Finding Cinderella Shockers in the NCAA Tournament
Wayne Root: Finding Cinderella Shockers in the NCAA Tournament
There's no more exciting time to be THE KING OF UPSETS than in early round action of the NCAA Tournament. These are the ultimate Cinderella stories because college athletics lends itself for to storybook finishes more than the pro's...and because the whole country gets excited.
I'm not going to specifically tell you my best underdog or upset calls here in my web article. That's not fair to paying clients. But, I can tell you that I've already mapped out the first weekend of action...and I believe some very entertaining stories are going to be developing.
Some quick thoughts...
- The elites this year are a bit further ahead of the field than they are normally...so I would be very surprised if somebody like Kentucky or Arizona even had to sweat a game early. Last year's field was condensed, which helped spring a #7 seed and a #8 seed into the final game. This year...it's condensed once you get past the top seeds...but there are fewer teams who can really scare the national powers.
- In terms of HUGE shockers, teams who already established vulnerability in their conference tournaments are most likely to fail to play to their seeds. Among the #1 and #2 seeds who couldn't win their league titles last weekend: Duke, Virginia, and Kansas. Note also that #2 seed Gonzaga is in an easy conference, and has generally failed to play to its seed in recent seasons.
- The next rung of teams, the #3 seeds could definitely find themselves at least sweating games with talented #14 seeds. It's hard to know for sure what Northeastern, Albany, UAB, and Georgia State bring to the table if you haven't been following those conferences. But, three of the four #3's are from the Big 12 (Oklahoma, Baylor, and Iowa State). If that conference is overrated, the whole line could take a hit! Notre Dame "stole" a #3 seed by getting hot in the ACC tournament. The betting markets are suggesting the Irish have been overseeded.
- History generally points everyone to the #4-5 teams as potential upset victims to #12-13 teams. You probably know that at least one #12 almost always beats a #5. Do you remember that three of the #12's won outright last year, and the fourth game went to overtime?! This is definitely a rich area for finding Cinderella's this year in my view. I'm not going to get very specific because I have to protect my card. Just remember that this range is usually much more evenly matched than the public realizes because of the condensed fields.
- As we get to the 7-10 and 8-9 games, I'm not so much thinking about the Round of 32...but how the Thursday and Friday winners might perform in the next round against national powers. If the seedings hold, can Wichita State beat Kansas? Can Michigan State beat Virginia? Can Iowa beat Gonzaga? How about NC State knocking off #1 Villanova or San Diego State knocking off #1 Duke? You need to make some preliminary assessments of those possibilities...and then do additional scouting Thursday and Friday.
In terms of general team characteristics, WAYNE ALLYN ROOT won't announce an upset call unless I have BOTH of the following:
- A talented underdog with a clear matchup advantage in personnel
- An overrated favorite with a clear, exploitable weakness
Hey, I may take a talented dog with the points for a value bet even if step two isn't in play. But, to call for an UPSET, I must have both of those going for me. If you want to handicap the way I do, start thinking seriously right now about what it takes to beat the favorites (different teams have different kryptonite). Then, evaluate whether or not their opposing dog is suited to exploit that weakness. This is important even if you're just filling out office pools. It's really important if you're trying to make money.
You know...MARCH MADNESS has always been something special here in Las Vegas. It's even better now that some conference tournaments are being held in town. You may have heard that more money was bet locally in the Pac 12 tournament (played at the MGM Grand) than in the ACC that had all of its games nationally televised. Vegas is now even more basketball crazy than in the past!
When the city is abuzz for sports betting, that's when I step to the forefront to take command of opportunities. I'm the only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas. I'm always a few steps ahead of the oddsmakers...so if an oddsmaker ever gets a star, his will naturally be a few steps behind mine!
You can win with me all through the postseason, including the NIT and other tournaments that will be under way shortly. Purchase my daily BASKETBALL BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my long term programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to my representative in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Get your ducks in a row quickly because the "First Four" and the NIT start Tuesday night!
I'll be back with you later this week to talk more about the coming Dance. Sportsbooks are going to be packed day and night Thursday and Friday. I'm going to be right there in the heart of the action. It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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