March Madness Tournament Bracket Info

Does tournament playing site favor any team. For instance the Metro Atlantic tournament will be played at the Times-Union Center in Albay – the home floor of the Albany Great Danes – and the Mountain West Conference will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas – the home court of UNLV. Also keep in mind some tournaments play the first round on the home floor of teams with the bettor record and then shift to a neutral site.
How a team has performed on the road, or on neutral floors, during the regular season offers important insight into how it will perform at tournament time. For the record Auburn is 10-3 away from home, Duke is 10-4 while Kentucky is 5-7 and Vanderbilt 0-12.

Strength of schedule is a vital part of the winning equation. Here are the teams that have played the strongest schedules of all the 351 teams. In order, here are the teams that have played the toughest schedules in the country. Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Xavier, Texas A&M, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Temple. At the other end of the spectrum, in 51st place., is Alabama A&M.

Current form is extremely important. Two perfect examples of this are Oklahoma (16-11) and Utah (17-9). The Sooners opened the season 14-2 and earned a national ranking but in their last 10 games are 2-8 straight up (SU) and 1-9 against the spread (ATS). As for Utah, the Runnin’ Utes opened their season respectably but all at once seemed to wake up and stand 4-0 in their last four games and two contests back took Arizona to the money in Tucson before losing 74-73 to a Wildcat team that had to hit 64.4% of its field goals to win.

Check and then double-check the injury list to make certain there are no key players out with injuries. For instance, what is the status of Duke superstar forward Marvin Bagley (21.17 points, 11.42 rebounds per game) who has missed the team’s last three games with a knee injury? Will Notre Dame finally get back superstar forward Bonzie Colson (21.4 points, 10.4 rebounds per game) who has missed the last 14 games with a foot injury?

Coaches earn their keep at tournament time and it simply a matter of fact those that have won at tournament time year after year are strong candidates to keep right on doing so.
The spacing of games is extremely important. The winner of the Big East Tournament has to win four games in five days to get the automatic invite to the NCAA Tournament. Tiring, to say the least and teams with depth always have a slight edge. The team with the most overall quality depth is Wichita State which runs 11 players deep.

An underdog that pulls off a major upset is a strong candidate to lose its next game.
There are many elements to winning at tournament time but these eight basics should arm you for success this year.

Written by Mike Anthony for VegasTopDogs.

Michigan Wolverines making a serious run at the National title


After the amazingly first-class season last year, how much was genuinely expected from the Wolverines this year? Coming into the season, they had come off of a heartbreaking loss in the National title game vs Louisville last season, 82-76. Where Luke Hancock was preposterous in his scoring and shooting expertise. But in the end the Wolverines couldn’t handle the Cards and their explosive team.

The Wolverines came in, with pretty concrete expectations throughout all of it. Which is always challenging to deal with as a team. It’s a long season, and a season is far from decided in a 6-7 game span. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Last years success came mostly from the offensive side of the ball, putting in more FGs than any other team in the country last year. And of course, with Trey Burke playing impressively all season long.

Playing in the Big 10, the most challenging conference in the NCAA, with 5 teams ranked in the polls. Michigan coach John Beilein has to get the most out of this team each and every night they take the court. A hot streak put together, they can hands-down surprise folks again, and put them back in the snug drivers seat.

Led by sophomore guard, Nik Stauskas, who has been nothing short of fantastic this year, is knocking down everything he puts up, shooting 44% from behind the arc, scoring 17 a night and getting his teammates the ball, and keeping them involved as well with 4 dimes a night. Last year, he was known for the most part as the spot up shooter, coming off curls and popping up deep jumpers, this year he has greatly improved his ball handling skills and is creating a bit more for himself and his teammates off the dribble. Nik has to get to the next level and become the Wolverines leader on the court, be the man to take a team on his back and lead when the game gets tight.

Become the identity of the team. Much like Trey Burke did last year.

Despite losing 2 players to the first round of the NBA draft, with Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.,The Wolverines still are a powerful offensive team. Based off of harmonious scoring, even with Stauskas being their leading scorer, its very essential for them to keep the likes of Glenn Robinson and even Caris LeVert involved as well. They need to go on doing the important things like out-rebounding opponents. Which the Wolverines have been good at on the year, keeping opponents off the offensive glass, allowing only 9 a game.

The Wolverines need to become more aggressive to make a serious push in the tournament. They have to take the ball to the paint and get teams in foul trouble. And when teams know most of your shots are coming from outside, they will change up and defend accordingly. They have to break it down and not count upon the outside shots so much.

They have dropped in the polls, and seem to be in free fall from the radar for many. But I think that many folks are overreacting to the losses a bit as well. Hot shooting, and shirking defense is what has hurt the Wolverines of late. Most teams in the NCAA go through stretch where they struggle.

Most, not all, *cough* Syracuse.

