Posts Tagged ‘free March Madness picks’

NCAA Tournament Free Picks: Top 10 March Madness Sleeper Teams

March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on NCAA Tournament Free Picks: Top 10 March Madness Sleeper Teams
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VCUNCAA Tournament sleeper teams are all over the place this year, and there are a number of teams that are going to be in the field that are going to be teams that can bust your bracket. Check out the Top 10 teams that can do some damage, and be sure to check back after the brackets are released to see who is on Upset Alert for the NCAA Tournament.

#10: Belmont Bruins – Always a terror, Belmont is one of these teams that could always blow up your bracket. The Bruins play fast basketball, and they average 77.2 points per game. G Ian Clark has had himself a great career, and this isn’t nearly his first rodeo in the NCAA Tournament. He’s averaging 18.1 points per game this year, and he has a great supporting cast around him. Give Belmont the right draw, and the OVC reps might ultimately be dancing into the second week of the tourney.

#9: Davidson Wildcats – When you’re hot, you’re hot. The Wildcats have won 17 games in a row, and they feature one of the most efficient offenses in the entire tournament. Davidson is also the only team in the land that hits at least 80% of its free throws, something that really is important at this level when the pressure is on. The Wildcats have a great pedigree, and they are going to have a real chance of making a deep run here in the dance, a la when they had G Stephen Curry knocking down shots from all over the place in the Elite 8.

#8: Valparaiso Crusaders – Wake up the echos of Bryce Drew! Remember when the Crusaders pulled off the great upset in the NCAA Tournament against Ole Miss back in the day? This Valpo team could be just as dangerous. The Crusaders ranked sixth in the land in shooting percentage this year at 48.9%, and that came against a solid schedule that included a very tough Horizon League. This is another one of these teams that can rotate players in and out at will, and it plays some hardnosed defense as well. Ryan Broekhoff is a 6’7″ big man that can cause all sorts of matchup problems, especially knowing that he averages knocking down almost three triples per game.

#7: Harvard Crimson – Ever since Cornell went on its great run a few years ago, we have always had our eyes on these Ivy League teams as clubs that could make some noise. Harvard shoots over 40 percent from beyond the arc, and in a tournament where the three-ball is the great equalizer, it’s no wonder why the Crimson are expected to make some noise. G Wesley Saunders knocked down a whopping 52.6%(!!!) of his three-point attempts this year, and when he and his mates get going, look out! Harvard is going to put someone on upset alert for sure.

#6: LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds – LIU Brooklyn didn’t have as great of a season this year as it did a campaign ago, but it still won the NEC Tournament and will dance for the third straight season. The Blackbirds still fly up and down the court like they always have, and with the right matchup, they could prove to be problematic. F Jamal Olasewere is a much more experienced player than he was a few years ago when Long Island cracked into the dance the first time and tried its best to run with North Carolina. Now, this bunch of chiseled vets could ultimately prove to give a high seed some real problems.

#5: Northwestern State Demons – The Demons feature the top scoring offense in America at 81.0 points per game, and they are able to force the tempo against literally anyone that they play. This is a deep, deep team that will rotate 10 players, all of which average at least 15 minutes per game on the court. Are there any real stars? Not necessarily. However, just like VCU (more on the Rams in a second), Northwestern State is going to push you for the full 40 minutes and go full bore in the process. Though this isn’t a team that could make a huge run, there is no doubt that no one is going to want to see this club on its line on Selection Sunday.

#4: South Dakota State Jackrabbits – G Nate Wolters was a man that we highlighted last year for the Jackrabbits, and he is the man that we are going to keep a close eye on once again. The guard averaged 22.7 points per game this year, and he had a great Summit League Tournament. The Jacks now have some experience under their belts having been to the dance last year, and they are going to be ready to take it to an unsuspecting high seed this coming week as well. South Dakota State shoots the daylights out of the basketball, and it could be primed for an upset.

