @ Kentucky (130p CBS)
Iowa St. @ TCU (2p ESPN2)
Ohio St. @ Maryland (2p ESPN)
Florida St. @ UNC (345p CBS)
Duke @ Syracuse (6p ESPN)
Kansas @ Texas Tech (8p ESPN)
Fresno St. @ Nevada (8p CBSSN)

2/24
Michigan St. @ Michigan (345p CBS)

2/25
Oklahoma @ Iowa St. (8p ESPN2)
Kansas St. @ Kansas (9p ESPN)

2/26
Duke @ Virginia Tech (7p ESPN)
Iowa @ Ohio St. (7p BTN)
Syracuse @ UNC
Wisconcin @ Indiana (9p ESPN)

2/27
Tennessee @ Mississippi (7p SECN)
Marquette @ Villanova (9p FS1)

2/28
Nebraska @ Michigan (7p ESPN)


Friday, February 15, 2019

College Hoops Top 16 (2/15/19)

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College Hoops Top 16

1. Duke (22-2) 3

2. Gonzaga (23-2) 2

3. Virginia (21-2) 1

4. Michigan St. (20-5) 8

5. Kentucky (20-4) 6

6. Tennessee (23-1) 4

7. Michigan (22-3) 7

8. Nevada (23-1) 9

9. Villanova (20-5) 11

10. Purdue (17-7) 12

11. North Carolina (19-5) 5

12. Maryland (19-6) NR

13. Houston (24-1) 15

14. Texas Tech (20-5) NR

15. Iowa St. (18-6) 10

16. Louisville (17-8) 13


just missed: Auburn; Kansas; Wisconsin; Virginia Tech

dropped: (14) Wisconsin; (16) Virginia Tech

What to Watch This Week

2/15
Buffalo @ Toledo (7p ESPNU)

2/16
Maryland @ Michigan (12p FOX)
Clemson @ Louisville (12p ESPN)
Baylor @ Texas Tech (2p ESPN)
Iowa St. @ Kansas St. (4p ESPN2)
Tennessee @ Kentucky (8p ESPN)

2/17
Ohio St. @ Michigan St. (1p CBS)
Villanova @ St. John's (5p FS1)

2/18
Virginia @ Virginia Tech (7p ESPN)
Kansas St. @ West Virginia (9p ESPN)

2/19
Purdue @ Indiana (7p ESPN2)
Maryland @ Iowa (8p BTN)
Florida St. @ Clemson (9p ESPNU)
Baylor @ Iowa St. 99p ESPN2)

2/20
Villanova @ Georgetown (630p FS1)
Louisville @ Syracuse (7p ESPN)
UNC @ Duke (9p ESPN)
Butler @ Marquette (9p CBSSN)
Nevada @ San Diego St. (11p CBSSN)

2/21
Michigan @ Minnesota (7p ESPN)


Friday, February 08, 2019

College Hoops Top 16 (2/8/19)

College Hoops Top 16

1. Virginia (20-1) 1

2. Gonzaga (22-2) 2

3. Duke (20-2) 3

4. Tennessee (21-1) 5

5. North Carolina (18-4) 6

6. Kentucky (19-3) 8

7. Michigan (21-2) 4

8. Michigan St. (18-5) 7

9. Nevada (22-1) 9

10. Iowa St. (18-5) 11

11. Villanova (19-4) 13

12. Purdue (16-6) 12

13. Louisville (17-6) 16

14. Wisconsin (17-6) 14

15. Houston (22-1) 15

16. Virginia Tech (18-4) 10


just missed: Maryland; Auburn; Texas Tech; Kansas

dropped: none


What to Watch This Week

2/8
Princeton @ Yale (7p ESPN+)
Kent St. @ Akron (9p ESPNU)

2/9
Wisconsin @ Michigan (12p FOX)
Virginia Tech @ Clemson (12p ESPN2)
Kentucky @ Mississippi St. (1p CBS)
BC @ Syracuse (2p ACCN)
Minnesota @ Michigan St. (2p ESPN)
TCU @ Iowa St. (2p ESPNU)
Auburn @ LSU (2p ESPN2)
Villanova @ Marquette (230p FOX)
Louisville @ Florida St. (4p ESPN2)
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma (4p ESPNU)
Duke @ Virginia (6p ESPN)

2/10
Cincinnati @ Houston (4p ESPN)

2/11
Virginia @ UNC (7p ESPN)
Kansas @ TCU (9p ESPN)

2/12
Purdue @ Maryland (630p BTN)
LSU @ Kentucky (7p ESPN)
Michigan St. @ Wisconsin (7p ESPN2)
Duke @ Louisville (9p ESPN)

2/13
PC @ Villanova (630p FS1)
Syracuse @ NC State

2/14
Houston @ UCONN
Gonzaga @ Loyola-Marymount (11p ESPN2)


Friday, February 01, 2019

Super Bowl Picks + College Hoops Top 16 (2/1/19)

Super Bowl Picks

New England Patriots (-2.5) vs LA Rams + UNDER 56.5


Conference Championships: 3-1-0

2018-2019: 133-114-10 (.537)

ALL TIME: 1772-1329-114 (.569)