The Wolverines may have a “less than amazing” team, but they still have a very good team. They have some issues, as does pretty much every other team, as well. I believe they can work through those, and can make a strong late season push to credibly go deep in the tournament.






























































































Football Motivating Factors

Motivation is such an enormous part of athletic competition, particularly in
college sports where young players aren’t always as self-motivated as pros, who
are playing for a paycheck. This is where coaches play such a huge roll, in
harnessing situational spots for opportunities to get their football team
supremely focused.

When Ohio State had its first Big 10 showdown last
month against Wisconsin, Buckeye coach Urban Meyer made it a point at a press
conference of referring to the Badgers as “King of the Big Ten.” That was a
reference to last season when Ohio State was banned from postseason play at
12-0, so Wisconsin represented the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl again.

year Wisconsin gave the Buckeyes all they could handle in Madison before falling
21-14 in overtime, and Ohio State won again last month, 31-24 (leading 31-7
after three). Even though Wisconsin has represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl
for the past three seasons as the conference champion, the Badgers are 0-2
against Buckeye QB Braxton Miller. Meyer saw an opportunity to provide some
extra motivation to his team against the Badgers.

Iowa State has been
involved with two huge motivational situations against Texas the last two years.
Two weeks ago the Cyclones, an 8-point dog, should have beaten the Longhorns,
but made several key errors and had an official’s call go against them late.
Coach Paul Rhoads blasted Big 12 officiating after a Texas fumble at the goal
line ended up being ruled down by contact.

“I’ve got the
privilege as the head coach of this football program to face my players, win or
lose, and look them in the eye and tell them how proud I am of the work they put
forth, the effort they gave,” Rhoads said. “And to make a play on the 1-yard
line, with their backs against the wall — clear to everybody — and have it
taken away from them … that’s hard to express. You don’t just put an arm around
a guy and tell him it’s OK when that happens to him. I’m so proud of the effort
my kids gave to win this football game tonight.”

It was as an emotional
speech as you could find in the best Hollywood sports movie. It also sent a
message to his players that he was behind them – an ‘us against the world’
moment that could pay dividends down the road when he asks them to give it their
all against another opponent, perhaps in a rivalry or revenge game.

State and Texas were involved in another emotional game in 2012. The Cyclones
visited the Longhorns the week Texas legend Darrell Royal past away. Coach Mack
Brown told the team in the middle of the week they would open the game in the
Wishbone as a tribute. The crowd went wild, especially when the play went for a
47-yard TD! It was an emotional Cyclone that Iowa State had no chance against
and Texas went on to win, 33-7, as 10-point chalk.

Sports handicappers
long to find information or situational spots where a team is more motivated
than usual, such as rivalry and revenge games. The rematch between Iowa State
and Texas certainly looked like a revenge spot, as Iowa State should have won
the game as a +8 home dog.

Notre Dame stuck it to Oklahoma a year ago,
winning at the Sooners in impressive fashion, 30-13, in a national TV showdown.
It was the seventh straight loss to the Irish, a fact that didn’t elude Bob
Stoops when they played in the rematch last month. Oklahoma won in South Bend,
35-21, and Stoops was well aware of the long history: “Now that it’s happened
this way, I’m pleased and I sure am glad for those older Oklahomans that have
been through all those games Notre Dame had beaten us. We get some level of
satisfaction winning this one.”

College football features countless
examples each season, homecoming games, revenge spots, conference showdowns,
angry coaches, teams that are holding grudges, all of which can show up on the
gridiron in a super-human team effort for a big win. Matchups, home field and
betting trends are all important to examine, but motivation can also be a huge
edge on game day, one that successful sports bettors are eager to find and
exploit at the betting window.

Written by Jim Feist for

March Madness is officially here and it’s time to get your brackets ready!!