#3: Iona Gaels – The Metro Atlantic champs are back in the NCAA Tournament once again, but this year, they have the MAAC’s automatic bid that they are bringing with them instead of having to play in the First Four in Dayton against BYU. This was obviously a good enough team to get into the field as an at large last year, and most of the pieces are back from that puzzle. Why do we think Iona is a dangerous squad? Not only did the Gaels average 80.7 points per game this year, but they were beaten 11 times by five points or fewer this season. The only team to really whip Iona was a La Salle team that is going to likely be in the field of 68 as an at large.

#2: Colorado State Rams – Last year, we warned to keep a close eye on Colorado State, only to see it bow out in the first round in a bad matchup against Murray State. The Rams are back with a very similar looking team, and they once again can really dominate with their bigs. This is a team that is averaging outrebounding teams by almost 15 boards per night. Colorado State doesn’t have the guards to make a huge run in the dance, but if the bracket falls right for it and a bunch of teams that don’t have remarkable guard play turn up on the line with it, look out! The Mountain West really can play this year.

#1: VCU Rams – HAVOC is back! The Rams are going to be an underrated team in the dance this year, and if they can get the right draw against a team that can’t handle the pressure of playing against the full court press for the full 40 minutes, they’ll have a shot at the Final Four once again. Head Coach Shaka Smart knows that he has a solid team this season once again, and VCU is averaging nearly a dozen steals per game. The difference between this year’s team and the one that made it to the Final Four a few years ago? These Rams can shoot the three. Those did in the dance, but didn’t in the regular season. Watch out for sure. HAVOC is coming to get you!

2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket: NCAA Tournament Snubs

March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket: NCAA Tournament Snubs
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Alabama BasketballThe NCAA Tournament Bracket has been set, and the arguments are already beginning for the teams that were NCAA Tournament snubs. Check out our list of 2013 March Madness snubs!

Let’s get one thing straight before we begin: There wasn’t a team that didn’t have itself to blame for not getting into the NCAA Tournament. Each of these teams had games that they could have won that could have put them on the right side of the bubble. This year, not only were there 37 at large bids to go get, but one of those teams that would have been in the field, the Connecticut Huskies were ineligible. If you didn’t get in, you didn’t deserve to get in. That being said, some of these teams arguably put together better resumes than the ones that did get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee Volunteers (20-12) – Tennessee finished with an RPI of 59 and an SOS of 58, numbers which probably were okay, but not necessarily good enough to dance. What gets us with the Volunteers is that they really did play well down the stretch of the season. They beat Florida and they beat Kentucky, but in the end, they were beaten in a couple games that they really couldn’t afford to lose. The Alabama loss in the SEC Tournament wasn’t the damning one. The one that really got the Volunteers was the defeat at the hands of UGA.

Kentucky Wildcats (21-11) – If the Wildcats had gotten into the NCAA Tournament, we would have been calling for a conspiracy theory. Kentucky won the National Championship last year, but this team just isn’t anywhere near last year’s club. Since F Nerlens Noel went down, the Cats are just 4-5 to show for their work, and in there includes four road losses, and the most damning defeat in the SEC Tournament against Vanderbilt. With an RPI of 57 and an SOS of 69, we know that Kentucky just didn’t have the numbers to dance.

Alabama Crimson Tide (21-12) – Last year, Alabama didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament in spite of the fact that it won a ton of games in the SEC. This year, the story is basically the same. The Tide aren’t dancing because they flat out didn’t beat anybody. The only two NCAA Tournament teams that Alabama beat this year were South Dakota State and Villanova, and those wins came back in November. There’s no one for the Tide to blame but themselves for that type of scheduling, especially here with an SEC conference slate.

Maryland Terrapins (22-12) – There were so many times this year when the Terrapins looked like they were going to be remarkable. They beat Duke twice and they won 13 games in a row in the regular season once upon a time. However, there were too many losses to teams like Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Florida State as well. Maryland is a very talented team, and it is going to play well in the NIT. It just wasn’t meant to be in the NCAA Tournament, though.

