Archive for March, 2013

2013 Elite 8 Predictions: Michigan vs. Florida March Madness 3/31

March 31st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 Elite 8 Predictions: Michigan vs. Florida March Madness 3/31
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Trey Burke MichiganThe third ticket to the Final Four will be punched on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, where the #4 Michigan Wolverines are going to hope to find some more magic when they take on the #3 Florida Gators, who are going to be playing in their most difficult game of the tourney to date. Join us for our Elite Eight predictions and our March Madness picks for Florida vs. Michigan in the South Region Final.

March Madness: Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida Gators
Michigan vs. Florida Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Michigan vs. Florida Date/Time: Sunday, March 31st, 2:20 p.m. ET
March Madness Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Trey Burke has to continue to work his magic from the outside
For the entire first half, Burke was shut down against the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday night. He had absolutely nothing going his way, and he and his Wolverines seemed destined to be headed out on the next flight back to Ann Arbor. However, Burke really turned it around in the second half and ultimately overtime, scoring 23 points. He knocked down a three-point shot that likely kept the game going with just over a minute left in the game, and then he turned around with just a few seconds left in regulation and hit the three-pointer from tremendously long range that sent the maize and blue into a frenzy. Michigan had no business whatsoever knocking off the Jayhawks, and it is going to have to keep its feet on the ground and not get too high. Burke is the veteran of this bunch, though he is only a sophomore, and he really is the difference maker in this game for the Wolverines.

Michigan vs. Florida Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
#4 Michigan Wolverines +2.5
#3 Florida Gators -2.5
Over/Under 131
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Key #2: Florida has to get its bearings right out of the blocks
The Gators have ultimately put away all three of the teams that they have faced thus far in the tournament, but they really haven’t been particularly challenged by the caliber of team that they have faced. Now, instead of facing a No. 11, No. 14, or No. 15 seed, Florida is taking on a team that was ranked No. 1 in the country once upon a time. The Gators have had a tough time getting into the swing of games early, especially against Florida Gulf Coast and Northwestern State. Of course, Michigan got off to a terrible start against Kansas as well on Friday night, and that leaves a big question for concern as well. However, we saw what the Wolverines could do in the clutch against one of the best teams in America, and if Florida falls behind perhaps by double digits early on, there is a good chance that Michigan will be able to jump on it and force the SEC reps into some real problems.

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Key #3: The Gators can’t rely upon their rebounding to make up for poor shooting
Here’s a situation where the stats really don’t tell the whole story. If you look at what the Gators have done shooting the ball in this tournament, you’d be relatively impressed. They are hitting a very respectable 46.4 percent from the floor for the dance, and they are knocking down 37.5 percent of their three-point shots. The numbers aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible either. What you’re not seeing are how many of those made field goals are coming after grabbing offensive rebounds. Florida picked up 28 offensive boards against Northwestern State and Florida Gulf Coast combined, and that’s where a lot of the easy buckets are coming from. Against Minnesota, what we saw this team do was slow things down and take the ball to the rack quite a bit, and the Gators ultimately won that game from the charity stripe. Michigan isn’t going to get dominated on the glass as Florida Gulf Coast and Northwestern State did previously, so Florida is going to need to make a lot more of its mid-range jumpers and outside shots to move on to the Final Four.

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2013 March Madness Free Picks: Midwest Region Bracket Predictions

March 31st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 March Madness Free Picks: Midwest Region Bracket Predictions
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Full List of Odds To Win The Midwest Region Can Be Found Below

Louisville CardinalsSportBet Sportsbook‘s NCAA basketball betting odds were always considered to be tight here in the Midwest Bracket. Everyone figured that the top seeds in this region had themselves a heck of a lot of problems against some other great teams, but alas, this was the one bracket where the chalk really held up. We’re down to just two teams, and two powerhouses at that, and today, we’re going to take one last look at the Final Four odds for the Louisville Cardinals and the Duke Blue Devils.

