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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM

After one of the most balanced college basketball seasons we’ve seen in years, it should come as no surprise to anybody that may of the elite seeds didn’t even make it past the first weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

*Two #1 seeds are already gone, something that hasn’t happened in years. And, frankly, the last two are still vulnerable THIS week because Kansas is missing a key player (while having a shaky Dance history under this head coach) and Villanova has a knack for playing nailbiters against quality opponents who aren’t intimidated.

*Two #2 seeds are already gone, and Purdue needed good shooting luck from long range to survive Butler early Sunday. The Boilermakers will be dealing with a major injury as well from this point forward. Only Duke on this seed line has been somewhat consistently playing high level basketball the past few weeks.

*Two #3 seeds are already gone, and surviving Michigan and Texas Tech both had to sweat nailbiters to make it to the Sweet 16. Michigan needed a miracle ending to get past Houston, who would have clinched a win just by making late free throws.

Yet, the media and general public ARE in shock because they don’t understand basketball. The losing seeds we just referred to who didn’t play to expectations are Virginia, Xavier, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Michigan State, and Tennessee. Too much media hype around all those teams. Sharp handicappers knew that…

*Virginia’s style is very poorly suited to “playoff” style basketball

*Xavier was more like a #4 seed that had been lucky in close games

*North Carolina blows hot and cold, which doesn’t work in a tourney

*Cincinnati’s grinding style is also poorly suited to playing as favorites

*Michigan State hadn’t been sharp in a month against any real competition

*Tennessee has a coach who’s afraid of his own shadow in tournaments

We’re not going to suggest that JIM HURLEY called every single upset. But, the strongest gradings from our exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach that includes computer modeling, stat analysis, reports from scouts and sources, plus market insights from Wise Guys, did yield a 5-2 record Saturday and Sunday for 71% winners. Included in the mix were outright victories with Florida State over Xavier, Syracuse over Michigan State, and Loyola of Chicago over Tennessee. Butler outplayed Purdue and should also have been an outright winner that settled for a cover.

We’re not ready yet to tip our hand about what upsets might be in store for Dance lovers Thursday and Friday. We can tell you that the surprises are likely far from over. Among the reasons.

*All surviving favorites have exploitable weaknesses by the right opponent

*All surviving underdogs have strengths that can hinder opponents

*The sport is STILL more tightly condensed than the market realizes

*The media will STILL mislead its betting audience about real expectations

The networks can’t hype Virginia and North Carolina any more, but they’ll keep hyping Duke. The networks can’t hype Michigan State, Xavier, or Cincinnati any more as powers from the Midwest, but they’ll keep hyping Purdue and Michigan. TV types will just rally around the remaining flags because that’s how they treat corporate partners. They’ll even try to treat Kentucky as a Cinderella because the Wildcats took awhile to get things figured out!

JIM HURLEY is a PROVEN WINNER. He’ll continue to focus on the fundamentals that are proven to work in this event. You saw the power of defense and rebounding, of good guard play, of smart coaching, of attacking the basket to win the free throw battle. On the other side of the coin, you saw the weaknesses of inexperienced favorites trying to execute late in close games, the futility of launching up desperation treys when the going got tough, the issues lack of depth can cause when referees are too whistle-happy.

Before the Dance, we talked about the importance of focusing on three-pointers. If you took that advice, you’re seeing the sport in a whole new light with what might be the most important “fundamental” of the next decade.

Did you take a bath playing too many favorites? Were you making it worse by parlaying favorites? Did you suffer the ultimate disaster of betting way too much on moneyline parlays because you figured there was “no way” high seeds would lose their games outright this early in the tournament. Underdogs went 7-1 Sunday, with five outright winners. It’s time to bet SMART with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

You can purchase our BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Be sure to ask about packages that take you all the way through the Final Four or the NBA Finals. And, ask about Major League Baseball, which starts a week from Thursday!

Between now and Thursday, we’ll be scouting out BIG, JUICY WINNERS in the NIT and the NBA. Las Vegas oddsmakers are exhausted after dealing with the busiest sports betting weekend in the city’s history (and celebrating too hard late Sunday night after all the upsets spiked public parlays!). JIM HURLEY NEVER RESTS! His NBA experts are ready for their moment to shine. And, his computer programmers have been running NIT simulations through the weekend. The winning never stops with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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