Virginia Cavaliers (21-11) – What could have been for the Hoos… This team scheduled just so badly… So, so badly outside of the ACC this year. Even then, beating NC State in the ACC Tournament would have likely been the victory that would have put the team in the fold. However, it just wasn’t meant to be. At John Paul Jones Arena, this was a remarkable team. Away from it though, UVA wasn’t anything special. Save for beating Wisconsin, the win that kept on giving, there wasn’t a single notable road win in the mix.

2013 NIT Bracketology: NIT Picks & Preview (FINAL UPDATE)

March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   4 Comments »
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NIT LogoThe NIT schedule is only a week away from being released, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are taking another look at our NIT Bracketology picks for how we think that the field of 32 could look. We’ll be keeping this updated regularly, and now that we are in the week of the NCAA Tournament, we’ll be updating with every passing result that could change the way that the 2013 NIT Tournament could look.

Before we begin, here’s how the NIT works. There are 32 teams that make it into the field, and before there are any other teams that are put into place, any team that won its conference regular season crown but didn’t make it into the NCAA Tournament gets an automatic spot.

List of Teams With Automatic Bids To NIT
Stony Brook Seawolves (America East)
Mercer Bears (Atlantic Sun)
Charleston Southern Buccaneers (Big South)
Long Beach State 49ers (Big West)
Northeastern Huskies (Colonial)
Norfolk State Spartans (MEAC)
Niagara Purple Eagles (Metro Atlantic)
Robert Morris Colonials (Northeast)
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Southland)
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (WAC)

*Note: Middle Tennessee State also has a guaranteed spot in the NIT if it doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament, though for now, we have the Blue Raiders in the field


There are going to be 22 at large bids to the NIT that are up for grabs after 10 top seeds fell in their conference tournaments over the course of the last two weeks. The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders would be automatic qualifiers if they dropped into the NIT as well, but they would clearly fit the bill as an NIT team regardless of their conference affiliation.

NIT No. 1 Seeds: Kentucky Wildcats, Virginia Cavaliers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Tennessee Volunteers
NIT No. 2 Seeds: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, Maryland Terrapins, Alabama Crimson Tide, Stanford Cardinal
NIT No. 3 Seeds: Baylor Bears, Providence Friars, Xavier Musketeers, Florida State Seminoles
NIT No. 4 Seeds: Washington Huskies, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arkansas Razorbacks, Massachusetts Minutemen
NIT No. 5 Seeds: Indiana State Sycamores, Charlotte 49ers, BYU Cougars, Air Force Falcons
NIT No. 6 Seeds: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, St. John’s Red Storm, St. Joseph’s Hawks, Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
NIT No. 7 Seeds: Robert Morris Colonials, Stony Brook Seawolves, Niagara Purple Eagles, Long Beach State 49ers
NIT No. 8 Seeds: Mercer Bears, Northeastern Huskies, Norfolk State Spartans, Charleston Southern Buccaneers

Atlantic 10
NIT Locks: Xavier Musketeers, Charlotte 49ers, Massachusetts Minutemen
NIT Bubble: St. Joseph’s Hawks, Richmond Spiders

There is now absolutely no doubt in our minds that Xavier, Charlotte, and UMass are going to be in the NIT. The Minutemen had to think they could get the job done, but losing to VCU on Saturday was the end of their chances of dancing. Beyond that though, the Hawks and the Spiders are going to be hoping not to see any more upsets in conference tournaments. Many think that the Hawks are okay, but Richmond really is practically dead at this point. All of those technical fouls proved to be killers, not only for any hopes of advancing in the A-10 Tournament, but for making it into the NIT as well.