#1 Louisville Cardinals (-180) – The time is clearly here for the Cardinals to flex their muscles. They are overwhelmingly considered the most talented team left in the dance, as they are the only No. 1 seed that lived to make it here to the Elite Eight. G Russ Smith has been playing out of this world, and the defense, save for a few stretches against Oregon on Friday, has been out of this world. The Cardinals though, haven’t played much in the way of great teams in the dance, knowing that the toughest game that it has faced to date came against the eighth seeded Colorado State Rams, a game that really wasn’t all that close. The rest of the way though, it is destined to be nothing but big boys and heavy hitters, and this is where the rubber is going to meet the road. Head Coach Rick Pitino knows that this could be the best shot that he has of getting back to the Final Four in the near future, as so many of the players on the court are going to be leaving the school via graduation or for the NBA at the end of the season.

#2 Duke Blue Devils (+170) – There is a certain swagger about the Blue Devils that we like right now. The ACC reps were disrespected by the Selection Committee this season and were made to be No. 2 seeds instead of the top seed that they probably deserved. Duke probably has had the toughest path to reach the Elite Eight of any of the teams that are still dancing at this point. Not only was a game against Creighton very difficult on paper, but the very next game against Michigan State proved to be a heck of a battle. Beating the Spartans was one thing. However, the Dookies blew the Spartans out of the water and were never really in any serious danger of losing the game. We love watching G Seth Curry step back and let the rock fly without hesitation, and the way that F Mason Plumlee throws his body around with wreckless abandon is a pleasure as well. These are the things that didn’t exist for last year’s Blue Devils, which were knocked out of the first round of the dance by the lowly little No. 15 Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Coach K and the gang are just one win away from the greatness that is the Final Four, and we have a tough time believing that they can’t beat any team in the nation that comes their way with the way that they are playing.

2013 Midwest Region Odds @ SportBet Sportsbook (as of 3/30/13):
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Louisville Cardinals (-3.5) -180
Duke Blue Devils (+3.5) +170

Elite Eight Keys to the Game – Duke vs. Louisville 3/31/13

March 31st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Elite Eight Keys to the Game – Duke vs. Louisville 3/31/13
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Louisville vs. DukeThe Duke Blue Devils have literally been going through a Murderer’s Row of teams to get here to the Elite Eight on Sunday afternoon in the Midwest Region. Now, they have to take on the top overall seed in the dance, the Louisville Cardinals on the Elite Eight odds. Check out the keys to the Louisville vs. Duke matchup, as well as the March Madness odds for what should be a great game.

March Madness: Duke Blue Devils vs. Louisville Cardinals
Duke vs. Louisville Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Duke vs. Louisville Date/Time: Sunday, March 31st, 2:10 p.m. (ET)
2013 March Madness On TV: CBS

Key #1: Gorgui Dieng has to be a difference maker
Earlier this season, the Blue Devils and the Cardinals met in the Bahamas, and the end result was a victory for the Dookies. However, in that game, Dieng was on the sidelines out injured. This is where a real difference could be made. Though Louisville did win the rebounding battle that day, there wasn’t much in the way of resistance to F Mason Plumlee. The big man scored 16 points and had seven boards, and included in there were three huge offensive rebounds. Dieng has blocked 16 shots in his last seven games, many of which have come against top flight competition. The offensive numbers definitely don’t have to be there for the big man. Defensively though, Dieng has to block some shots and alter some others to flip the tide in favor of the No. 1 overall seed in this tournament.

Elite Eight Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
#2 Duke Blue Devils +3.5
#1 Louisville Cardinals -3.5
Over/Under 137
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Key #2: The Cardinals have to get back to playing “Louisville Defense”
We heard Head Coach Rick Pitino at halftime of the game against the Oregon Ducks on Friday night mention that his team needed to get back to playing “Louisville defense.” The team really didn’t listen all that well, as it allowed 38 points in the second half of the game against the Ducks and were pushed right down to the wire in the game as a result. It’s clear what Pitino means. He has to get his team playing better ball in half-court sets, and there has to be more trapping and more full-court pressuring of the basketball to force more turnovers. We saw this team set the NCAA Tournament record for steals in a game back in the second round against the North Carolina A&T Aggies, and yet against Oregon, a No. 12 seed, the Cardinals only managed seven steals and really only won the game because they shot 53.8 percent from the floor. It’s clear that “Louisville defense” has to get back in the saddle against the Blue Devils if there is going to be another waltz into the Final Four for one of the proudest programs in the country.

