Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 7:00 AM
If you’ve been following college basketball, you’re no doubt fully aware of all the controversy surrounding Selection Sunday. It was bad enough that CBS tortured us with a long, drawn out show that had way too much punditry. My biggest sympathies are with the players of snubbed teams who had to wait forever to find out they weren’t included in the brackets. (Though, a “leaked” bracket that went viral may have helped with this…they all got heartbroken sooner!) But, as we all saw the unfolding brackets, it was clear that the selection committee had lost its mind in quite a few spots.
No need to rehash that now. It’s old news. The tricky thing, in my view, for handicappers is that we now have to figure out which “pretenders” are going to get routed because they don’t belong…and which are going to develop an “us against the world” mentality that leads to a big victory or two.
Do you think Tulsa is tired of hearing that they were one of the worst teams EVER picked for an at-large? They play Michigan Wednesday night in one of the play-in games. How about Syracuse? So many pundits were saying they should be in the NIT…maybe that inspires a big result Friday afternoon against Dayton.
It’s very important for you to remember the fundamentals. Any of these teams who do have PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS have a chance to rise up and get something done. Remember, one star player can take over a game, a weekend, or even a whole tournament. THAT’S the main thing to focus on with these borderline teams. Do they have a go-to-guy who can turn “something to prove” into something that gets proved?!
Borderline teams who are legitimately sub-par are going to get trounced. But, borderline teams who just temporarily ran out of gas last week (or the week before) have now had time to get rejuvenated and re-focused. They could really score some big results.
I can’t get too specific here in a web article because I have to protect my selections for my paying clients. But, I have compiled a list of at-large teams who have questionable pedigrees according to the most respected computer ratings that influence the betting markets.
#7 seed Oregon State
#8 seeds USC and Colorado
#9 seed Providence
#10 seeds Temple, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse
#11 seeds Michigan and Tulsa (who play each other Wednesday night)
I will tell you this much. I think at least two of those teams are blowout fodder about to get embarrassed, and at least one could develop a “chip on the shoulder” fierceness that launches them to the second week (the Sweet 16).
We have a similar phenomenon in terms of travel. Some decent teams are angry about the distance of their trip. They’re thinking “Hey, we had a good year, why are we being sent so far across the country?!” Some will react poorly and get knocked out. Others will want to show the committee they shouldn’t have been so disrespected!
#5 seed Maryland has to play in Spokane
#5 seed Baylor has to play in Providence (against tough Yale)
#6 seed Arizona has to play in Providence
#6 seed Seton Hall has to play in Denver (they’re on fire lately!)
#14 seed Stephen F. Austin has to play in Brooklyn (much better than that seed)
Very interesting potential there. Seton Hall’s playing some of the best basketball in the country, and just had a “chip on the shoulder” surge through the Big East tournament. Tough for that to continue when a tired team has to travel far then play at altitude. Yet, they certainly showed they had GAMEBREAKERS in taking out Xavier and Villanova in the Garden.
I should also mention that Kentucky feels snubbed even though travel to Des Moines isn’t brutal. They thought they were better than a #4 seed…and they can’t believe they’d have to play mis-seeded #5 Indiana in the second round if both advance. Coach John Calipari is going to turn that into the snub of the century for his players. Will they respond? Or, will they make the mistake of looking past Stony Brook?
Bottom line…stop focusing on who went where…and start focusing on what’s going to happen. It’s time to pick some winners!
I know many of you regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping are do-it-yourselfers. Best of luck to you this week. If you’d like some help, KELSO STURGEON’S BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. I want to emphasize again that you should take care of business quickly because things are going to get very crazy in the office once the games begin.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping will see you again this weekend with some thoughts on the Round of 32. We’ll see what happens in early action. That will either be a “read and react” discussion based on early surprises…or a general strategy talk about the dynamics of teams “playing two tournament games in three days” if form has held. I always keep the coursework fresh and relevant because I know it has real-world impact on your Las Vegas betting performance.
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