NIT Locks: Maryland Terrapins, Virginia Cavaliers, Florida State Seminoles
NIT Bubble: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Florida State got into the NIT for sure when it held on to beat Clemson. It didn’t help its case when it was beaten by North Carolina badly in the second half on Friday, but we still don’t see any way that the garnet and gold aren’t in the NIT. Georgia Tech is still hanging on, but the chances are looking grim at best. The Jackets really needed the NIT bubble to stay large, but it keeps getting tighter and tighter, and they’re probably amongst the ones getting squeezed out. Maryland did the job that it needed to do on Friday by beating Duke, but it couldn’t get the job done by beating North Carolina. The Terrapins aren’t quite going to be good enough to dance, but they’ll be a home team in the first at least two rounds in the NIT.

Big 12
NIT Locks: Baylor Bears
NIT Bubble: None

Baylor has probably lost out on its chances to get into the NCAA Tournament after losing to Oklahoma State on Thursday. That certainly leaves the Bears in the NIT. As far as Texas is concerned, it was beaten badly by Kansas State and really can’t be considered for the NIT any longer.

Big East
NIT Locks: Providence Friars
NIT Bubble: St. John’s Red Storm

We’ll start this discussion by saying that Big East teams that have a good enough record to get into the NIT usually do. That means that St. John’s really should have nothing to worry about in spite of the fact that we have it as one of the last few at large teams getting in. The Johnnies gave the NIT Selection Committee a reason to not put them in the NIT by playing pitiful basketball down the stretch. Put them in a different conference, and we would have a different discussion. But in the Big East, especially for the team that plays its home games at the home of the Final Four, Madison Square Garden? It’s just not likely to see St. John’s left off the line. Providence has done enough, plain and simple.

Big Sky
NIT Locks: None
NIT Bubble: Weber State Wildcats

The Wildcats finished out the season in the most predictable way possible. They only suffered six defeats on the campaign, but that sixth loss came to Montana in crushing fashion on the road. Many think that this is an NIT team. We aren’t all that sure. Weber State is going to have to convince the NIT Selection Committee that it has a better resume than perhaps an Atlantic 10 team with not quite the same type of resume, and we just don’t know if that truly could be the case. It seems like the Wildcats are off to the CBI or the CIT if they want to continue playing in the second season.

Big 10
NIT Locks: Iowa Hawkeyes
NIT Bubble: None

We feel really bad for Head Coach Fran McCaffery and the gang. The Hawkeyes were one of the best 37 at large teams in the nation as we saw it this year, but they scheduled so poorly in the non-conference season that there was no way to justify putting them in the dance. They’ll be here in the NIT and get at least two, if not three home games as long as they keep winning as their reward for a solid season, though. Not a terrible consolation prize for a team that is still a step or two shy of competing with the big boys in the Big Ten.

Conference USA
NIT Locks: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
NIT Bubble: None

The Golden Eagles did everything that they could to get into the bracket, but they just weren’t able to get the job done when push came to shove. They haven’t beaten any of the Top 50 RPI teams this year, and we would be shocked if they get the nod into the dance as a result. Southern Miss will earn some home games here in the NIT though, and it will have to play every bit as well as it did for the first 50 minutes against the Tigers on Saturday to continue to advance against some of the next best teams in the game.

Horizon League
NIT Locks: None
NIT Bubble: Detroit Titans

Detroit is still in the discussion, but that discussion is really starting to get bleaker and bleaker. The Titans would have probably been on the No. 7 line or so had the field stayed at 32, but alas, now that that number is down to 22 with no more games to help out the resume, it’s going to be virtually impossible to get into the NIT.

NIT Locks: None
NIT Bubble: Ohio Bobcats

Poor Ohio. The team was favored to take down the MAC crown, and it really had to figure that it had Akron dead to rights coming into Saturday’s MAC Championship Game. However, it was Akron that really stepped up to the plate to claim the league title, and in the end, Ohio is right there on the NIT cut line as we see it. This is another one of these teams like Weber State that has a pretty good record, but not quite the same type of resume as a team like BYU or St. Joe’s. The Bobcats seem to be headed to the CBI or the CIT this season.

