Posted 03/12/2008 at 03:20 PM
I'm going to chime in on and off all day, and here's what I've got as the clock strikes three o'clock on the East coast.
1-Syracuse is out. The Orange took an early lead against Villanova at MSG, but a late first-half rally allowed the Wildcats to pull within one at intermission. In the second half, it was all 'Nova as Scottie Reynolds dropped in 15 of his 22 points en route to an 82-63 victory. 'Nova won outright as a 2 1/2-point 'dog, hooking up money-line backers with a plus 130 payout.
2-I backed the 'under' for a winner, posting it on VI yesterday when the number was in the 148-149 range. The tally went down to 146 at most spots this morning, so I want to thank the 'Cuse's back-up point guard for running out the clock in the last 20 seconds after 'Nova had hit a pair of free throws. Bettors went all "Kentucky-FSU at the Music City Bowl" on the books by middling the total. With Syracuse leading 28-27 at halftime (55 total points), the second-half total was 75.5, equating to 130 1/2. Therefore, if you backed the 'under' for the game (146ish) and the 'over' in the second half (130.5), you cashed both. That's a classic hedge.
3-Dayton's at-large hopes remain alive after edging Saint Louis in overtime. The Flyers led by nine at intermission, but they disappointed their backers (my hand is in the air) by failing to cover the number as 5 1/2-point favorites.
4-Providence leads West Virginia late in the first half, so gamblers backing the Friars plus 8 1/2 and/or on the money line (+340) could be looking at a nice situation at halftime by coming back with some Mountaineer action. Also, another first-half 'under' (64.5) is poised to cash.
5-'Nova steals a tourney spot from someone if it can beat Georgetown at noon Thursday. And there's a chance the Wildcats might be "in" anyway, especially if they take the Hoyas to the wire again (think that atrocious call at G-twn earlier this season).
4:30ish p.m. UPDATE:
6-West Virginia is definitely "in" after surviving a game Providence squad, 58-53. The Friars cashed tickets as 8 1/2-point underdogs. With the game tied at intermission, some folks might have taken WVU -6 in the second half. For those gamblers that did back the 'Neers in the second half, what a heartbreaker! Providence drained a 3-ball with 1.8 seconds left to lose by five.
7-St. Joe's crushed Fordham and I still can't believe I didn't pull the trigger on Phil Martelli's squad, which was laying just seven.
8-Fairly uneventful evening with no major upsets. Wednesday was lay-up lines; the real fun starts Thursday!