March Madness

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-End of the Madness with a MAD buzzer beater

The Villanova junior answered a double-clutch, game-tying 3-pointer by North Carolina’s Marcus Paige with a buzzer-beating 3 of his own Monday night to lift the Wildcats to a 77-74 victory and the national championship. One good shot deserved another. And Jenkins wasn’t about to be outdone. ”I think every shot’s going in,” he said, ”and this one was no different.” The shot came on a play Villanova works on every day in practice: Jenkins inbounds the ball to Ryan Arcidiacono, he works it up court and forward Daniel Ochefu sets a pick near halfcourt to clutter things up, then Arcidiacono creates. This time, the senior point guard made an underhanded flip to Jenkins, who spotted up a pace or two behind the arc and swished it with Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks running at him. Or, as Jenkins put it: ”One, two step, shoot `em up, sleep in the streets.” Jenkins had Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Villanova vs North Carolina for the end of the Madness

Villanova and North Carolina cruised to easy victories Saturday in perhaps the most boring set of national-semifinal games in the NCAA Tournament’s storied history. Not boring because of ‘Nova or UNC, however, just uneventful in the way they coasted to blowout wins over Oklahoma and Syracuse, respectively. Jay Wright’s team went five years without playing beyond the first weekend of the Tournament, but it will play for the national title Monday night for the first time since Rollie Massimino’s team led by Ed Pinckney shocked Patrick Ewing and Georgetown in the 1985 finals at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. Roy Williams is seeking to join an elite group of head coaches who have three or more national titles to their credit. That group includes John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, Bobby Knight, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Calhoun. This is Williams’s fifth trip to the Monday night game in his career. He took Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Final Four-North Carolina vs Syracuse game preview

North Carolina is the last No. 1 seed left standing in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Syracuse in the first No. 10 seed to ever advance to the Final Four, getting to Houston after losing five of its last six games that had it extremely anxious on Selection Sunday. When the ‘Cuse’s name appeared on the board, CBS Sports’s Doug Gottlieb immediately exclaimed, “What?!” Nevertheless, Jim Boeheim has his program in its fifth Final Four of his 40-year tenure, seeking a second national title. The Orange beat Roy Williams’s Kansas team to cut down the nets in the 2003 NCAA Finals. Williams is in his eighth Final Four and is hoping to bag a third national title, which would elevate him into elite company. The only coaches with three or more national titles are John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, Mike Krzyzewski, Bobby Knight and Jim Calhoun. The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Final Four-Oklahoma vs Villanova game preview

For the first time since 2009, Villanova (33-5 straight up, 19-17 against the spread) advanced past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament two weeks ago. With that monkey off its back, Jay Wright’s squad proceeded to beat Miami and Kansas to land in Houston for the 2016 Final Four. Oklahoma, another No. 2 seed like ‘Nova, came out of the West Region by beating top-seeded Oregon this past Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim. In doing so, Lon Kruger is back in the national semifinals for the first time since taking Florida to the 1994 Final Four in Charlotte. The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened Villanova as a two-point favorite with a total of 149 points. By Sunday afternoon, the tally had been adjusted all the way down to 146.5. The number for the side hasn’t budged whatsoever, but the ‘under’ was down to 145 by Wednesday. Villanova Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Final Four betting trends and preview

It is a great week for sports fans with the start of baseball, the NBA stretch run, the Final Four and the culmination of the college basketball season next Monday at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas for the national championship. It’s clear that it’s not the teams the start the season hot, but the ones that get hot when it really matters — March and April! Many things happen over the course of a long season. Some teams play great basketball in December and January, only to break down from injuries or run out of steam down the stretch. Iowa started 20-5 until the offense and defense started to struggle in late game situations, dropping six of eight down the stretch (1-7 against the spread run). A year ago North Carolina started 17-4 but as February started the Tar Heels showed vulnerability, losing 6 of 10. It works the other Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-NIT semi finals time

