Here we are. The Tourney. The games we’ve all been waiting for since November. The action doesn’t get much hotter. Dare I say, its”scorching”??? YESSSSSS!!! We love this time of year. Thirty-two conference tournaments followed immediately by the Big Dance. How great is that? As the time to dance has arrived let’s see how we did during all those conference tourneys.
Our big play was to ride the Under in all those conference tournament finals. We had a good two year run heading into this season and felt we’d stick right around the %58-%60 success rate we had existed in. Well, that didn’t happen. Our 0-2 start didn’t exactly seal our fate on this play but it definitely set a tone. We bounced back the next two finals and finished that first weekend of conference finals .500 with 28 to go and all the promise in the world, but alas, twas not the case. The mid-week Patriot League final going over put a not so good feeling in our guts that this year may not be our year. And like always, the gut was right. Going into championship weekend we were 5-7 in Finals Unders but still filled with some hope. A good start Saturday fell by the wayside to a string of Saturday losses. A strong 4-2 Sunday got us to .500, 16-16, on the Unders and although we finished even, compared to the past two years this year sure felt like a loss. Oh well, at least we didn’t actually lose, but much like ending a game in a tie our results felt more like kissing a cousin. And not a hot cousin who you’re vaguely related to, but a close cousin who has a fun chuckle and always rocks a Lane Bryant pant suit.
As for the rest of the action, much like our Finals Unders, the results were quite mixed. Grill had seen the 1st half Unders hit in the first four finals so we rode it hard the next handful of games but were bucked off early after going 1-3-2. Aside for a few random 1st half Under plays Championship weekend, we essentially bailed on that play, something I should have done with one of our other plays.
Fueled with excitement, filled with confidence and piloted by tons of caffeine I went in heavy on playing the OVER in opening round tourney games and like the Hindenburg I went down hard to the tune of 7-23. OUCH. Definitely won’t be making that play next year. As bad as things looked I did have one saving grace. The neutral court semis Unders saved the day to the tune of a 19-7 record bringing our overall tracked bets record for this year’s conference tournament run to 43-49-2. Take out the never before tried 1st round games and we did pretty well when we stuck with what’s worked in the past. As good or as bad as things went, there’s always next year!
So now the Tourney is upon us. You have all these teams playing teams they’ve never or rarely played before so anything can & will happen. The first four days of the Tourney are always so hard to call, but if you followed the conference tournaments closely you should have an edge that can also bleed into the NIT.
We all liked Belmont -3 over Temple in the Tuesday night First Four play and will continue to ride Belmont as a 3 point Dawg to Maryland on Friday. As for tonight’s First Four action. I’m rolling heavy with Chris Mullin and the Johnnies +2 vs ASU. The line opened at +1, a movement which has gotten Chardonnay & Grill to take the Sun Devils -2. Those two are also getting in on the North Dakota State/North Carolina Central game with Chardonnay rolling with NDSU -5 and Grill opting to ride the UNDER 132-and-a-hook!
As for the NIT we all went HOG WILD on Arkansas +7 at Providence and the Hogs delivered for us BIG TIME. I chose to ride the A-10 in opening round NIT play and both Davidson & Dayton disappointed. Lipscomb was too much for last year’s A10 champs to handle and Dayton just missed covering by half a point in their loss to Colorado. Tonight’s NIT action seems a bit harder to call but I’m thinking Harvard covers +6 vs Georgetown, Butler covers +5 vs Nebraska and the Furman/Wichita St game hits the 143 OVER.
Here are some more of my 1st round of the Tourney picks…
Liberty +7 vs Miss St
St Louis +10 vs V-Tech
Yale +8 vs LSU…LSU is in a tailspin from all the controversy over their coach and Yale has put forth a strong Ivy league season. This line has dropped to 7.5 and I think Yale MONEYLINE is worth a play as well
Oregon/Wisconsin OVER 117
St Mary’s/Villanova UNDER 130.5
Cincy -3.5 vs Iowa
Tennessee -17.5 vs Colgate in the only top seed huge spread game I’m touching
New Mexico St +7 vs SEC Champ Auburn
Houston -12.5 vs Georgia St
Wofford -3 vs Seton Hall
Enjoy the Tourney and good luck with all the SCORCHING HOT ACTION!!!