NCAA Bracketology Preview (part 1)02/25/2011
March Madness and the NCAA Tournament are unquestionably the peak time for college basketball betting all year long. The Tourney is probably the most wagered on event of the year with the exception of the Super Bowl. Winning college basketball picks are always available at Vegas Experts where you can also download our free weekly handicapping newsletter, which contains free basketball picks from our expert sports handicappers.
The final issue of the My EDGE Newsletter will be published on March 15th, just in time for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. This is our most popular issue of the year as it contains our annual Bracketology article, where we assist you in filling out the brackets so that you can win your office pool. Note that these college basketball picks are straight up and not against the spread.
Last season, we had Duke making it to the National Title Game and also had West Virginia in the Final Four. In 2009, we correctly predicted that North Carolina would win it all, just like we did in 2005 when they beat Illinois (we predicted that exact Tournament Final). In 2007, we not only had the right Tournament Final and winner (Florida over Ohio State), but we correctly projected the entire Final Four field! In 2008, we correctly predicted seven of the Elite Eight teams (only missing on Cinderella Davidson).
In the upcoming weeks, we will be reviewing how certain seeds have fared against one another in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, we should not need to tell you that a #1 seed has never lost to a #16 seed in 104 all-time matchups. Last year did see top seeds go a dominating 4-0 ATS, winning every game by more than 20 points.
New to this year’s tourney is the advent of multiple “play in” games or as College Basketball powers like to call them “opening round games.” Beginning in 2001, on the Tuesday following Selection Sunday in Dayton, OH, typically the two lowest seeded teams in the field have squared off for the right to play the highest seeded team in the field. It is important to note that since 2004, these “play-in games” have not been very competitive with every contest decided by eight points or more. Last season was the first time the underdog won or covered in four seasons.
For this season, the “opening round” has been expanded to four games. Two of them will feature teams seeded 16th in their region, thus making them obvious candidates for “one and done.” However, there will also be two “play in games” between teams seeded 12th in their region, which is certainly important to note because, as well all know, 12 seeds have a strong history of going on and upsetting 5 seeds. Because of this, you’ll probably be required to have your brackets filled out a few days earlier as previously the “play in game” had been largely disregarded by most office pools.
Up next we will be taking a look at how #2 through #4 seeds have historically fared in the first round.