**Brigham Young vs. Valparaiso** – The Westgate SuperBook opened this NIT semifinals showdown at Madison Square Garden as a pick ‘em with a total of 146. As of early this morning, however, the Crusaders were listed as two-point favorites with a total of 146.5 points. The Cougars were +115 on the money line (risk $100 to win $115), leaving Valpo at -135. – Valparaiso (29-6 straight up, 17-14-1 against the spread) advanced to New York City by capturing a trio of home wins over Texas Southern (84-73), FSU (81-69) and Saint Mary’s (60-44). The Crusaders took the cash in the wins over the Seminoles and Gaels as 4.5 and 3.5-point home ‘chalk.’ In the win over Saint Mary’s, Valpo limited the Gaels to only 13 second-half points. Valpo won the battle on the boards by a 36-27 margin. Alec Peters scored 20 points, pulled down eight rebounds and dished out Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Sunday Elite 8 previews

Midwest Region Final – Chicago – United Center#10 Syracuse vs. #1 Virginia (-8, 123 ½) – 6:09 PM EST – TBS The ACC will dominate all the headlines in Sunday’s Elite Eight action with two teams from this conference guaranteed to make the Final Four. Virginia (29-7 SU, 19-14-1 ATS) is seeking its first Final Four appearance since 1984, while playing in its first Elite Eight contest since losing to eventual champion Arkansas in 1995. The top-seeded Cavaliers avoided a third straight matchup in the tournament with Michigan State when the Spartans were upset in the opening round by Middle Tennessee State. The Spartans eliminated the Cavaliers in the last two tournaments in low-scoring battles, but Tony Bennett’s team has scored plenty of points in its first three victories in this season’s Big Dance. Virginia crushed in-state rival Hampton in the first round, 81-45 to cash as 23-point favorites, followed Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Elite 8 games preview

West Region – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center #1 Oregon (PK, 151) vs. #2 Oklahoma – 6:09 PM ET, CBS The Ducks and Sooners have held up as the top seeds in the West, dominating games due to their ball movement and shot-making skills. Both are averaging over 80 points per game in this NCAA Tournament and have won comfortably, albeit a combined 3-3 against the spread. That may be one reason oddsmakers have placed pick’em status on this one, leaving it up to the betting public to decide whether they’re backing the least-respected No. 1 seed or a Buddy Hield-led squad that has been in the spotlight for the last few months. There’s no question both are playing well, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise to see Oklahoma bet into a favorite position between now and tip-off. On the floor, these are teams with similar strengths, but Oregon Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Sweet 16 time

MIAMI HURRICANES (27-7) vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS (31-5) KFC Yum! Center – Louisville, KYTip-off: Thursday, 7:10 p.m. ETVillanova -4, Total: 141 #2 Villanova and #3 Miami will be battling for a spot in the Elite Eight when the teams meet in Louisville on Thursday. The Hurricanes are coming off of a very impressive victory on Saturday, defeating #11 Wichita State 65-57 as 1.5-point underdogs. Miami shot 55.3% from the field in that game and held the Shockers to just 33.9% shooting. It was the confidence-boosting win that the Hurricanes needed after barely escaping with a 79-72 victory over #14 Buffalo in the first round of the tournament. Villanova, meanwhile, has been absolutely dominant through the first two rounds of the tournament. The Wildcats defeated #15 UNC-Asheville 86-56 as 17.5-point favorites in the opening round of the tournament and followed it up with an 87-68 victory as six-point favorites against #7 Iowa Read More

2016-NCAAB-March Madness-Tuesday NIT games previews

**Saint Mary’s at Valparaiso**– The Westgate SuperBook opened Valpo (28-6 straight up, 16-14 against the spread) as a five-point favorite with a total 129.5 points. As of late Monday night, however, the Crusaders were favored by 4.5 points with the total up to 131. The Gaels are +175 on the money line (risk $100 to win $175).– Valpo is led by Alec Peters, who averages 18.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Peters is shooting at a 50.7 percent clip from the field, making 45.0 percent of his launches from downtown and 85.4 percent of his free throws. Keith Carter (10.2 PPG) has an excellent 148/50 assists-to-turnovers ratio.– Valpo is ninth in the nation in scoring defense (62.7 PPG) and it ranks third in the country in field-goal percentage defense (38.4%).– Valpo has won 16 of its 17 home games while going 8-6 ATS.– Bryce Drew’s club has won back-to-back Read More