March Madness Begins Tuesday Night With 50-Unit Winner

Plus 10 Keys To Winning At Tournament Time


Three Knockout Regular Season Marquee TV

Winners Highlighted By Texas (18-11) 

At Oklahoma (18-11) Get All The Cash Tonight


76ers At Lakers Tops Winning 50-Unit

Two-Team NBA Parlay Tonight


By Kelso Sturgeon


March Madness is here and that means college basketball is about to double-down on the chaos that has been so much a part of this season. Think it has been tough so far? You have not seen anything yet as the game enters the pressure-packed world of lose one and your done. Finished. Go home. Wait ‘til next year.

Most of all, it is a new season—a new chance—for teams to redeem themselves from a lackluster season and gain a possible spot in the Big Dance.

It all begins Tuesday night When the Horizon League, Patriot League, Atlantic Sun Conference and the Big South Conference open their post-season schedules knowing only the winners of their tournaments will receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Win, or else, is the name of the game. More mid-majors will begin post-season play later this week, with the majors kicking in next week.

While the minor mid-majors will be in action, almost all the majors still have one-two regular season games left between now and Sunday and at least 12 conference championships are still up for grabs, including those of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12.

The chaotic college season continued this past weekend as #2 Baylor, #6 Florida state, #7 Duke, #9 Maryland, #10 Villanova all lost. Look for more of the same in the tournaments. The stage seems to be set, as it has been all season, with wholesale moves in the national polls.

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Keys To Winning In The Tournaments


Yes, this is still college basketball—the same as it was when it began last November—but the dynamics have changed, with the addition of several factors that can affect the outcome of games. 

1. Where is the game being played? Some tournaments are conducted on neutral sites, others on the home courts of a conference member (for instance, the Mountain West is conducted at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, the home court of UNLV), others on the home courts of the highest seeds, and others at home in the early games and on a neutral site for the semifinals and finals.
2. Is the team playing today the same one that performed during the regular season?  Bettors can get blindsided by betting on a team that ended the regular season with a key player missing because of an injury. NBA teams can lose a key player and keep right on rolling because they all are loaded with only the best players. Next man up is no problem. That situation seldom exists in college basketball and the loss of one of those players can dramatically change the ability of that team.
3. Strength of schedule is extremely important. There are 350 Division I NCAA basketball teams and there are several competent services that rank the strength of schedule (SOS) of each one. For instance, #1-ranked Kansas played the third toughest schedule in the country while #2-ranked Baylor competed against the 33rd most difficult one. Michigan the second toughest, Oklahoma the fourth toughest and Iowa the fifth in that category. Michigan State came in in the 12th spot. Two candidates for number one seeds in the NCAA Tournament—Dayton and San Diego checked in at 103 and 107. Should Kansas meet San Diego State, for instance, the SOS immediately tells you it has survived against much tougher competition.
4. Bet teams that have shown they can stand the heat.One must also give some weight to teams that have proved during the season they can handle the heat in close games. Baylor is a perfect example of that, having lost to #1 Kansas by 3 points, at TCU by 3 points and on a neutral floor to Washington by 3 points. The numbers tell you Baylor can hang with the best of them at home, on the road and on neutral floors. A giant plus.
5. Bet against any team that as an underdog, won its previous game against a much better opponent and had was pushed to the limit to do that. Since that team will most likely play its next game within the next 24 hours, it does not have time to recover physically or mentally and will run out of gas and lose its focus in the second half.
6. Most good teams that play poorly and still win have a 90% chance to bounce back and win impressively in their next start.
7. I want a coach who has proved over time he can get it done. College basketball is a world where the winners keep winning and the losers keep losing, and it never changes, especially in the heat of open-and-done.
8. What is a team’s current form? West Virginia opened the season 18-3 but has lost its last three games and stands 1-6 in its last seven, all as a favorite. UCLA opened its season 10-8 but has now won seven straight and is 9-1 in its last 10. It is imperative to handicap a team off its current form.
9. Experience and a deep bench always trump a superstar player. Playing every day can tire out a single player but for teams with experience and depth, it is simply a matter of next man up.
10. Never go where you do not know. Do not bet on any game when you know little about the teams involved. If you know about one and not the other, still take a pass.


Tuesday’s Tournament Schedule


Horizon League

Wisconsin-Milwaukee (12-18) at Youngstown State (17-14)

Cleveland State (11-20) at Oakland (11-20)

IUPUI (7-24) at Illinois-Chicago (15-16)

Patriot League

Loyola-MD (15-16) at Lehigh (10-20)

Holy Cross (3-28) at Bucknell (12-19)

Atlantic Sun Conference

New Jersey Tech (9-20) at Liberty (27-4)

North Alabama (13-16) at Stetson (15-16)

Florida Gulf Coast (10-21) at Lipscomb (14-15)

Jacksonville (14-17) at North Florida (20-11)

Big South Conference

Campbell (15-15) at UC-Asheville (14-15)

High Point (9-22) at USC Upstate (12-19)

Presbyterian (10-21) at Charleston Southern (113-17)

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