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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Now that the seeds and brackets have been announced for the 2014 NCAA Tournament, you’re going to read and hear a lot of information about past trends involving seeds in the Big Dance. Our advice is to IGNORE them. You don’t pick winners by listening to trivia. As we’ve shown you day-by-day and year-by-year here in the NOTEBOOK…you pick winners by looking at what really matters!

*It doesn’t matter that X number of #1 seeds have or haven’t made the Final Four in the last X number of years. This set of teams has nothing to do with prior sets of teams. The sport keeps evolving, particularly when it comes to the depth of the best 30-40 entries. This years #1’s are going to get there…or not…based on their own merit or their own weaknesses. You’ll do a lot better picking pointspread results for those #1 seeds by knowing their strengths and weaknesses than you will by looking at what other #1’s did in the past.

*It doesn’t matter that certain seed numbers have better or worse recent histories than other. Being a #2 seed isn’t a kiss of death. Being a #12 seed isn’t an automatic invitation to Cinderella’s ball. It doesn’t matter what happened with past teams in past years…or with past seeding mistakes made by past seeding committees. Networks presenting trivia because it sounds interesting to people who don’t think very yard is not something you should be wasting time with. And, as big a strike as that is against the media…it sure is helpful to serious handicappers who have legitimate edges against the line. The fewer the merrier when it comes to the number of truly informed bettors in the marketplace. If the public is going to bet after hearing trivia, that’s just more money for us.

*What matters is how good teams are. We’ve been looking all season at the ratings posted publicly by college basketball guru Ken Pomeroy and USA Today computer whiz Jeff Sagarin. Study those, along with the BPI numbers by the statheads at ESPN. If the seedings are out of alignment with the consensus of those ratings, THAT’S when you should pay attention.

*What matters is how well teams are playing RIGHT NOW! To the degree that Pomeroy, Sagarin, and other analytics miss in the Dance…it’s because their “full season” numbers aren’t able to account enough for recent developments. If a slumping team is a #3 or #4 seed…the fact that they’re slumping is more important than the fact that they earned a respected seed. The computers have some teams in the teens who should probably be in the 30’s. Study recent form so you can outperform the computers.

*What matters is how well-suited teams are to the specific challenges of the NCAA tournament. Do they have a variety of weapons on offense? Do they guard the basket like their lives depended on it? Do they have enough depth to handle a whistle-happy officiating crew? Doesn’t that stuff obviously matter a lot more than trivial trends about what different numbered seeds did in past Dances?

Through the rest of the week, we’ll look at the NCAA tournament through the lens of our standard indicator stats. That will start Tuesday with “first four action from Dayton. Be sure you’re with us every day this week for key information that will help you find winners in the highest profile matchups. The sharpest bettors will be signing up for JIM HURLEY’S early week action in the “first four” and the NIT, CBS, and College Insider tournaments because they’ll help you build your bankroll for those big Thursday and Friday Dance schedules.

Game day BEST BETS can be purchased here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call our handicapping office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. Today’s a good time to get set up for the full postseason…or the rest of college and pro basketball through the NBA Playoffs. Monday’s schedule is the quietest we’re going to see in awhile!

We have a temporary calm in the basketball storm. The eye of the hurricane between the wave of conference tournament action, and the onslaught of the most exciting hardwood action of the year. Gear up…IT’S GOING TO BE RAINING WINNERS ALL THE WAY THROUGH MARCH MADNESS here at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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