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Key #3: Seth Curry has to out-Russ Smith Russ Smith
You’re reading that properly. Curry has to figure out how to do his own impersonation of Smith and do it better than the Louisville guard. At times, Smith literally is off the chain. He scored 31 points in the win against Oregon on Friday night, and he has now averaged 27.0 points per game here in the dance. When Smith gets going, no one is going to be able to stop him. Curry looked a little bit like that on Friday as well against a very good Michigan State Spartans outfit. The senior knocked down six of his first seven three-point field goal attempts and finished the game with 29 points. It’s not necessarily a matter of getting the points that will make the difference in this game. The player that makes the biggest shots in the biggest moments is going to be the one that leads his team to Atlanta for the Final Four.

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2013 March Madness Free Picks: South Region Bracket Predictions

March 31st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 March Madness Free Picks: South Region Bracket Predictions
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Full List of Odds To Win The South Region Can Be Found Below

Kansas JayhawksOver at SportBet Sportsbook, you’ll find all of the odds to win the South Region and all of the brackets in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. This is one of the most stacked brackets that we have ever seen in the dance, and we know that it is going to be a tough one to handicap, so join us for our South Bracket predictions for March Madness and the NCAA Tournament, complete with each team’s odds to make it to the Final Four.

#3 Florida Gators (-150) – Florida truly has played no one on the road to the Elite Eight, but that hasn’t stopped it from being the overwhelming favorite for this entire tournament to make it to the Final Four. Now, it’s just down to a matter of one game for the right to go to Atlanta, where the team would surely have a huge following if it were to get that far. The Gators have dominated on the glass, and they have had two very strong shooting games from long range out of three. There really have been no tremendous standout players, though that’s the way that Head Coach Billy Donovan plans it. This is a veteran squad, led by the likes of G Scottie Wilbekin and F Erik Murphy, though this is a solid eight-man rotation chock full of players that are going to be capable of doing massive damage. If Florida gets to the Final Four, it is going to be a tremendously dangerous team to watch out for.

5Dimes College Basketball#4 Michigan Wolverines (+140) – There is no team of those that are left standing here in the Elite Eight that dodged death better than the Wolverines. They were literally already written off against the top seed in the South, the Kansas Jayhawks, the Gators were already busy ironing their away jerseys for the game. Instead, UF only needs to continue wearing the home whites, as it now has a date with the fourth seeded Wolverines instead. Michigan has gotten tremendous contributions from its starters this entire tournament, and in that win against the Jayhawks, all five of the starters logged at least 10 points. C Mitch McGary is the man that has really had a coming out party here in the NCAA Tournament, as he has had back to back tremendous games to help bring the Big Blue Nation to its first Elite Eight since 1994. It would be fitting for this team to get to the Final Four, as this is a squad that has been drawing comparisons all season long to the Fab Five that brought this team to greatness in the early 1990s.

2013 South Region Odds @ SportBet Sportsbook (as of 3/31/13):
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Florida Gators (-2.5) -150
Michigan Wolverines (+2.5) +140

2013 CIT Bracket with 2013 Live CIT Games & Schedule

March 30th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 CIT Bracket with 2013 Live CIT Games & Schedule
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CIT 2013The 2013 CIT schedule is going to get started on Tuesday night with a slew of games, and the action is only going to get hotter as the tournament rolls on. If your favorite team is playing in the 2013 CIT Tournament, be sure to keep it glued right here to Bankroll Sports, as we will be providing you with CIT previews of all of the games, as well as game recaps and final scores from the first game of the tourney, all the way through the end of this 32-team bonanza.