This is the most exciting time of the college basketball season and the most anticipated and watched event in sports next to the Super Bowl.
I have correctly pegged 2 of the 4 teams who made it to the FINAL FOUR in eight straight years.
This year I am giving you some of my top advice on what it takes to be a champion. Of course, you can never foresee injuries, suspensions, foul trouble, poor officiating, etc. throughout the big dance.
Everyone likes underdogs and Cinderella teams but you have to look at the team records, their strengths and the conferences that they play in.  There is usually one team that surprises everyone but fails to win it in the end, such as Utah in 1998 vs. Kentucky and Butler coming up short in 2010 and 2011.
Since 1998, the Championship team has not been seeded lower than a #3 and in 1997 Arizona was a #4 seed and won it all. As you can see in the past 15 tournaments, the top teams usually go all the way. Digging even deeper you have to go back to 1988 when a #6 seed Kansas team coached by Larry Brown won it all, but things were different back then as players didn’t bolt to the NBA after one season in college. As much as I like to select a solid #4 or #5 to go all the way, it’s not a smart idea. Nineteen of the last 22 National Champs have been a #1 or #2 seed.
Before I start to bore you with all of my numbers and trends, let me share some of my top tips for picking your brackets. Great teams do not lose more than 7 games in a season, so if a team has 8 or more losses, stay away from them.  Also, each of the past 15 champs were from one of the major 6 conferences (Big East, SEC, PAC-12, BIG 12, ACC, BIG 10). The teams in these conferences play the toughest games night in and night out on a regular basis and have been more battle tested.  Mid majors/small schools tend to make it to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, but not the FINAL FOUR.
So, if you are like me and really like the way Gonzaga, St. Louis, Memphis and New Mexico are playing this season, you might want to think twice about advancing them deep in your brackets.
Looking at the teams who lost 7 or fewer games this season, play in a major conference, and are seeded #3 or better this year, you can narrow down your Final Four selections from this list of nine teams. 
From here, I would look at how these teams faired on neutral courts and on the road during their season. It is also important to consider each team’s starting guards, their defensive strength, team rebounding, and if they can make their foul shots.
From my 20 years of experience, I offer you my professional advice and helpful tips. My hope is that this article has fed your excitement for the tournament while giving you a competitive edge to turn some heads in your company pools!  Enjoy the tournament and remember, pick with your head, not with your heart!
Follow Tony Karpinski for more updates and information throughout the tournament at

College Hoops Takes Center Stage

With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror, the next big event on the sports
stage is college basketball’s season-ending tournaments. Since 1997, college
basketball’s national champion has come from several different conferences: the
Pac 10 (Arizona), SEC (Kentucky and Florida), Big 10 (Michigan State), the ACC
(Duke, Maryland, North Carolina), Nig 12 (Kansas) and the Big East (UConn,
Syracuse). Over the next few weeks, let’s examine some of the top hoop teams in
each conference, starting this week with the ACC.

Duke: Coach Mike
Krzyzewski has another talented team that is just three years removed from a
national title, one that is flexing its ACC muscles again. This is a veteran
team led by 6-10 senior Mason Plumlee (18.4 ppg, 11.3 rpg), and 6-11 senior Ryan
Kelly (12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) up front, while senior G Seth Curry (16 ppg) runs the
break. They like the uptempo game, 13th in the nation in scoring (80 pg), 21st
in shooting 48% as team.

Duke beat No. 3 Kentucky (75-68) as -4 chalk,
beat No. 2 Louisville (76-71) in pick ‘em and beat No. 4 Ohio State (73-68) as
-6. In a win against the Buckeyes, Duke shot 47% and allowed .338% shooting.
They trailed 31-23 at the half but Duke freshman Rasheed Sulaimon scored all 17
of his points in the second half.

NC State: The Wolfpack is staying
alive with a frontcourt that is one of the best at offensive rebounding in the
ACC, led by 6-8, 250-pound senior Richard Howell (13 ppg, 11 rpg) and 6-9 junior
C.J. Leslie (15 ppg, 7 rpg). NC State shoots .51% from the field as a team,
third in the nation and they like to run, 79 ppg (9th in country). The Wolfpack
is on a 17-7-1 ATS run.

They lost to Oklahoma State (76-56) as -10
favorite, lost 79-72 at Michigan as a +5 dog, but beat rival Duke (84-76), then
lost two of three at Maryland (51-50) and at Wake (86-84). The Wolfpack is 8-3-1
ATS against the ACC as well as a on a conference run 11-4 over the total.

Miami: Where did these guys come from? Miami is all about defense,
allowing 58.7 ppg in ACC play (third), 36.9% shooting (second) and just 30% from
long range (third) for Coach Jim Larranaga. That’s why they started 12-2 under
the total! The Canes are physical up front, led by 6-5 senior Durand Scott (14.6
ppg), 6-11 senior Kenny Kadji (13 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and 6-10, 250-lb senior Julian
Gamble (6.5 ppg, 5 rpg).

They lost to Florida Gulf Coast (63-51) in
second game, lost to No. 4 Arizona (69-50) and to Indiana State in OT (57-55),
but crushed No. 1 Duke (90-63). Miami held Duke to 29% shooting, 4 of 23 from
3-point land, while shooting 57%. The defeat was the third worst for a No. 1
team. Miami is home this week and has a manageable schedule until a March 2nd
rematch at Duke. Think the Cameron Crazies will be up for it?

Carolina: The Tar Heels have a powerhouse offensive team that is running and
gunning again for Roy Williams, tops in the nation in rebounds and one of the
best scoring teams. It’s a young team with 6-9 sophomore James McAdoo (14.7 ppg,
8 rpg) and 6-7 junior Reggie Bullock (14 ppg, 5.8 rpg), while a pair of guards
average over 4 assists in freshman Marcus Paige and senior Dexter Strickland.

