Basketball Forecast - NCAA Tournament
Kelso Sturgeon Basketball Forecast Newsletter
Volume 19, Edition 26...March 15-16, 2018
Villanova 9-2 Favorite To Win It All, Virginia 5-1
NCAA Tournament Handicapping Guide Begins With Fact #1 Seeds Are 132-0 Against #16 Seeds And #2 Seeds 124-8 Against #15 Seeds
By Kelso Sturgeon
Just the facts, please. I am pleased to report I closed out the college conference on a 26-7-1 run and opened NCAA play with the winners of both play-in games - underdog St. Bonaventure over UCLA and Radford over LIU-Brooklyn - on another 4-0 night. And lest one thinks I am ignoring the NBA at this lucrative pay-attention time of its season I am on a 9-2 with my last 11 Bets Basketball Club selections. The long hours and hard work of the regular season is now paying its biggest dividends. Accumulated knowledge is king.
Shifting gears into the four post-season tournaments - the NCAA, NIT, College Basketball Invitation (CBI) and the College Insider Tournament (CIT) - does require some adjustments. For instance, in the college conference tournaments one has the advantage of current history since these teams have all played at least once - and usually twice - during the regular season. While some previous post-season tournament opponents may have crossed paths during the regular season in either a home game or a road game most are strangers from different conferences of differing strengths.
And the unpredictable element of the neutral floor is in play through the entire NCAA Tournament and it can become an unnerving factor for some teams, even though the playing court is a carbon copy of they one they play on at home. It is safe to say, teams with outstanding road and neutral floor records have an edge in most games.
It is complicated to unravel what it means to come from the the Big 12 Conference (ranked the toughest in the country, via the RPI standard) and to be meeting a team from the 6th-ranked Big Ten. Hopefully the conference RPI ratings at the end of this column will offer some help in that matter. Just remember any little edge you can find often is the difference between winning and losing.
You will note from one of the headlines above I say Wichita State (25-7) and Kentucky (24-10) are two live longshots to win it - Wichita State because of its talent, experience and depth, which runs 11 players deep, and Kentucky because its blue-chip talent has finally figured it out and is finally playing up to preseason expectations.
I am opening the Big Dance with four NCAA bets - one at 50 units and the other three at 25 - and am confident I will again go 4-0. The 50-unit play will be on a talented team that is finally going to play up to its potential and that means it will be playing its best game of the season. The team understands what is at stake, has great practices this week, is focused and is taking the floor to win.
The focus factor and the factor of taking the floor to win has already proved profitable in the NCAA. Those two factors put St. Bonaventure in the winner's circle for us when as a 2.5-point underdog took it to a very cocky UCLA and knocked off the Bruins, 65-58, in one of the play-in games in Dayton. One could tell from the get-go in that game the Bonnies came to get the money and intended to do whatever it took to do just that.
Your BEST BET is to get on board with my college post-season package that includes the entire NCAA, NIT and the two minor tournaments. You can get the entire post-season package, including today's four games, for just $149 and that means you can save a fortune. Again, all major credit cards and Pay Pal accepted.
Villanova Emerges In Las Vegas As 9-2 Favorite To Win NCAA Tournament...Cavs 2nd Choice At 5-1
There are some who suggest any of the teams that make the NCAA Tournament can win it. Nice feel-good theory but oh, so wrong. While the regular season basically is a period of at least some parity, with more than a few stunning upsets, while the Big Dance is all about disparity. There is a reason no #16 seed has ever beating a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament (see rundown below). Call it 128-0 in favor of #1.
I can promise you the North Carolina Central Eagles (19-15) who are listed at 10,000-1 odds to win it all will never beat teams of substance and blue-chip talent such as Virginia, Villanova, Duke or North Carolina, and that is just two name four teams from their neighborhood, in the NCAA.
For the record, the Eagles meet meet Texas Southern (15-18) tonight in Dayton in a play-in game and are a 5.5-point underdog in this one and whichever team wins will get to play #1 seeded Xavier (28-5) 48 hours later in Nashville.
It is important to understand I am speaking about winning straight up. Getting covers is a a different world altogether. Meantime, I have listed below the 17 teams bookmakers and bettors believe have the best chances of winning it all. I agree - no questions asked.
Current Odds Of Leading Candidates To Win NCAA Tournament
Number 1 Seeds In NCAA Tournament Perfect 132-0...#2 Against #15 124-8
Conference RPI Rankings