List Of Past CIT Winners
2012 CIT Winner – Mercer Bears
2011 CIT Winner – Santa Clara Broncos
2010 CIT Winner – Missouri State Bears
2009 CIT Winner – Old Dominion Monarchs

Note: All College Insiders Tournament Games Can Be Seen Live Online By Clicking Here

CIT Semifinals Games: CIT Schedule For Saturday, March 30th (3/30/13)
5:00 p.m. ET Evansville Purple Aces @ East Carolina Pirates
8:00 p.m. ET Weber State Wildcats @ Northern Iowa Panthers

With three teams in the heartland of the country playing in the semifinaals of the CIT, Weber State really had no choice but to come on the road to a tough location. This is the first time that the Wildcats are going to be going up against a solid team like Northern Iowa in its gym. This is a game that is expected to be a bit of a tossup game, as is the first game on the CIT docket on Saturday. Evansville hits the road to take on East Carolina, and in spite of the fact that the Pirates are perceived to come out of the “better” of these two conferences, the Purple Aces are the ones laying the points in this one. This could be a huge day for the Missouri Valley Conference, as not only are its last two teams standing in the CIT fighting for the right to go to the CIT Final, but the Wichita State Shockers could be on their way to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament as well.

CIT Quarterfinals Games: CIT Schedule For Wednesday, March 27th (3/27/13)
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 74 @ Weber State Wildcats 83

Is there anyone out there that is going to be stopping Weber State? The Wildcats are on a tear, and they are out to prove that they legitimately should have been in the NIT in spite of the fact that they were beaten in the Big Sky Final against Montana, albeit on the road. Weber State pulled away in the second half against a very good ORU team that had the ability to come on the road and beat any team in this tournament.

CIT Quarterfinals Games: CIT Schedule For Tuesday, March 26th (3/26/13)
Evansville Purple Aces 84 @ Canisius Golden Griffins 83
Loyola Maryland Greyhounds 58 @ East Carolina Pirates 70
Bradley Braves 77 @ Northern Iowa Panthers 90

What a day it was to be in the Missouri Valley, and what a horrid day it was to be in the Metro Atlantic! We’ll start off in the Valley, where a lot of things went right. Evansville was able to go on the road and knock off Canisius in essentially the same way that Canisius went on the road and won in the second round of this tournament. The Purple Aces stormed back from a nine-point halftime deficit to ultimately win the game in the dying seconds by a single point. Meanwhile, Northern Iowa disposed of Bradley in a battle of two of the Valley teams in this tourney. As bad of a day as it was for the Golden Griffins of Canisius, it was a worse day for Loyola Maryland. The Greyhounds stuck around with East Carolina at the outset of the game, but in the second half, the Pirates just proved to be far too much to tame.

Second Round CIT Games: CIT Schedule For Monday, March 25th (3/25/13)
UC Irvine Anteaters 62 @ Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 76

It was a long way for UC Irvine to have to travel to visit Oral Roberts, and we think that the road woes really hit home with the Anteaters right out of the blocks. Unlike most of the rest of the home teams that ran away and hit in the second round of the CIT in thes second half, the Golden Eagles came right out of the blocks and were scoring left and right. There’s no doubt that this is one of the teams to beat in this tournament at this point.

Second Round CIT Games: CIT Schedule For Sunday, March 24th (3/24/13)
Kent State Golden Flashes 59 @ Loyola Maryland Greyhounds 73

The domination of the home teams continued on the second day of the second round of games in the CIT, as Loyola dropped the MAC reps from Kent State by a dozen points. F Erik Etherly led the way for the Greyhounds by scoring 27 points and pulling down 11 boards.

Second Round CIT Games: CIT Schedule For Saturday, March 23rd (3/23/13)
Eastern Kentucky Colonials 72 @ Evansville Purple Aces 86
Rider Broncs 54 @ East Carolina Pirates 75
Illinois Chicago Flames 51 @ Northern Iowa Panthers 63
Canisius Golden Griffins 84 @ Youngstown State Penguins 82
Tulane Green Wave 72 @ Bradley Braves 77
Air Force Falcons 57 @ Weber State Wildcats 78

Blowouts were the theme of the start of the second round of the CIT, knowing that four of the six games were decided by at least 12 points. Weber State demolishing Air Force was probably the most impressive game of the bunch, knowing that both of these teams really could have been NIT bound this season and arguably should have been. The closest game of the tournament to date came when Canisius went on the road and took down Youngstown State in overtime. The Golden Griffins were down by as many as 19 points against the Penguins, and they stormed all the way back in the second half to get the victory in OT. Canisius was also the only team that went on the road and won on Saturday. The Missouri Valley represented itself well with Bradley, Evansville, and Northern Iowa all advancing into the third round of this tournament.

