Posted 03/24/2008 at 06:29 PM
After a less than exciting start to the tournament things have picked up as usual. Sunday's final two games were duds but what an exciting stretch of afternoon games with Miami closing the gap on Texas, Davidson rallying against Georgetown, Tennessee needing overtime to knock off Butler, and Memphis struggling to hold off a late Mississippi State charge. Even San Diego rallied to make that game close in the final minutes.
It was a roller coaster day for side bettors as well. Texas was a very popular public and service play and the Longhorns seemed to be cruising but some amazing 3-point shots from Miami and some key misses for Texas led to the underdog cover. Georgetown and Memphis also looked well on their way to wins and covers but both ended up losing with Memphis able to hold on to the outright win. Butler stayed right with Tennessee the entire game but in overtime the Volunteers were able to nail free throws to provide a narrow ATS margin.
It was a big weekend for chalk players with favorites going 22-10 in the first round and 9-7 in the second round. The opening Thursday was a huge day for favorites for the third straight year, going 13-3. In the past three opening tournament Thursdays favorites are hitting 77 percent with a 36-11-1 record. Dogs typically have fared better in the second round but favorites even held a slight edge for the weekend, despite having the Texas, Georgetown, and Memphis games swing to the dogs in the final minutes.