I wrote a post a while back singling out the teams I projected to have the best odds to win the NCAA Tournament next year, with Kentucky sitting atop that list after winning it this year.
2012 Men’s NCAA Championship Betting Linesfavor Indiana to win the trophy at 7/1, followed by Louisville at 8/1 reigning champions Kentucky at 10/1.
Indiana has five titles to it’s name, but hasn’t won the tournament since 1987. Continue reading
Michigan State’s recent defeat to upset-machine Indiana notwithstanding, the Spartans have shocked a lot of people with how productive and generally strong they’ve been in 2012. Despite losing a couple of key veteran pieces and being giving zero to no shot at being competitive this year, Michigan State has ridden likely Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green’s leadership and talent, and Tom Izzo consistent poise all the way to a share of the conference title.
You don’t get a National Championship for that, though. Continue reading
If there was any question who the top team in the land was, the pistol whipping Kansas put on the Oklahoma State Cowboys the other night doesn’t make it any clearer.
The Jayhawks stated a case to be considered a strong contender for a number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament by winning another Big 12 title outright against the Pokes. The story of Kansas really boils down to Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. There’s no question that they have boat loads of talent, but the lackluster games in between the brilliant ones raise concern. Big wins against Baylor twice and the overtime win against Missouri recently are just overshadowed by the losses to unranked Iowa State, unranked Davidson at home, and against both Duke and Kentucky. Duke and Kentucky are significant because they are the type of team that Kansas will have to be able to beat to have any shot at the trophy. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where they won’t have a stretch of 3 very tough games against very talented teams, so the inconsistency could haunt them. Continue reading
It’s easy to get skip all the bracketology this year and just pencil in either Duke, Ohio State, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Syracuse to win and call it a day. Lee Corso would tell you “not so fast my friend”. If you pull up the current AP Top 25, you will see all of the teams that I listed above one after another at the top, with the Missouri Tigers stuck right in the middle. They have been getting rough and rowdy all year in the Big 12 with huge wins over Kansas, Baylor twice, Texas twice, and non-conference ranked opponent Notre Dame. Last year, the Tigers showed flashes of great play sporadically between monkey stomps from major ranked teams. It’s easy to get bearish on them right now after losing to Kansas State for the second time this season, at home, no less. Despite their loss to the Wildcats, a number 1 seed can be in order as long as they can survive the Rock Chalk chants on February 25th at Kansas. And the negative perception of the Tigers right now just might make them a good value bet. Continue reading
Prime example of NCAA Basketball’s superiority over NCAA Football (at least in one respect): The pickle with Murray State.
For what college basketball lacks in star power and broad appeal against football, it gains in fairness.
Last week, voters were strong-armed into voting the Racers into the 7th spot in the polls, their highest ranking in school history. That was after a run of 23-straight victories to start the year, which made them the last unbeaten team in the country. But alas, that is all gone now after a stunning loss to conference rival Tennessee State, 72-68, at home, less a game that had Murray State favored by 12.5 points. Instead it was a loss that exposed them for what they really are as we head into conference championship play at the end of the month. Continue reading