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First Round CIT Games: CIT Schedule For Wednesday, March 20th (3/20/13)
Elon Phoenix 53 @ Canisius Golden Griffins 69
Fairfield Stags 71 @ Kent State Golden Flashes 73
North Dakota Fighting Sioux 66 @ Northern Iowa 77
Chicago State Cougars 69 @ Illinois Chicago Flames 80
Green Bay Phoenix 69 @ Bradley Braves 75
South Alabama Jaguars 73 @ Tulane Green Wave 84
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 84 @ Texas Arlington Mavericks 76
High Point Panthers 71 @ UC Irvine Anteaters 80
Cal Poly Mustangs 43 @ Weber State Wildcats 85
Air Force Falcons 69 @ Hawaii Warriors 65

If you were a home team on the second day of the CIT, you probably advanced. The best game of the day was the 73-71 win for Kent State over Fairfield. F Derek Needham had 22 points for Fairfield, but it wasn’t enough for the MAAC reps. However, fellow Metro Atlantic Canisius was able to top a very good Elon team.

The Horizon League was represented well with Illinois Chicago taking down the Great West automatic qualifier, Chicago State. The Missouri Valley picked up a couple wins as well with Northern Iowa bouncing North Dakota out of this tournament and Bradley dismissing Green Bay.

Tulane knocked off South Alabama in a battle of regional teams that should be on totally different planes. Oral Roberts and Air Force were the only two teams that went on the road and got the job done. Elsewhere on the West Coast, High Point never had a chance against UC Irvine, while one of the favorites to win this event, Weber State put aside Cal Poly by 42 points for the biggest win of the first round of the CIT.

First Round CIT Bracket: CIT Schedule For Tuesday, March 19th (3/19/13)
Eastern Kentucky Colonels 69 @ Gardner Webb Bulldogs 62
Savannah State Tigers 65 @ East Carolina Pirates 66
Rider Broncs 63 @ Hartford Hawks 54
Oakland Golden Grizzlies 87 @ Youngstown State Penguins 99
Boston Terriers 63 @ Loyola Maryland Greyhounds 70
Tennessee State Tigers 72 @ Evansville Purple Aces 84

The first day of the CIT was an exciting one, to say the least. There were a couple games that came right down to the wire, the closest one of which was the 66-65 win for East Carolina over Savannah State. Eastern Kentucky picked up 26 points from G Corey Walden and represented the OVC well by beating Gardner-Webb. Rider was the only other road team that was able to pull off a victory on the first day of the CIT bracket.

Tennessee State was one of these teams that played really well at home all year long, but the Tigers just never got anything going on the road. Their season finished up with a loss against Evansville. Loyola dumped Boston U in a local clash, while Youngstown State and Oakland played in the highest scoring game thus far in the NIT, with the Penguins taking a 99-87 decision.

2013 Printable CBI Bracket w/ 2013 Live CBI Games & TV Schedule

March 30th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 Printable CBI Bracket w/ 2013 Live CBI Games & TV Schedule
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CBI BracketAfter the fields for the NIT and the NCAA Tournament were set, the CBI (College Basketball Invitational), had a chance to set its field of 16 teams for its tournament. Check out the 2013 CBI bracket, as well as a look at all of the CBI games on TV that you’ll be able to find. Keep it locked on this page if your favorite team is in the CBI as well, as we will have CBI previews and CBI game recaps for all of the games in this tournament.

