Baseball's 2010 Season Is Still Weeks Away But We Weigh In With The "Odds-To-Win-It-All"

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By Jim Hurley:

No doubt that you've been looking things over and wondering what everyone else in the land is wondering these days ...

Who's gonna win it all in the upcoming NCAA Tournament?

Maybe you like Kansas or Kentucky or Syracuse as these College Basketball heavyweights have proven they will be a "tough out" at tourney time or maybe you're inclined to think a rock-solid team from one of the so-called power conferences will rise up in March and then win it all in April:

You might think Villanova or Tennessee or Maryland or maybe even Oklahoma State or West Virginia has the goods - or maybe you think this might be a "George Mason-type" year and so maybe Butler or Northern Iowa can make it all the way to the Final Four.

No matter the thought process - and keep in mind we will all be filling out our NCAA Tournament brackets a week from now - the fact of the matter is picking a winner in the NCAA Tournament is tougher than you think even though last year (in retrospect) the North Carolina Tar Heels made it look oh-so-easy with a series of blowout wins en route to capturing the crown with a rocking-chair win against Michigan State.

Two years ago Memphis appeared to have it "in the bag" but missed free throws and a dramatic shot by Kansas guard Sherron Collins foiled the Conference USA club and who can forget the fact that this marks the 25th anniversary of the Villanova Wildcats stunning the sports world with their incredible upset win against Georgetown? 

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the College Basketball and also the NBA Winners when you check in on Game Days anytime after 10 a.m. ET on the weekend and after 11 a.m. ET for weekday College Hoops Games and then anytime after 1 p.m. ET Monday-through-Friday for all the night games right here online or else get us at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - and do make sure to be with us all through this exciting and very profitable hoops ride right into June!

Remember that College Basketball's Conference Tournaments are in full swing now and we'll have Winners for you every day with a reminder that there's lots of matinee action these days during weekdays.

Now, let's really get heated up with College B-Ball up first on the agenda:

Here are Sunday's Top College Hoop tilts ...

FLORIDA (20-10, 9-6 SEC) at KENTUCKY (28-2, 13-2 SEC) - 12 p.m. ET, CBS
It's one of the great moments in College B-Ball:

Watching the Kentucky seniors run through the hoops with their pictures on it and it will have special meaning here 'cause the Wildcats - while ultra-young - are enjoying their best season in eons.

Okay, so freshman guard John Wall (17 ppg and 6.2 apg) and frosh center DeMarcus Cousins (15.9 ppg and 10.1 rbg) remain the major stalwarts of John Calipari's club but the "role players" here will have a major impact on this matinee tilt with fellow freshman guard Eric Bledsoe (10.3 ppg) quite capable of hitting big shots and he might be able to slip between the cracks here against a Florida team that rarely plays a full 40 minutes this year - don't ask why!

The visiting Gators remain an ultra-streaky team - they come into this tilt on a two-game losing skid after winning the prior three games - and here Billy Donovan's gang has revenge in mind following an 89-77 loss in Gainesville back on Jan. 12th when the aforementioned Bledsoe poured in 25 points for the 'Cats and Florida shot a ghastly 38 percent from the floor (that's 26-of-68).

If the Gators want to stay close here or even pull the road upset, then they must take away two of the three frosh mentioned here ... or else they'll be hearing more "bubble talk" in the days ahead.


CLEMSON (21-8, 9-6 ACC) at WAKE FOREST (18-9, 8-7 ACC) - 6 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Network
If you're of the mind that the Atlantic Coast Conference gets six teams into this year's NCAA Tournament, then both Clemson and Wake Forest probably are "safe" -- but that may be a leap of faith in a league that's seen everyone but frontrunners Duke and Maryland stumble and bumble through a large part of their 2009-2010 conference schedule.

So, neither of these teams should take a contented mental state into this affair in Winston Salem and consider the fact this is the one-and-only regular-season game being played by these teams against one another with Clemson sporting five wins in its last six games heading in while Wake Forest's in a major freefall these days with four successive setbacks while coming into this game.

The WF Demon Deacons were 51-47 losers at 7 ½-point favorite Florida State last Tuesday night in Tallahassee as Al-Farouq Aminu - the league's leading rebounder and his team's leading scorer - didn't score a single point in 28 minutes of play in one of the most baffling individual outings of the whole College Basketball Season.

If Aminu - who had just four boards and fouled out at Florida State - is a total non-factor here than Wale Forest indeed may have reason to fret when it comes to what was once an almost automatic NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

Who would have thought it?

On Sunday's NBA card, the marquee matchup is ...

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (46-17) at ORLANDO (43-20) - 2:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Are the road woes of the defending champion Lakers gonna continue here?

Believe it or not, when Phil Jackson's crew fell 98-83 at 3 ½-point underdog Charlotte on Friday night, it marked LA's 12th road loss of the 2009-10 season thus matching last year's total of road setbacks.

