Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, March 5, 2012 at 4:10 PM
The volume of news this past weekend was overwhelming. We were again reminded by Iona and Middle Tennessee State that teams that "have" to win don't, that Michigan State blew its chance for a number one NCAA Tournament seed with a home loss to Ohio State, that more than 20 college basketball coaches Mayflower Van Lines and that the National Football League has exposed a modern day brainless sick and sociopathic cretin named Gregg Williams.
College basketball first, where the fat is in the fire.
The college conference basketball tournaments are going full bore and the action really picks up tomorrow when the Big East and the Atlantic Ten join the fray, followed on Tuesday by Conference USA, the PAC-12 and Big 12. On Wednesday it will be kick off time for the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Mountain West, WAC and the Big West.
Already in the NCAA as college tournament champions are Murray State (30-1) of the Ohio Valley Conference, Creighton (27-5) of the Missouri Valley, NC-Asheville (24-9) of the Big South and Belmont (27-7) of the Atlantic Sun. Four more teams will join them with automatic bids tonight as winners of their respective conference tournaments.
The automatic NCAA bid that goes with winning the Ivy League regular-season title remains up in the air with one game to go, the Tuesday night matchup that has Pennsylvania (19-11, 11-2) at Princeton (18-11, 9-4). A Penn win would give the Quakers a share of the Ivy League title with Harvard (26-4, 12-2) and would force a one-game playoff at a site yet to be determined. Harvard and Penn split during the regular season, with Harvard winning in Philadelphia, 56-50, and with Penn winning in Cambridge, 55-54. In the first game between Princeton and Penn, the Quakers won at home, 82-67.
The winners of 30 conference tournaments and the regular-season Ivy League champion get automatic invites to the NCAA Tournament and the committee that invites the 37 at-large teams that make up the field of 68 is quite picky, a situation that puts many teams hoping to make the big dance at risk.
The first two victims to fall, and prove teams that have to win don't have to get it done. Just ask Iona (25-6), the favorite to win the Metro Atlantic Conference tournament, and Middle Tennessee State (25-5), the odds-on choice to win the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Middle Tennessee lost in the first round, 64-61, as a 10 ½-point favorite over Arkansas State (13-19) and Iona fell to Fairfield (18-13), 85-75, as a 4 ½-point semifinal game.
Take it to the bank neither of these teams will get a sniff by the NCAA selection committee because they play in mid-major conferences and do not have the overall resume to get to the big dance. They had to force their way in by winning out, and they didn't do it.
Only 12 Spots Left Open
If one is not the conference tournament champion or a major power with a strong regular-season resume, the heat is on because in reality, when one wades through all the hype, with more than 200 games left to be played, there are but 12 NCAA Tournament spots remaining open.
First of all, the four top seeds in the NCAA Tournament will be Syracuse (30-1), Kentucky (30-1), North Carolina (27-4) and Kansas (26-5), regardless of how they fare in their respective conference tournaments. Michigan State blew its chances for a number one with its 72-70 loss to Ohio State.
The pressure on bubble teams to win is real, since the following 25 teams are already in the big dance by virtue of their performances this season. Michigan State, Duke, Missouri, Ohio State, Marquette, Michigan, Georgetown, Baylor, Temple, Indiana, Wisconsin, Louisville, Notre Dame, San Diego State, Wichita State, Gonzaga, Florida State, New Mexico, Saint Mary's, Vanderbilt, Saint Louis, UNLV, Kansas State, Virginia and California.
While the so-called pundits who cover college basketball say teams such as Memphis, Connecticut, Alabama, West Virginia, Alabama and Washington are also in my opinion is they are going to have to shine in their conference tournaments or stay home.
Brainless NFL Assistant Should Be Banned For Life
We learned this past week that New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, with the unspoken blessing of head coach Sean Payton and with the support of the entire coaching staff, put in place a bounty system for knocking opposing players out of the game. We now learn this was standard practice with Williams at each coaching stop along the way.
According to an NFL investigation, under Williams guidance the players put up about $50,000 of their own money to support the bounty system with $1,500 going to anyone who put a key skill player out of the game and $1,000 for getting a player carted off the field. Other rewards varied by category.
Present and color it any way you like, justify it any way you wish but this is so wrong it defies words and now we know why the Saints appeared to be trying to kill quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner anytime they faced them. The "everybody" does it rule is absolute bullshit, because "everybody" does not do it.
Football is an intensively violent and dangerous game in which a season-ending, or career-ending play, can come the very next time the ball is snapped.
Offensive linemen with powerful legs the strength of granite and the upper-body strength of a mountain gorilla can do their own damage without trying to intentionally maim anyone. Nothing personal, it's all business. The same can be said for entire defensive units.
The game is what it is and all who play it know it.
Guys such as Williams need to be banned for life. To have so little respect for the sport and opposing players as to reward someone for ending their careers is beyond sick. If a member of the Mafia did it to take an edge, it's a crime. What is the difference here?
I am going to write more on this later but my initial thoughts would be to ban Williams for life, fine Payton $1,00,000 and take away the Saints first two draft choices for the next two season-and I think I am being a little soft here.
Tonight's Betting Menu
Go 4-0 On 100-Unit March Madness Night - All Games On TV
I am off to an excellent start with my March Madness program and intend to go a perfect 4-0 in college conference championship games tonight-contests in which the winner will get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The lines are tight but one team in each game has two or three edges that render the numbers a bit soft and that means this should be a big money 100-unit night. I will be releasing each of the four title games at the 25-unit level and you can win them all for just $50, charged to your major credit card. Better yet get on board for the entire March Madness season for just $195 and play right through the NCAA championship game on April 3.
Tonight's 4 Championship Games
Colonial Athletic Association On ESPN
VCU (36-6) vs. Drexel
West Coast Conference On ESPN2
Gonzaga (25-5) vs. Saint Mary's (26-5)
Metro Atlantic Conference On ESPN
Fairfield (18-13) vs. Loyola-MD (22-8)
Southern Conference On ESPN2
Western Carolina (16-17) vs. Davidson (23-7)
Going For 4th Straight Winner With25-Unit NBA Knockout Tonight
My Chairman's Club has won the three games it has received over the past four days and is going for its 4th straight victory tonight with another 25-unit play, this time on an NBA team in the perfect spot to take down the money. The team I am releasing as a 75% chance to cover the number and that is a big figure in the NBA. You can win this game for just $25, charged to your major credit card and, for the record, here are the last four Chairman's Club games.
Last 3 Releases Go 3-0 - All 25 Units
Sunday: Florida State (-7) 80, Clemson 72 (W)
Saturday: Toledo (-5) 76, Eastern Michigan 51 (W)
Friday: No Game Qualified For Play
Thursday: Suns (-4 ½) 104, Timberwolves 95
15-Unit NBA Power Play Tops 2-0 Night
There are nine NBA games on tonight's schedule and all of them offer tempting opportunities for serious handicappers and I am that. I am releasing two of these games tonight-one at the 15-unit level and one at 5 units-and am confident I will take down the money in both of them. Win both standout plays for just $15, charged to your major credit card.
All games also available toll free at 1-800-755-2255.