Kansas 2-1 Favorite To Win It All As Sweet Sixteen Includes 9 Teams That Have Won 16 Of Last 25 Titles

Kansas 2-1 Favorite To Win It All As Sweet Sixteen Includes 9 Teams That Have Won 16 Of Last 25 Titles

NBA Producing Easy Winners And Friday Night I Go For My 3rd Straight 50-Unit Blowout

By Kelso Sturgeon

The NCAA Tournament has been a battle from the get-go but I finally whipped it and am heading to the Sweet Sixteen round having giant back-to-back blowout winners - my winning 200-unit NCAA Tournament Game of the Year play on Richmond (-4 ½) in its 17-point, 65-48 victory over Morehead State and my winning 100-unit NCAA Tournament Upset Game of the Year with underdog Virginia Commonwealth (+9 ½) in its stunning 18-point, 94-76 score over Purdue.

That was just the beginning. I am coming right back firing this week and it all begins Thursday and runs right on through next week. Here is my big game schedule for the next several days-all subject to change depending on the situation.

Thursday-My 100-Unit Sweet Sixteen Game of the Year wins.
Friday-My 100-Unit Sweet Sixteen Upset Game of the Year Wins.
Friday-I go for my third straight winning 50-unit NBA Game of the Week.
Saturday-It is another 100-unit or 200-unit Elite Eight Shocker.
Sunday-It will be another 50-unit or 100-unit NCAA statement game.
Tuesday-It will be a 100-unit NIT knockout play-graded up from 50 units.

The beat goes on my friend, and I don't intend to stop winning in the college post-season until the Fat Lady sings when the final second clicks off the clock in the NCAA championship game Monday night, April 4. The 15 biggest basketball games of the year and I will release a play on every single game. Click here and get them all, plus NIT and CBI action for just $199.

Please keep in mind it is full speed ahead in the NIT this week, with the Final Four scheduled for next Tuesday and the NIT championship game set for next Thursday night. These games will all be televised nationally and will be played on a neutral floor at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In looking back to the first week of NCAA Tournament play, I am pleased to have won my 200-unit and 100-unit games but I'm still a little hacked in losing both my 50-unit games by a total of four points. I released Notre Dame (-14) over Akron and won by 13 points, 69-56, and then there was a 50-unit play on Old Dominion (-2) over Butler in a game I lost by 2 points, 60-58, on a last-second tip in.

Handicapping The Sweet Sixteen

It goes without saying that any of the 16 remaining NCAA Tournament games can advance to the Final Four, but for some it will be a far more difficult task than it will be for others. For instance, one wonders if Butler can keep getting lucky. The Bulldogs have been underdogs in both their games and won them in the last seconds by as combined total of 3 points.

VCU, an 11th seed has won all three of its NCAA games as an underdog, and has done it in crushing fashion, beating Southern California 59-46 in a play-in game before burying Georgetown, 74-56, and Purdue, 94-76. Marquette as also won both its games as an underdog.

In getting ready to handicap the Sweet Sixteen, here are the five basic things that will be the foundation of my analysis.

  1. I will always check and make certain each team has the same starting line-up and key reserves that got it this far.
  2. I want to know which team has the experience and depth to deal with the pressure of playing at this high level. I don't want to use any team I think is going to have a panic attack.
  3. I will always consider how difficult it was for each team to win its last game. The harder a team has to play to stay in the tournament, the less gas it will have in the tank for its next game. A reasonably fresh team will beat a tired on 90% of the time.
  4. I will remain aware that big-game experience counts and give an edge to any team that has successfully competed in the NCAA Tournament.
  5. I will remain ever aware that coaches win close games and will give the better coach in each game a bit of an edge.

Been There, Done That

It comes as no surprise to me that nine of the remaining Sweet Sixteen teams have won the 16 of the last 25 NCAA Tournaments. The winners keep winning and the losers keep losing. Here are the teams that have won championships in the past 25 years, with the number they have won listed in parenthesis.

Duke, the defending national champion (4)
North Carolina (3)
Kansas, Florida, Connecticut and Kentucky (2 each)
Arizona (1)
It also may be of interest the two teams that met for the national championship last season-Duke and Butler-are in the Sweet Sixteen.

Facts And Figures

The game that had the most impact on those in bracket contests was Morehead State's 62-61 upset of Louisville in the opening round. No one has the ability to keep records of the millions of people who play in these office pools, but you can take it to the bank, few had Morehead State winning this one.

In the first there founds of play, pointspread underdogs prevailed at the betting windows by a modest 22-27-1 margin, with two games a pick'em affair.

Twelve of the 52 games played this far were decided by three or less points.

VCU has a lot of people eating crow, especially those ESPN types who all but gave out primal screams when the Rams were selected over Colorado and Virginia Tech for a play-in game. That was three giant VCU wins ago.

The biggest bust had to be 6th-seeded Georgetown which had closed out the season with four straight losses-the last two blowouts. The Hoyas took the floor as 5 ½-point favorites over VCU in their first game and were immediately sent home with another blowout loss, 74-56. It must be nice to have friends in high places.

Power Conferences?

The Big East Conference sent 11 teams to the NCAA tournament but has only two left standing-Connecticut and Marquette. Even number one Pittsburgh went down. There are endless arguments about which conference is the most talented and powerful. We do not have the answer to that argument, but here is from where the remaining 16 teams come.

  • Atlantic Coast (3)-Duke, North Carolina, Florida State
  • Atlantic 10 (1)-Richmond
  • Big 12 (1)-Kansas
  • Big 10 (2)-Wisconsin, Ohio State
  • Big East (2)-Connecticut, Marquette
  • Colonial (1)-Virginia Commonwealth
  • Horizon League (1)--Butler
  • Mountain West (2)-San Diego State, BYU
  • PAC-10 (1)--Arizona
  • Southeastern (2)-Florida, Kentucky

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