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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 9:37 AM



Folks, it's always fun to look back before we take a sneak peek ahead - so let's take a moment to check out where this weekend's NCAA Tournament Final Four teams were placed to start this 2015-16 season (the rankings are listed next to the name below followed by the up-to-date records) according to the Associated Press Top 25:

#1 NORTH CAROLINA (32-6) - Hey, the Tar Heels were tagged to be the numero uno team in the land at the very start of this season and so Roy Williams' squad is right where they're supposed to be and winning the tourney games by a 16 ppg average has made North Carolina now the odds-on choice to win it all in Houston this week. The Tar Heels are a 9.5-point betting favorite right now against Syracuse and our Jim Sez sources claim they'll be 4-point fav against Villanova or a 5-point fav against Oklahoma in Monday's championship game tilt.
Spread Notes - The UNC Heels are a modest 19-18-1 ATS (against the spread) overall this year but they do zoom into Saturday's Final Four having covered seven of their last eight games in all.

#8 OKLAHOMA (29-7) - The Sooners (as you can see) were projected to be top 10 material at the very start of the season but Lon Kruger's club has exceeded those expectations and hats off to Oklahoma just for coming out as the lone survivor of the mighty Big 12 ... a league that was very good but apparently not the best in the land (see ACC).
Spread Notes - Believe it or not, the OU Sooners head into the Final Four at just 14-20 versus the vig this hoops season and that includes a rotten 2-7 ATS log in their last nine games although Oklahoma did cover Texas A&M and then Oregon in the last two tourney rounds.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have been steamrolling their way through the month of March with loads of College Basketball winners and it ain't gonna stop yet now that we're ready to hit April! Get in now on the NCAA Tournament's Final Four, the NIT Championship Game on Thursday night plus the remaining CBI and Vegas 16 tournies too - click here to get them online or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle. Hey, we're also banging out lots of NBA Winners too these days and so go ahead and join the fun and profits today with all the hardwood action this month.

#11 VILLANOVA (33-5) - Okay, so the know-it-alls believed these Big East Wildcats were gonna be a rock-solid team but Jay Wright's veteran club stayed at or near the top of the polls all year long and validated the season-long play be netting a second Final Four in seven years. So, the bottom line is it's no big surprise that 'Nova is still standing based on the fact it was ranked 11th in the land at the very start of things but just getting out of that first tourney weekend really seemed to emotionally jazz up the Philly-based bunch.
Spread Notes - Villanova is 19-17-1 against the odds this season including four in a row during this NCAA Tournament and for you totals players note "over" is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 'Cat games.

SYRACUSE (23-13) - Nope, no sign of any preseason ranking for the Orange who were busy getting red-flagged with NCAA sanctions (see suspension of head coach Jim Boeheim for the first nine games) but here's the Midwest Regional champ vaulting all the way to the Final Four out of the #10 seed (a seed that never before sent a team to the Final Four) and basically spitting in the eye of the basketball "establishment" along the way.
Spread Notes - You got it ... the 'Cuse is the best of the Final Four bunch when it comes to pointspread records with a nifty 20-15 ATS mark that features outright underdog winners against 4-point favorite Gonzaga and 8-point fav Virginia in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds, respectively.

Here's the still-alive conferences/leagues as we head into Final Four weekend:

Big East740.636
Big 12780.467

One final NCAA Tournament-related pointspread note here ... in all, "power conferences" the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC are a combined 40-41 against the odds in this year's "Big Dance" - quite possibly not as good as one would have imagined while heading into the 68-team field that included 37 teams from the so-called "power conference" leagues. Just sayin'!

NOTE: More NCAA Tournament Final Four News & Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez plus catch our NIT Championship Game preview too!

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