No wonder megastar Kobe Bryant (26 points versus the Bobcats) told assembled media members after that loss than he planned to "speak with his teammates" and somehow you got the sense that this wasn't going to be some grand dialogue:

Kobe was going to lay down the law but what to say to a champion team that now has lost its last three in a row on the road (at Dallas, at Miami and at Charlotte)?

The Lakers did snag a "W" the first and only time these clubs met in regular-season play this year after going six games in last year's NBA Finals:

Los Angeles was a 98-92 winner as 6-point home favorites on Martin Luther King Day as guard Shannon Brown dumped in 22 points and Pau Gasol chipped in 17 points and 10 rebounds while Orlando's bench was a culprit here with only 15 points on 6-of-21 FG shooting.

If the Lakers can't do a better job containing Dwight Howard here (see 24 points and 12 rebounds in that first game against the Lakers) then LA could be headed for yet another road loss ... and maybe even another post-game dressing-down from Mr. Bryant.


We've won three straight NBA games this week, quietly picking up the cash as the world focuses on college hoops. It's a source of great pride to our basketball experts, who study game tapes looking for personnel mismatches that aren't necessarily factored into a Vegas line that focuses on overall performance profile. They've gone to work on the marquee Orlando-Los Angeles showdown on Sunday afternoon, a rematch of last year's Finals and spotted key edges in the way the defenses are rotating and the methodologies being used in boxing out. It's those little things that make all the difference and MAKE ALL THE MONEY! Get our play on the Lakers-Magic, plus two bonus games on Sunday!

or call the office at 1-800-323-4453








NY Yankees

+ 300

Pitching-rich and deep everywhere - the real question is how do they not win it all again?


+ 300

Halladay-for-Lee is a virtual "wash" and Phillies still will find plenty of ways to win close to 100 games


+ 500

Nobody's asking us but Bosox better get another power bat just in case Big Papi falters

St. Louis

+ 800

Count us among the folks surprised to see the Rebdirds at such a short price - but note 1B Pujols wins MVP again


+ 1000

Will Bobby Cox's Farewell Tour include some shiny goodbye jewelry in the end?

LA Angels

+ 1200

New-look Angels (no RHP Lackey and no DH Guerrero) will run more than ever

Tampa Bay

+ 1200

The Rays have super talent and if bullpen clicks they'll be challenging the Yanks right down to the wire

Chicago Cubs

+ 1500

The Cubbies will challenge archrival Cards if they get some major pop from oft-AWOL outfielders

LA Dodgers

+ 1500

Joe Torre's final go-around could have splashy finish if RHP Billingsley has born-again season


+ 1600

The Twinkies go outdoors for their home games - will that hurt 'em after all that Metrodome magic?


+ 1600

The M's are "all in" with LHP Lee the key but can the rest of the starters chew up innings?


+ 1800

The Diamondbacks need 30-plus starts from RHP Webb and 35-plus homers from 3B Reynolds ... or else!

Chicago White Sox

+ 1800

The Pale Hose are a whole lot different than '05 World Series champs but Ozzie's still in charge


+ 1800

If the second half of last year in any indication, than Rockies will be making some noise under boss-man Tracy

San Francisco

+ 1800

Can RHP Tim Lincecum make it three Cy Youngs in a row?


+ 1800

Something tells us the Tigers are ready to roar with born-again 1B/DH Miguel Cabrera and new LF Johnny Damon


+ 1800

Now that the Rangers' pitchers are not "getting babied" we'll see if they can hold up thru the long, hot summer


+ 2400

The Marlins' payroll has gone up a tad but team needs some pen help if they're gonna challenge Philly

New York Mets

+ 2400

The Mets were M*A*S*H-like last year and so far they're off to rough start again with CF Beltran hurtin'


+ 3500

It's an annual event that the Astros get hot late but will an August/September run this year mean anything?


+ 3500

The Jim Sez crystal ball says 1B Prince Fileder hits 40-plus dingers and runs second to Pujols in the MVP chase


+ 4000

Can you believe it's already 25 years since they called these guys "The Big Red Machine"?


+ 4500

The Indians need to send their long-suffering fans a note that says "we're sorry" - what a disaster!


+ 4500

Let's face it: The A's stopped being relevant in the AL West about five or six years ago, right?


+ 6500

The big question is will the O's ever win a series against the Yanks, Red Sox and/or Rays?

Kansas City

+ 6500

The Royals appeared to be turning the corner two years ago but now it's back to square one


+ 7000

Go ahead and wave the white flag if you've got one 'cause Pirates headed for umpteenth losing year in a row

San Diego

+ 7000

Let's just say the Padres may be the most nameless/faceless team in the bigs this year


+ 7000

Oh, Canada! The only North-of-the-Border baseball team might just lose 100 games this year


+ 7000

The Nationals did add RHPs Marquis and Wang but starting eight is just awful ... again

NOTE: More College Basketball goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez.


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