College Hoops Top 16

1. Virginia (19-1) 1

2. Gonzaga (20-2) 2

3. Duke (18-2) 3

4. Michigan (20-1) 4

5. Tennessee (19-1) 6

6. North Carolina (16-4) 7

7. Michigan St. (18-3) 5

8. Kentucky (17-3) 8

9. Nevada (20-1) 9

10. Virginia Tech (17-3) 11

11. Iowa St. (16-5) 12

12. Purdue (15-6) 16

13. Villanova (17-4) 14

14. Wisconsin (15-6) NR

15. Houston (21-1) 10

16. Louisville (16-5) NR


just missed: Texas Tech; LSU; Kansas; Auburn; Maryland

dropped: (13) Kansas; (15) TCU

What To Watch This Week

2/1
Michigan @ Iowa (7p FS1)
Buffalo @ Bowling Green (8p CBSS)
Maryland @ Wisconsin (9p FS1)

2/2
St. John's @ Duke (12p ESPN)
Virginia Tech @ NC State (12p ACCN)
UNC @ Louisville (2p ESPN)
Texas @ Iowa St. (2p ESPN2)
Mississippi St. @ Mississippi (330p SECN)
Kentucky @ Florida (4p ESPN)
Texas Tech @ Kansas (4p CBS)
Indiana @ Michigan St. (6p ESPN)
Arkansas @ LSU (6p SECN)

2/3
Minnesota @ Purdue (12p BTN)
Georgetown @ Villanova (12p FS1)

2/4
Louisville @ Virginia Tech (7p ESPN)
Iowa St. @ Oklahoma (9p ESPN2)
West Virginia @ Texas Tech (9p ESPN)

2/5
Boston College @ Duke (7p ESPN)
St. John's @ Marquette (8p FS1)
NC State @ UNC (8p ACCN)
Florida St. @ Syracuse (8p ACCN/ESPN3)
Kansas @ Kansas St. (9p ESPN)

2/6
Maryland @ Nebraska (7p BTN)
Creighton @ Villanova (8p CBSS)
LSU @ Mississippi St. (9p ESPN2)
Wisconsin @ Minnesota (9p BTN)

2/7
Houston @ UCF (7p CBSS)
San Francisco @ Gonzaga (9p ROOT)


Friday, January 25, 2019

College Hoops Top 16 (1/25/19)

College Hoops Top 16

1. Virginia (17-1)

2. Gonzaga (19-2)

3. Duke (16-2)

4. Michigan (18-1)

5. Michigan St. (18-2)

6. Tennessee (17-1)

7. North Carolina (15-4)

8. Kentucky (15-3)

9. Nevada (19-1)

10. Houston (19-1)

11. Virginia Tech (15-3)

12. Iowa St. (14-5)

13. Kansas (16-3)

14. Villanova (15-4)

15. TCU (14-4)

16. Purdue (13-6)


just missed: Oklahoma; Wisconsin; Louisville; Texas Tech

What to Watch This Week

1/25
Michigan @ Indiana (630p FS1)
Buffalo @ Kent St. (630p CBSSN)
Butler @ Creighton (830p FS1)

1/26
Iowa St. @ Mississippi (12p ESPN)
Virginia @ Notre Dame (1p CBS)
Kansas @ Kentucky (6p ESPN)
Syracuse @ Virginia Tech (8p ESPN)
Auburn @ Mississippi St. (830p SECN)

1/27
Michigan St. @ Purdue (1p CBS)
Seton Hall @ Villanova (230p FOX)
Iowa @ Minnesota (5p FS1)

1/28
Duke @ Notre Dame (7p ESPN)
TCU @ Texas Tech (9p ESPN)

1/29
Virginia @ NC St. (7p ESPN2)
Kansas @ Texas (7p ESPN)
Mississippi St. @ Alabama (830p SECN)

1/30
Marquette @ Butler (630p FS1)
Mississippi @ Florida (630p SECN)

1/31
Temple @ Houston (7p ESPN2)
Gonzaga @ BYU (11p ESPN2)


Friday, January 18, 2019

2019 Conference Championship Picks

Conference Championship Picks

New England Patriots (+3) @ Kansas City Chiefs + OVER 56

New Orleans Saints (-3) vs LA Rams + UNDER 57


Last Week: 1-3-0

2018-2019: 130-113-10 (.534)

ALL TIME: 1769-1328-114 (.569)


Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Divisional Picks

Divisional Picks

Indianapolis Colts (+5.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs

LA Rams (-7) vs Dallas Cowboys

LA Chargers (+4) @ New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints (-8) vs Philadelphia Eagles


Last Week: 3-0-1

2018-2019: 129-110-10 (.538)

ALL TIME: 1768-1325-114 (.569)

NCAA Picks

Last Week: 1-0-0

2018-2019: 96-79-2

ALL TIME: 989-723-41


Friday, January 04, 2019

2019 Wild Card Picks

Wild Card Picks

Indianapolis Colts (+1) @ Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks (+2) @ Dallas Cowboys

LA Chargers (+3) @ Baltimore Ravens

Philadelphia Eagles (+6.5) @ Chicago Bears


Last Week: 7-9-0

2018: 126-110-9 (.533)

ALL TIME: 1765-1325-113 (.569)


NCAA National Championship

(2) Clemson (+5.5) vs (1) Alabama


Last Week: 9-11-0

2018: 95-79-2 (.545)

ALL TIME: 988-723-41 (.576)