First Look at the NCAA Tournament -- With Lots of Winners on Tap!










‘Tis the season for everyone to believe he/she is a college basketball expert … egads!

If you watched hour-after-hour of the television coverage on Sunday night that followed the 90-minute NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday Show on CBS than you know the likes of Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, Dick Vitale and Jay Williams at ESPN can really drive you nuts … next year we say to give ‘em all a soapbox and let ‘em rant for a few minutes each and then pull the plug!

The fact of the matter is we really don’t need those blokes to blabber on and on – we know this is gonna be a great three weeks of “March Madness” and we also know that Jim Hurley’s Network is gonna bang out a bundle of winners beginning with the “First Four” games to be played Tuesday/Wednesday nights in Dayton:

That’s Mount. St. Mary’s vs. New Orleans and Kansas State vs. Wake Forest (Tuesday); N.C. Central vs. UC-Davis and USC vs. Providence (Wednesday).


So, now hear this …

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have been steamrolling their way through this month of March with loads of College Basketball winners and it will roll on with all the tournament action.

In the just-completed Conference Tournament (or Mini-Tourney) week, we cashed with UConn (+ 4.5) over Houston, Notre Dame (+ 2) over Florida State and Middle Tennessee State (- 9) against UTEP in Friday action plus we gobbled up another Middle Tennessee State winner (- 9) versus Marshall on Saturday!

Get with America’s #1 Handicapper for The Network March Madness Package that features all of the NCAA Tournament Games and also get the other post-season tournaments such as the NIT, CBI and CIT Tournies.

Get it either right here online at or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 – plus don’t forget we’re banging out lots of NBA Winners too!




Folks, it absolutely goes without saying that the NCAA Tournament Committee folks did plenty of good … and some not-so-good stuff:

For starters, our “unofficial” list of 68 teams had two differences with the committee folks – we would have placed Illinois State and California into the field and not included Marquette and Kansas State but we won’t quibble much here because we don’t expect any of the “bubble teams” that made it in to last more than two games;

We also like the that – for the most part – the committee folks were “fan-friendly” in terms of geography meaning many of the top 16 seeds are playing relatively close to their homes (see Gonzaga, Arizona and UCLA all staying out west for the opening week/weekend) and there’s nothing with the thought process of putting “fannies in the seats” because in yesteryear there were plenty of half-empty venues for opening-round games and that never really made much sense to us.

However, it’s too obvious we can’t escape the topic of “mis-seeding” as it’s plainly clear #10 Wichita State should be much higher … funny thing is one day last week Shockers’ head coach Gregg Marshall was on a radio interview where he joked (and we’re paraphrasing), “(I) think we’re a 4 or a 5 seed, some people (on the committee) might think we’re a six or a seven seed … so we’ll probably be in one of the #8 vs. #9 games.”

Not even, coach Marshall!

Still, when you checked out the Las Vegas betting lines you saw Wichita State was a 6.5-point favorite against #7 Dayton, so that pretty much botches up that whole portion of the bracket and the damning thing is the South’s #2 seed Kentucky might wind up “paying” for the Wichita State seed mistake. In other words, a role reversal from two years ago when Wichita State “paid for” the fact Kentucky was seeded too low at #8.

Plus – and we hate to agree with the masses – the likes of West #3 Florida State is way too high (should be a #5 seed at best) while the East’s #8 seed Wisconsin is way too low (should be a #5 or #6) which leads you to believe the committee in general didn’t have a handle on the Big 10 – even though the chairman was Mark Hollis who’s the athletic director at Michigan State! Go figure.

Finally, there is no denying that if things pan out just right, we’re gonna have a lot of doozy matchups in the Saturday/Sunday games – something we believe is uber-important for the tourney after the usual smattering of Thursday/Friday upsets – and three potential pairings that didn’t get a lot of hype on those above-mentioned shows Sunday night include Baylor vs. SMU (East), Iowa State vs. Purdue (Midwest) and Notre Dame vs. West Virginia (West). Here’s hoping we at least get a couple of these showdowns come Saturday/Sunday.



If you think along the same lines we do, than you know it’s generally a “kiss of death” for a batch of TV “experts” to agree on a bunch of opening-round winners/upsets and the “whole world” seems to be in love with East Tennessee State (+ 11) over Florida and Middle Tennessee State (+ 1) over Minnesota on Thursday and Rhode Island (+ 1) over Creighton and New Mexico State (+ 12) over Baylor on Friday … and we say, be very careful!

And be very careful following all those folks parading up to the window to wager on Duke (5-to-1) who may be a #2 seed in this tourney (and rightly not a #1 seed) but has become the people’s choice to cut down the nets in Glendale on the night of April 3rd.

Folks, whenever teams win exhausting conference tournaments – playing four games in as many days, for example – more often than not they’ve left too much blood, sweat and tears behind and don’t have it in ‘em to make a long NCAA Tournament run.

Watch especially closely the likes of Duke, Michigan, Rhode Island and Iowa State – all were emotionally charged up for their conference tournies that they each won and yet could be real wagering flubs in the coming days … you heard it here first!

Lastly, we believe it’s always sound strategy when you’re filling out your bracket (and considering good value at the aforementioned “window) to think of the solid teams that fizzled out quickly in the mini-tournies.

Maybe they have more “life” than other high-quality clubs and right off the bat we’re thinking of Virginia, Maryland and Louisville. These three teams will be pressing the “re-set button” and could be money-makers this first weekend and beyond.



NOTE: Lots of NCAA Tournament Previews and more in the next edition of Jim Sez.





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