CBI Finals Series (Best of Three)
Game 1 – Monday 4/1 10:00 p.m. ET: George Mason @ Santa Clara (AXS.TV)
Game 2 – Wednesday 4/3 7:00 p.m. ET: Santa Clara @ George Mason (AXS.TV)
Game 3 – Friday 4/5 7:00 p.m. ET: Santa Clara @ George Mason (AXS.TV)

This should be a great three-game series between two of the teams that probably felt a bit shunned by the NIT when push came to shove on Selection Sunday. F Jonathan Arledge has been the hero for the Patriots thus far in this tournament, scoring an average of 15.0 points per game after being held to just eight points per game during the regular season. Still, if Mason is going to figure out how to steal this game on the road and essentially wrap up the CBI title, it is going to need to figure out how to stop G Kevin Foster. Foster has been lighting teams up all over the place, scoring 67 points in his last two CBI games and coming up with an average of 30.0 points per game here in the postseason. Game 1 is a must have for Santa Clara, and it is favored by 7.5-points as a result in what should be a great game to watch on Monday night. Don’t be shocked if the CBI comes right down to the wire in the third and decisive game.

CBI Semifinals Games: Live CBI Games For Wednesday, March 27th (3/27/13)
Western Michigan Broncos 52 @ George Mason Patriots 62
Santa Clara Broncos 81 @ Wright State Raiders 69

You have to give credit where credit is due to the Broncos. They have had to play some hellaciously long road trips here in the CBI, including playing two in a span of just three days against Purdue and then Wright State. This many days on the road had to be tough for the boys from California, but in the end, Santa Clara was more than good enough behind 33 points for G Keith Foster to claim victory. George Mason is in the CIT Final as well after holding Western Michigan down to just 20 points in the first half. The Patriots ultimately pulled away in thes second half and came away with a 10 point victory.

CBI Quarterfinals Games: Live CBI Games For Monday, March 25th (3/25/13)
Houston Cougars 84 @ George Mason Patriots 88
Richmond Spiders 51 @ Wright State Raiders 57
Santa Clara Broncos 86 @ Purdue Boilermakers 83
Western Michigan Broncos 75 @ Wyoming Cowboys 67

A truly great set of games here in the second round of the CBI, as two of the four games went to overtime, and the other two were decided by a combined nine points. Wright State was the biggest winner of the day, as it shut down the Richmond offense and pulled out a six-point win thanks to a big time second half. Western Michigan actually had the largest margin of victory at eight, but this was a game that was closely contested the whole way until the overtime period when the Broncos took control and never looked back. G Kevin Foster had a humongous game for Santa Clara, scoring 34 points and dishing out eight assists in the big upset for the Broncos on the road against Purdue. George Mason finished off Houston in overtime 88-84 in the highest scoring game of the day.

List Of Past CBI Winners
2012 CBI Winner – Pittsburgh Panthers
2011 CBI Winner – Oregon Ducks
2010 CBI Winner – VCU Rams
2009 CBI Winner – Oregon State Beavers
2008 CBI Winner – Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Round 1 CBI Bracket: Live CBI Games For Wednesday, March 20th (3/20/13)
Western Illinois Leathernecks 67 @ Purdue Boilermakers 81
Richmond Spiders 76 @ Bryant Bulldogs 71
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 52 @ Wright State Raiders 72
North Dakota State Bison 71 @ Western Michigan Broncos 72
Texas Longhorns 72 @ Houston 73

It wasn’t quite the Robert Morris upset over Kentucky, but Houston’s victory over Texas had to be considered every bit as sweet, knowing that the Cougars are going after the same recruits in the Lone Star State as the Longhorns. One of the big boys that decided to go to the CBI was knocked out, but Purdue made no mistakes, destroying a very good Western Illinois team by two touchdowns. The other team out of the Summit League in the CBI, North Dakota State was knocked off by a point in OT in Kalamazoo against Western Michigan.

Bryant was playing in its first ever postseason game, but it just didn’t have the goods to take care of a stingy Richmond outfit in the second half. Meanwhile, Wright State pulled off a bit of an upset, taking down Tulsa by a whopping 20 points in a game that was never really all that interesting.