Missouri Valley Conference
NIT Locks: None
NIT Bubble: Indiana State Sycamores, Northern Iowa Panthers

Indiana State and Northern Iowa are both vexing cases to get into the NIT. The Sycamores had to think that they were going to contend for a spot in the NCAA Tournament until getting beaten prematurely in the Missouri Valley Tournament. Now, some think that they are going to miss out on the NIT as well. We tend to think otherwise. The Sycamores should be in this field. The window is closing quickly on Northern Iowa, and there just don’t seem to be enough bids left to this tourney to put the Panthers in.

Mountain West
NIT Locks: Air Force Falcons
NIT Bubble: None

Air Force dodged a few bullets, just like so many of the other teams that were hoping to get into the NIT on Saturday. Only one of the four potential bids to the NIT were stolen, and as a result, there are still enough bids that are left to think that the Falcons are a lock to be in the nation’s secondary postseason tournament. The Mountain West was too good this year to ignore, and we have to think that a team that beat some of the best teams in the conference would be deserving a slot in at least the NIT.

Ohio Valley
NIT Locks: None
NIT Bubble: Murray State Racers

Murray State is still praying that it gets the call from the NIT Selection Committee on Selection Sunday, but it really isn’t looking good at this point. That’s too bad for Murray State fans, as this team came so close to winning the Ohio Valley, and now, it probably won’t get a chance to see its team play again this year unless there is a change of heart to go to the CBI (or perhaps the CIT).

Just Bet Sports

NIT Locks: Stanford Cardinal, Washington Huskies, Arizona State Sun Devils
NIT Bubble: None

This is a cut and dry conference at this point. Some think that U-Dub isn’t going to get into the NIT, but after last year when the team made a great run to the Final Four at MSG, we just can’t see it happening. The Huskies played well down the stretch, they’re 18-15, they have a respectable RPI, and they only lost in overtime to Oregon in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. This is a good enough team to play in the second season.

NIT Locks: Tennessee Volunteers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Kentucky Wildcats
NIT Bubble: LSU Tigers

It really seems as though the SEC is going to have to go through the pain of having at least four teams in the NIT this year. Tennessee and Arkansas both played themselves out of the NCAA Tournament, and Kentucky probably ultimately did so as well. The Rebels were in the NIT as we saw it at the start of the day, but after they knocked off Vanderbilt on Saturday, they are in the dance. The team dropping in is Kentucky. The Wildcats were crushed by Vandy in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, and they really don’t deserve to get into the field of 68 as a result. On the other side of the NIT bubble, LSU remains at least in consideration. Vandy fell off of the NIT line after getting beaten by Alabama, but the CBI could be in the cards for the Commodores as well after such a nice run into the SEC semifinals.

West Coast Conference
NIT Locks: BYU Cougars
NIT Bubble: None

We have seen enough other projections for the NIT to know that BYU is probably safe and sound. Though we think based upon merit, there is no way that the Cougs should be safe, nor should they be hosting a game, but this is a tournament that is all about revenue. There will at least have to be a possibility that the Cougars can pack the Marriott Center at least one more time this year. Don’t be shocked if BYU ends up on the No. 4 line to get that home game even though we’re not even 100% sure that it deserves to be in the NIT field after losing to San Diego in the WCC Tournament.

NIT Locks: None
NIT Bubble: Denver Pioneers, Utah State Aggies

Gulp. The WAC is going to have its one team in the NIT for sure… Louisiana Tech is going to fall into the NIT as an automatic qualifier. But what happened to Denver and Utah State? Both lost to subpar teams in the WAC Tournament, and now, they’re at the mercy of the NIT Selection Committee. It’s not looking good for either one with only 22 slots up for grabs right now.

