Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 10:23 AM
THE JIM SEZ MID-WEEK REPORT
WE WRAP UP THE COLLEGE HOOPS SEASON WITH ONE LAST LOOK AT CHAMPION VILLANOVA ... PLUS QUICK-HITTER NBA & MLB NOTES
Think there wasn't a whole lotta folks caught up in Villanova's thrilling 77-74 win against 2-point favorite North Carolina in Monday's NCAA Championship Game?
Heck, some 12 hours after Villanova G Kris Jenkins canned his 28-footer to hand the Wildcats their second NCAA Tournament title (and some 31 years after that first one in Lexington on April Fool's Day in 1985) there were some 313,000 "views" of the game-winning shot on YouTube and - all of a sudden - "One Shining Moment" had a whole new feel as the tourney experienced its first game-winning, buzzer-beating shot since the 1983 N.C. State Wolfpack beat Houston.
Sure, everyone was quick to weigh in on the 'Nova title and that final play where point guard Ryan Arcidiacono dished off - and screened - on the very same motion but we'll join the choir and want to know why Carolina head coach Roy Williams didn't have a little more ball pressure on the Villanova guards with just 4.7 seconds left on the clock ... hey, we said it plenty of times in this tourney that there were lots of head coaches that we didn't necessarily "trust" in close-and-late situations (Virginia's Tony Bennett and Kansas' Bill Self came to mind) and Williams definitely didn't get his defenders to execute here.
Still, the biggest factors in preventing North Carolina from winning a sixth national championship were the inability to get the game tempo sped up (only two fast-break points for the Tar Heels) and not making enough of the team's 14 offensive rebounds - tough to win a title when your tallish front line don't "cash" enough from in close to the rim.
Villanova's spine-tingling win not only ensured the 'Cats a special place in sports history but as many of you good folks know the 'Nova kids wound up a perfect 6-and-oh ATS (against the spread) in this man's tourney and that included wins/covers against a #3 seed (Miami), a fellow #2 seed (Oklahoma) and a pair of #1 seeds (Kansas and then North Carolina).
Job well done ... now here's a final look at Villanova's NCAA Tournament road to a title:
|3-18||NC Asheville||- 17.5||86-56|
|4-4||North Carolina||+ 2||77-74|
Okay, so what else did we learn from this NCAA Tournament? Well, NCAA Tournament Betting Favorites registered a hearty 38-28-0 ATS mark with one pick 'em game for a .576 winning rate and here's a look at how the Favs fared in all of the many post-season college basketball tournaments:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers have put a capper on the College Basketball Season and the NCAA Tournament and now it's time to cash in big with the NBA and Major-League Baseball. Just go online or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle.
The days are dwindling down to this 2015-16 NBA regular season and there's a mad scramble on for the #3 and #4 seeds in the Eastern Conference playoff picture where entering Tuesday night there was Atlanta, Boston, Miami and Charlotte separated by a mere half-game but it's the Celtics (45-32) who really bear watching as the C's - fresh off snapping Golden State's 54-game home winning streak last Friday night.
Boston's end-of-season sked looks like this: Home to New Orleans and Milwaukee, at Atlanta and then home to Charlotte and Miami. Hmmm.
No doubt that could be four wins in five tries and that - more than likely - would put the Celtics in driver's seat for the #3 seed in the East and that would also mean Boston wouldn't have to play conference leader Cleveland until the Eastern Finals.
Hey, we're fully aware that Opening Day is a big deal all throughout Major-League Baseball but way too much was made of the rotten debut of Arizona Diamondbacks' RHP Zack Greinke who allowed 7 runs on 9 hits in four innings of work in Monday night's 10-5 home loss to Colorado. Who cares whether Greinke was "sick" or not ... the real deal is too much was made of an Opening Day stinker by the newly-minted D-Backs hurler who exited his first start of 2016 with a very bloated 15.75 ERA.
In other MLB News/Notes ...
If Greinke's rotten opening outing got too much notice, then maybe the Opening Night start by Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw didn't get enough pub. Sure, the Dodgers bombed the San Diego Padres 15-0 this past Monday but how about Kershaw throwing seven innings of one-hit ball with 9 Ks and 1 BB ... no doubt a great way for new manager Dave Roberts to open up his new career but a real boost to a Dodgers team that lost Greinke to free agency this past winter and now may have to patch together the starting rotation beyond Mr. Kershaw.
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