First Round CBI Bracket: CBI Games On TV For Tuesday, March 19th (3/19/13)
George Mason Patriots 78 @ Charleston Cougars 77
Lehigh Mountain Hawks 66 @ Wyoming Cowboys 67
Vermont Catamounts 67 @ Santa Clara Broncos 77

The first day of the CBI couldn’t have been any better, and if you didn’t see any of the action, you’ll wish that you did. Charleston stormed back from a double digit deficit in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to take care of George Mason. The Patriots survived by a single point. Meanwhile in the second half of the televised double dip, Wyoming knocked off Lehigh at home by a point. Vermont tried its best to take care of Santa Clara, but it didn’t have the goods on the road to get the job done.

Elite 8 Predictions: Wichita St. vs. Ohio St. March Madness 3/30

March 30th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Elite 8 Predictions: Wichita St. vs. Ohio St. March Madness 3/30
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Wichita State ShockersThe nets are going to be coming down at Staples Center on Saturday night, as either the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Wichita State Shockers are going to be off to the Final Four in Atlanta. Join us for our Elite Eight predictions, as we analyze the March Madness odds for what should be a remarkable clash between David and Goliath in the West Regional Final.

March Madness: Wichita State Shockers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Wichita State vs. Ohio State Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Wichita State vs. Ohio State Date/Time: Friday, March 29th, 7:05 p.m. ET
March Madness Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Someone on Wichita State is going to have to put a body on Deshaun Thomas
Can anyone stop this guy? We’ve been talking about Ohio State for weeks now, and the man that is always in the center of the discussion is Thomas. This is a man with great range, is lanky, can score from anywhere on the court, and can play defense as well. He’s legitimately got every tool in the bag that you would ask from a college basketball player, and he hasn’t been stopped here in the dance. Thomas put up 20 against Arizona on Thursday night, and he now has 20, 22, and 24 points in his three NCAA Tournament games. Wichita State has seen a lot of great players along the way, including a potential National Player of the Year in F Kelly Olynyk. However, Olynyk scored 26 points and put up nine boards against the Shockers as well. WSU has to do a better job on Thomas than it did on Olynyk if it realistically wants to have any chance of surviving against a very athletic team.

Wichita State vs. Ohio State Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
#9 Wichita State Shockers +4.5
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes -4.5
Over/Under 130
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Key #2: See the three. Be the three.
The three-point line is always crucial in these NCAA Tournament games, and the reason that Ohio State has survived to this point is because of the long range shot. The Buckeyes would have probably been knocked out of the dance in the first weekend by Iowa State had they not knocked down nine three-point shots, including the one by G Aaron Craft that won the game essentially at the gun. Ohio State is now knocking down a whopping 50.0 percent of its three-point shots, and it is averaging over seven threes per game. That’s a far shout from where the team was for most of the season. The Buckeyes were shooting just 35% from long range prior to the dance this season. Wichita State meanwhile, has been all over the place from beyond the arc in the dance. The team went a very respectable 5-of-12 against La Salle on Thursday, and that’s about what we are expecting to see again on Saturday. However, if there is an extreme to be seen from long range, we’ve seen both ends of it with the Missouri Valley reps. Wichita State hit 14-of-28 from downtown against Gonzaga in the Round of 32, but that came on the heels of hitting just 2-of-20 against Pittsburgh in the second round of the dance. As is usually the case, whichever team can stroke the three more successfully is going to be the one to watch out for come Saturday.

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Key #3: Ohio State needs to make a renewed effort defensively
Understandably, NCAA Tournament games tend to be a little odd by nature. Teams have to do things that they aren’t used to doing just to advance, games sometimes take a little while to get going, and every now and again, you see just a ton of scores in the final three minutes of the game or so as one team is trying to make a feverish comeback on the other. For Ohio State though, it is extremely odd to see a team scoring 70 points against it. During the regular season, it only happened seven times in 36 games. Now all of a sudden, all three teams here in the NCAA Tournament that it has faced have been able to get to 70. It’s a Catch-22 for sure. While we’re thrilled to see the Buckeyes do a heck of a lot better on the offensive end of the court, we don’t think that they can win a National Championship if they continue to play defense like this. They’ll need to really buckle down on Saturday against the Shockers, as the challenges are getting more and more difficult on the road to the Final Four.

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