2013 NCAA Tournament Bracketology (FINAL UPDATE)

March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 NCAA Tournament Bracketology (FINAL UPDATE)
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2013 NCAA Tournament LogoNote: Italic represents projected conference winner, automatic bid. Bold represents teams that have already clinched NCAA Tournament bids

NCAA Tournament Bracketology Updated As Of Games Completed On 3/17/13 3:00 PM

1 SeedsGonzaga Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, Indiana Hoosiers, Kansas Jayhawks
We think that Gonzaga, Indiana, and Louisville have all done enough to ensure the fact that they are going to be on the top line come Selection Sunday at this point. The Hoosiers might have put themselves in a bit of peril after losing to the Badgers, but there really should be no doubt about IU’s safety on the top line. The Dookies were here on the top line for quite some time, but we think that winning the Big XII title was enough to get the Jayhawks here on the top line instead. It wouldn’t be a huge shock to see Duke here come Selection Sunday, but KU is the right choice that the Selection Committee should be making. Louisville won the Big East Tournament, and the argument could be made that they are the best team in the country once again. Though we think that Gonzaga should be the No. 1 overall seed in the dance, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cards get that nod instead.

2 SeedsMiami Hurricanes, Duke Blue Devils, Ohio State Buckeyes, Florida Gators
We really think that the No. 2 line is pretty much cut and dry at this point. The Hurricanes won the ACC title by knocking off North Carolina, but that isn’t going to be enough to put them all the way up on the No. 1 line. Florida meanwhile, was beaten at the death in shocking fashion by Ole Miss, and that is going to keep the orange and blue on the No. 2 line as well. No one was really able to capitalize to take its No. 2 seed. Ohio State is going to be on the No. 2 line whether it wins the Big Ten title or not.

3 SeedsNew Mexico Lobos, Georgetown Hoyas, Michigan State Spartans, Syracuse Orange
The Lobos captured the Mountain West title, and the way that things are shaking out, they could be in for a great bracket when things are released on Sunday. They’ll be playing at home in the West Bracket and will be the only West Coast based team at the top of that bracket. Georgetown has fallen down after not playing for a couple of days after bowing out of the Big East Tournament in the quarters. Syracuse has made it to the No. 3 line by getting to the Big East Tournament Final. They couldn’t lock down the automatic bid to the dance though, as Louisville proved to be just too strong. Michigan State couldn’t get to the Big Ten title game, but the Spartans have done enough in our eyes to stay on the No. 3 line.

Note: Syracuse would move down to a No. 4 seed if Wisconsin wins the Big Ten Championship Game

4 Seeds – Michigan Wolverines, Kansas State Wildcats, Wisconsin Badgers, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Some moving and some shaking here on the No. 4 line as we go into the second to last day of the regular season. Michigan’s loss to Wisconsin really hurts any case that the Wolverines have of being in the Top 3 lines, and we think that there is nowhere to go but down from here for Big Blue. Okie State’s loss to Kansas State might ultimately see it down a line, but not necessarily. The Wildcats didn’t win the Big XII, but they shouldn’t be punished for it. Losing to Kansas, even if it was for the third time this year, isn’t the end of the world. Wisconsin’s win over Indiana was a huge step in the right direction for the Badgers, as they are most certainly going to be in the top four lines in the NCAA Tournament.

Note: Wisconsin would move up to a No. 3 seed if it wins the Big Ten Championship Game


5 Seeds – UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Marquette Golden Eagles, Saint Louis Billikens
Notre Dame bowed out of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament, but there is nothing to worry about for Head Coach Mike Bray’s team. The Fighting Irish have earned a Top 5 slot in the dance. The Runnin’ Rebels didn’t really do anything wrong to fall down to the No. 5 line, but losing in the MWC title game kept them from moving back up to the Top 4 lines. After winning the A-10 title winning a combined five games this year against VCU and Butler, there is no reason for the Billikens to not be at least on the No. 5 line, if not even a tad higher than this.

6 Seeds – Arizona Wildcats, Pittsburgh Panthers, Memphis Tigers, Creighton Blue Jays
Arizona lost a spot on our line when Saint Louis won the Atlantic 10 title on Sunday. It took two overtimes, but Memphis was able to close out Southern Miss in Tulsa on Saturday morning. The Tigers aren’t moving up any, but they aren’t moving down any either. Pittsburgh is the fourth team on this line, as it lost out on its chance to get any higher on the bracket when it was beaten early at Madison Square Garden.

