Wayne Root: West Coast Theme Continues into Final Four
I'm glad I've been emphasizing West Coast basketball to you here at the website in recent weeks. Two powers from the Pacific Northwest have made it all the way to the Final Four. But, on the other hand, two other powers failed to play to expectations in fairly dramatic fashion.
First, the good news for West Coast basketball...
*Gonzaga fulfilled its hype as the #1 seed in the West region. Sure, they were lucky to survive against West Virginia, and didn't really look like national championship material against either West Virginia or Northwestern. They did play great when demolishing Xavier this past weekend in the Elite 8. And, they have "played to their seed" by getting this far...something Villanova and Kansas both failed to do.
*Oregon overcame an injury to a starter to win the Midwest. They also looked kind of shaky early on in this event. But, what a great performance against Kansas! You saw Oregon and head coach Dana Altman at their best Saturday evening. I knew that line was way too high, and was very pleased when my PINNACLE release on the Ducks won outright. (Note: I also won with Oregon over Michigan in the Sweet 16.)
The bad news...
*Arizona couldn't even get out of the Sweet 16 even though a path had been laid for them to win the whole tournament. Their home state was hosting the Final Four! But Arizona fell apart down the stretch to Xavier, who was then non-competitive against Gonzaga.
*UCLA closed a small favorite against Kentucky in the Sweet 16, but didn't look like they belonged on the same floor over the final 10 minutes. Kentucky was my other PINNACLE release over the past few days. That was such a defensive mismatch...and defense wins big games in this tournament!
Funny how contrarian thinking can influence sports betting and sports media coverage. Arizona was supposed to be the "it" team after winning the Pac 12 tournament. Pundits thought UCLA had a real chance to make headlines in their brackets. Gonzaga was supposedly overrated...Oregon supposedly had no chance after the injury to Boucher. Look who's playing in Arizona next week!
I won't post my official Final Four selections here in a web article. That's not fair to my paying clients. I can update you on the recent record. I was 17-4 the prior 21 NCAA Tournament plays heading into the Sweet 16. I had four clear winners (Oregon over Michigan, South Carolina over Baylor, Kentucky over UCLA, and Oregon over Kansas), three losers (Purdue vs. Kansas, Xavier vs. Gonzaga, and Florida vs. South Carolina), and then three games that landed so close to the number that shopping would have influenced betting performance (West Virginia vs. Gonzaga, Florida vs. Wisconsin, and North Carolina vs. Kentucky). You could call that 21-7 with three pushes (75%!). Clients shopping and timing the market might have done even better.
Bottom line...WAYNE ALLYN ROOT proved once again why he's the only man in the sports betting industry to have a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame! And, he proved why he's THE KING OF UPSETS with Oregon over Kansas, Kentucky over UCLA, and South Carolina over Baylor...on the heels of a PINNACLE play on Wisconsin over Villanova.
Will I be making upset calls this week? Will I be projecting an all-West Coast final? What about an all-Carolinas final? You have to sign up to find out!
Here are the keys I'll be considering for each team:
*Can South Carolina maintain its focus once they've had a week to think about all they've accomplished? It's going to be very different for this group of players performing in a football dome. This group plays intense defense, but has no margin for error. If they relax, they might get run off the floor by Gonzaga.
*Will Gonzaga relax after finally breaking that "can't get to the Final Four" threshold? They caught some breaks in the Dance schedule, particularly when Arizona fell by the wayside. They proved turnover prone against West Virginia, which might be a bad omen against the aggressive defense of South Carolina.
*Is it possible for a team like Oregon to beat Kansas and North Carolina in succession? It's one thing to rise up and have a peak performance when nobody's giving you a chance in hostile territory. It's another to follow that up with another peak performance. And, playing shorthanded is particularly problematic against a fast-paced team like North Carolina that has depth.
*Why does North Carolina get so shaky when the other team doesn't blink? The Tar Heels almost gave away the Kentucky game...had to rally to beat Arkansas...and couldn't even get past overrated Duke in the ACC tournament. Shouldn't a "team on a mission" after last year's buzzer loss to Villanova be more composed than that in the second half of big games?
We very well could have a surprise winner this weekend. Heck, we could have TWO surprise winners Saturday that would set up a shocking Monday finale.
Oh...don't forget that there's more than the NCAA Tournament making news this week! We'll build our bankroll with late round action in those satellite tournaments as well as the NBA. You can always purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my services best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. (Don't forget to ask about Major League Baseball that starts Sunday!)
I've owned this industry for decades. My recent records shows that NOW, MORE THAN EVER, you need to hook up with the most successful name in sports handicapping. It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!