But can they play any defense? Indiana burned them (83-59) as did Butler
(82-71), and Virginia and Miami topped them by slowing the pace down. Despite
all that offense, the under is 25-12 in Tar Heels last 37 road games against a
team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.

Virginia: The
Cavaliers are getting it done with a terrific one-two punch of 6-8 junior Akil
Mitchell (12 ppg, 9 rpg) and 6-6 junior Joe Harris (15.3 ppg). Virginia plays
good defense, tops in the ACC in points allowed (51 pg), as well as third in
field goal shooting defense (.37%). On offense they are second to Duke, shooting
39.7% from long range. The Cavaliers are 8-0-1 ATS in their last 9 home games
and 24-10 under the total at home. Virginia has beaten North Carolina (61-52)
but has the rematch coming up next week on the road.

Written by Jim Fiest of

College Basketball Betting Secrets Revealed

When our winning rate decelerated in 2012, we conducted
an internal audit. We wanted to find if there was a clear-cut pattern as to
when, why, and how our picks won. We studied the records and analysis with each

We scoured over years and years of data, picks, and intel used to
support the bets. Many times we hit 60-70 percent over thousands of games, other
times in the lower to mid 50 percentile.

In short, the most apparent  deviation was when we allowed technology to supersede old-fashioned time-proven metrics that we won with on scorephones and though today.

The sport that stood out was college basketball. Our soul searching made it clear that
injuries, especially players returning from such, scheduling dynamics, clear-cut
emotional letdown situations and more are still the key to isolating off-lines.

Technology is great. Super systems, sharp versus square, market analysis are among the valuable tools that we added to our arsenal over the years. But in reality, this information is most affective corroborating old-fashioned time tested techniques.

Examples of strategies that should never be
downplayed would be exploiting scheduling dynamics. Here is from a recent
premium report, “In a schedule where 29th-year head coach Greg Kampe dubbed as
stupid, Oakland is playing on the road in 15 of its first 19 games and traveling
nearly 17,000 miles. OU is just 1-8 this season away from home and have lost
five straight. They are understandably very road weary. The schedule maker has
given us a gift here.”

After a 2-1 spread start, Oakland lost seven of
their next eight road games our clients were informed.

Similarly, the same day we won with UNLV over Canisius. “Canisius is playing their fourth game
in seven days. Two were on the road or neutral at Syracuse and Temple. Now they
are playing 1971 miles away from home. Yes, they will be fat and happy following
the stunner over Temple, but what a tough turnaround heading to Vegas to play
another good team in 48 hours. This is the same squad that lost to Stony Brook
and was blown out of the arena in a short trip to Syracuse, so all signs point
towards following up their best game of the year with a thud.”

We find to be the best source for streamlined travel analysis.

Analyzing injuries is not just about which players will not be playing
that night, but what happens in the games (yes plural, not just his first game
back) when key players return. An example, “NIU is coming into form getting key
players back. Abdel Nader is averaging 14.0 points per game in three contests
since returning from suspension. Nader is averaging 27.1 points per 40 minutes

Akeem Springs is averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game
since moving to a role off the bench in the last three games. Springs is
shooting 50.0 percent, including 54.5 percent from 3-point range, during that
time; Antone Christian returned against DePaul (Dec. 16) after missing six games
due to injury. In his second game back at Seattle (Dec. 19), Christian scored a
season-high 11 points in just 10 minutes of action.”

So often it takes
time for chemistry to develop and for a player to rid of rust and ease back into
the line-up. That’s why a team’s progress must be tracked two, three, and four
games after a key player returns from a sustained absence.

Teams with
schedules that have had a disproportionate number of road games will usually be
undervalued. Those who have had substantial home cooking will be overestimated
and are so often fade plays once they hit the road.

Teams’ own SID
releases are goldmines for betting bellwethers. We find them best organized in
the news section of Of course Google and Google News remain daily
musts for searching specific information.

We have a long list of harbingers we keep an eye out for in addition to the aspects above.

Inexperienced teams tend to play much better at home early in the year,
but after about a dozen games start to improve as a road bet just as their road
power ratings drop. Experienced teams start out quickly and are especially
quality road bets. But likewise after ten or so games, they reach a point of
diminishing return and become a bit of a fade, especially on the road.

How do we define “experience?” The “experience tracker” at
is our favorite cheat sheet for such.

Another common occurrence would be
squads that experiment with different line-ups early in the season, but settle
into a rotation. How have the done with the stability? Are they improving a bit
each game as one would expect?

Technology is wonderful and gamblers must
exploit, but not at the expense of time-proven handicapping golden nuggets.

In hindsight I began to allow high tech toys to overshadow proven sports
betting procedures. Introspection reminds us a proper balance begins by
acknowledging the game itself is mastered much like it was before the
Information Age. So is handicapping.

Written by Joe Duffy of