March 15, 2013
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One Last Look Before Selection Sunday
This year’s rendition of championship week is becoming stressful enough. Can you imagine how insane The Madness is going to be? Selection Sunday is just around the corner and that means that you should be getting familiar with the NCAAB Championship Futures market as soon as possible.
Of course, it’s hard to look that far down the road when a grueling two day set of games is on the immediate horizon.
Below are my picks out of the six major conference championship, and as of this writing there have been no sudden and soul jarring upsets. As far as I know, all of these teams are still in contention. The next two days are obviously the most grinding but here’s a quick display of who I’m backing heading in to the blistering weekend.
ACC – Miami Hurricanes (+300)
Big East – Georgetown Hoyas (+400)
Big 12 – Oklahoma State Cowboys (+500)
Big Ten – Indiana Hoosiers (+140)
Pac-12 – UCLA Bruins (+300)
SEC – Tennessee Volunteers (+800)
In case you missed some of my previews, I generally prefer to reach for value on the board. You could say that I like to just reach for softer odds, but I think you’re missing the subtlety here. Picks like Tennessee and Oklahoma State were based on production heading into Championship Week. Both of those teams had pretty marvelous end runs in their respective conferences, and are as good – though less known – as the major favorites.
One of the more intriguing conferences to watch is the Big Ten where I’ve selected the favored Indiana Hoosiers to emerge victorious. This was by far the hardest pick because Ohio State has been surging with that aforementioned momentum that I love at this time of year. The Buckeyes and Hoosiers are still in contention, and if they meet in the finals it’s going to be an all out war.
The biggest tournaments to watch will be the ACC and the Big East for two very special reasons. In the ACC, everyone that isn’t a Cameron Crazy basically wants to see Duke lose. Miami survived Boston College handedly, behind Shane Larkin’s 20 points, and still has the best chance to give Duke a serious run for its money. Those two are likely headed for a championship rematch to decide who’s better in a classic, best of three series (including the regular season).
In recent reasons the Big East Champion has almost always advanced well in to the big bracket of March Madness. In the last five years, all five Big East Champions have gone on to the Elite Eight, three have advanced to the Finals and one has won the national title. The Hoyas, who I’m backing to win the Big East, are +1200 mid-favorites to win the national title while the top-seeded Louisville Cardinal are one of the front runners at +600 in our NCAAB futures market.
Speaking of which, now is probably a good time to head over to the CarbonSports sportsbook and get familiar with those numbers. The Indiana Hoosiers (+450), Duke Blue Devils (+500), Gonzaga Bulldogs (+1000) lead the board along with Louisville. Let’s keep in mind that Gonzaga is not only a top seed in the tournament, but the top ranked team in the AP Top-25. If they’re going to have 10-to-1 odds to win the tournament, then there is value to be found almost anywhere.
Indiana looks like the prohibitive juggernaut, and Duke’s stock has had a nuclear rocket strapped on lately, but the national championship tournament has an iconic nickname for a very good reason.
Are you really ready for The Madness?