7 SeedsOregon Ducks, North Carolina Tar Heels, UCLA Bruins, NC State Wolfpack
The No. 7 line seems to be just about complete as we see it. The Tar Heels really weren’t hurt by the fact that they were beaten by Miami on the final day of the regular season, as the good that they did by getting to the ACC Tournament Final did more to help than the loss to “The U” hurt. Oregon won the Pac-12 Tournament, and we think that this is about as high as it could ultimately go. Meanwhile, the loss to UCLA killed the hopes that the Bruins had of moving up to the No. 6 line. NC State’s ACC Tournament didn’t turn out to be all that bad. The win over Virginia was nice, and the loss to the Hurricanes was expected.

8 Seeds – VCU Rams, Butler Bulldogs, Colorado State Rams, Illinois Fighting Illini
VCU was a winner on Friday and Saturday, but it was beaten on Sunday in the Atlantic 10 Final. HAVOC might be on this dreaded 8 line, and if that’s the case, there is going to be a bitter No. 1 seed somewhere that has to know that it could be in for a real fight. Colorado State was beaten in the MWC Semifinals by UNLV, hardly a disqualifying loss. Illinois was beaten by Indiana, but because it suffered a better beating than some of these teams did below it, we actually have the Illini moving up as a result of their defeat. Butler falls down to the No. 8 line on Saturday after losing for the third time this year to Saint Louis.

Bet Guardian Sports

9 Seeds – Missouri Tigers, San Diego State Aztecs, Wichita State Shockers, Colorado Buffaloes
Not a heck of a lot to report here on the No. 9 line. Missouri and San Diego State both lost opportunities to move up when they were beaten on Friday night. Wichita State is still holding firm as a No. 9 on our line, though others have the Shockers a lot lower than we do. Colorado is finished in the Pac-12 Tournament and will likely be sitting right around here as a result.

10 Seeds – Villanova Wildcats, Iowa State Cyclones, St. Mary’s Gaels, Cincinnati Bearcats
No one on the No. 10 line really has done all that much over the course of the last few days. Villanova and Iowa State both lasted just two rounds in their conference tournament before ultimately crashing out. Cincinnati is okay in spite of the fact that it really dropped down the stretch. St. Mary’s should be okay as well, knowing that it made it to the WCC Final. Some will think that the lack of RPI Top 50 victories will hurt the Gaels, but the rest of the bubble teams really are in terrible shape.

11 Seeds – Temple Owls, Oklahoma Sooners, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Ole Miss Rebels
Temple was beaten by UMass in a loss that could ultimately send it to Dayton. We think that the Owls will be okay. Oklahoma and Minnesota are teams that should still be sweating just a bit about the prospects of having to go to Dayton, but both of these teams are comfortably in the field at this point. Ole Miss has won the SEC Tournament, and as a result, it can’t play in the First Four in Dayton. The quality victory was good enough to move the Rebs up all the way to the No. 11 line as we see it though, and that would have been good enough to avoid the First Four anyway.

12 Seeds – California Golden Bears, La Salle Explorers, Belmont Bruins, Davidson Wildcats, Valparaiso Crusaders
There is pretty much a consensus at this point that La Salle’s loss to Butler really puts the Explorers in a lot of trouble. Many still have them in the field, and we’re no exception for that, but the A-10 reps are by no means totally safe. California is the big loser as we see it from Ole Miss winning the SEC title. Instead of staying on the main bracket and getting into the second round without having to play, the boys from Berkeley are going to have to take the long trip to Dayton for the First Four. Belmont has been firmly on the No. 12 line as the OVC champs. Because of all of the bubble chaos, Davidson is moving up a line after winning the SoCon. This will be a No. 12 seed not to mess with for sure. We move Valpo up to the No. 12 line as the Horizon League champs, and there are going to be some No. 5 seeds that hope they don’t see the Crusaders in their bracket.

