March 19, 2014
By Mike Rose
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Brackets are being filled out all across the globe right now, and today, we're taking our shot at the teams which we are going to be keeping our eye on from a college basketball betting perspective in the dance.
Connecticut Huskies (26-8, 17-15 ATS) – Talk about a slap in the face! The Huskies were 26-5 this year without playing games against Louisville, and it was a tested team with a lot of solid wins (and some validating losses to boot). Shabazz Napier is the best player in the country you probably aren't even thinking about going into the dance. The way this bracket sets up gives a lot of really nice spots for the Huskies. They'll draw an overrated St. Joe's team that probably wasn't good enough to get into the field without the A-10 Tournament title, then they'll likely get Villanova, a team which they are familiar with from the days the two shared the Big East together. Don't be shocked if the Huskies catch some fire, just as they did four years ago when they went from a bubble team to the Big East champs to the National Champions.
UW-Milwaukee Panthers (21-13, 20-12 ATS) – The Panthers could be this year's version of FGCU. They really take good care of the basketball, they shoot with a purpose, and they play hard-nosed defense. Most important? They're chock full of seniors who are hungry to prove that their last place projection in the Horizon League this year was a bunch of malarkey. We like the draw every bit as much for the Panthers as well. Notice that we're picking on Villanova? That loss to Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament has us scared quite a bit for Jay Wright and the gang. The last time Nova was a #2 seed, it was nearly beaten by American. UW-Milwaukee could do just as much, if not more damage this time around.
New Mexico State Aggies (26-9, 8-5 ATS) – You probably didn't watch a lot of WAC basketball this year, and even if you did, you can't possibly be impressed with New Mexico State. Losing to teams like Chicago State and Utah Valley don't give us all that much confidence, but what does give us some hope is the fact that Daniel Mullings, Tshilidzi Nephawe, and Sim Bhullar have been here and done that in the dance before. San Diego State and the rest of the teams in the MWC seem to be prone to upsets like these, and New Mexico, San Diego State's de facto stunt double, did only split with the Aggies this year. We love the experience NMSU brings to the table, and that experience could spell at least a cover, if not an upset in the opening round of the tourney.
NC State Wolfpack (22-13, 19-12-1 ATS) – We love that the Wolfpack are a hot ATS team right now. Their win in the First Four against Xavier was their sixth cover in a row and their eighth in their last nine games. Remember that this was a team projected to be one of the best 10 teams in America last season, and though that didn't pan out, TJ Warren and some of his role player mates from that team are back. Warren averages 24.8 points per game, and he can go off on anyone in the land. Better yet for the Pack? They draw a Saint Louis team in the second round of the dance which totally fell apart down the stretch of the season. Warren and the gang could totally blow up that Midwest Bracket big time if they really get on a roll.
Providence Friars ( 23-11, 18-15 ATS) – Though the Friars found themselves firmly sitting on the bubble heading into the Big East tournament, I still liked what I was seeing from Coach Cooley’s squad. They closed the regular season out with three wins in four tries, but most important about the three wins, they were all close with two decided by five and six points and the other coming in the form of a 1-point OT win against Marquette. The lone defeat was then avenged in the Big East tourney title game against Creighton whom they dominated throughout the game’s entirety. This is a squad that enters the Big Dance very confident, talented, and experienced. They’ve covered the closing Vegas pointspread seven of the L/9 times they hit the hardwood and are matched up by a North Carolina team they can handle provided they continue playing the type of ball that punched their ticket to the Field of 64.
11-3 L14, 32-11 Run, 13-3 G-Plays
7-3 L10, 21-8 Run, 13-6 G-Plays
6-1 L7 G-Plays, 5-1 L6 Picks
3-1 Sunday, 14-5 L19 G-Plays
4-2 Sun., 6-2 G-Plays, +6,376 O/Us
6-0 L6 Guarantees, 11-3 L14 Picks
41-22 L63 Picks, +6,632 TY
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 6-2 L5 Days
6-3 L9, 12-5 L17 Picks, +2,099 TY
3-1 L4, 8-4 L12 Guarantees
15-7 L22 Picks, 11-3 Totals TY
27-12 Run, 14-4 L18 G-Plays
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 6-2 L8 Picks
8-3 L11, 18-8 L26 Guarantees
12-5 L4 Days, +5,836 L34 Days
14-7 L21 Over/Under Plays
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