DSI Sports Book

13 Seeds – Boise State Broncos, Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, Akron Zips, South Dakota State Jackrabbits, Northwestern State Demons
South Dakota State remain locked into the No. 13 line right now after winning the Summit League crown. Akron won the MAC in spite of the fact that it was brutalized at the end of the regular season with G Alex Abreu getting suspended after getting picked up for drug trafficking. Northwestern State stole the bid from the Southland Conference from the favored Stephen F. Austin team, and now, the Demons are dancing. Notice that we dropped the last two teams in the field down to the No. 13 line? The Broncos and the Blue Raiders seem to be the perfect two teams to match up here in Dayton for the First Four. Both were inadequate in their respective conference tournaments. They’re going to both be sweating it out for the next few hours until the brackets are released, but we have to think that both are going to be on the line. We think that both resumes are significantly better than those of the teams from the ACC or the SEC that are also fighting for spots in the dance.

14 SeedsBucknell Bison, New Mexico State Aggies, Montana Grizzlies, Harvard Crimson
Montana had to hold off a tremendous Weber State team in the Big Sky final to get into the NCAA Tournament, but in the end, the hosts for the championship game were able to get the job done and clinch a bid on their home court. Bucknell and Harvard have been automatic entries into the dance for quite some time at this point. New Mexico State wrapped up the bid to the dance out of the WAC after a crazy conference tournament that saw all of the best teams, save for the Aggies, bow out prematurely.

15 SeedsIona Gaels, Albany Great Danes, LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
With the fall of another prospective 15 seed, we’ve moved Western Kentucky out of the Sun Belt off of the bottom line. LIU Brooklyn and Iona are both awfully fun teams to watch, and they have a ton of NCAA Tournament experience. No one is going to want to see these two teams on their schedule in the first round of the dance. The Great Danes are in the dance after going on the road and beating the Catamounts on Saturday, and they are going to be in a tough spot as either a 15 or a 16 in the dance.

16 SeedsFlorida Gulf Coast Eagles, James Madison Dukes, Pacific Tigers, Southern Jaguars, North Carolina A&T Aggies, Liberty Flames
We’re bumping some teams all around in the No. 16 line after another relatively wild day in conference tournament play. Long Beach State was expected to win the Big West this year, but after a wild set of semifinals, it was Pacific that ended up beating UC Irvine for the right to dance. We’re not all that sure that it’ll be good enough to keep the Tigers from going to Dayton, but at least they’re on their way to the NCAA Tournament Liberty, North Carolina A&T, and Southern are all going to be headed to Dayton for sure. The question is which ones of these other teams in the bottom two lines will be joining these three.

Bubbles Busted – Tennessee Volunteers, Virginia Cavaliers, Maryland Terrapins, Kentucky Wildcats, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

And what’s left are just a few teams, and we’re not even so sure that Tennessee or Virginia really has a way to get into the field. The Cavaliers are probably in slightly better shape right now, but both teams need a ton of help, and they have no one to blame but themselves. The Vols lost to Alabama. The Cavvies lost to NC State. Neither team did enough in non-conference play. See you both in the NIT.

2:30 PM Update: Southern Miss really put forth a great effort against Memphis on Saturday, but the loss, even though it came in two overtimes, really wasn’t good enough to get the job done. We now know that the Golden Eagles should be in the NIT, though they are going to likely have the highest RPI amongst teams that aren’t going to get into the NCAA Tournament. No Top 50 RPI wins will be the killer for this squad.

4:00 PM Update: Alabama falls off of the bubble line on Saturday after getting beaten by Florida in the SEC Tournament semifinals. It’s off to the NIT for the Crimson Tide for sure.

5:30 PM Update: Definitely a mixed bag of results here for bubble teams. Ole Miss was able to beat Vanderbilt, which puts it in the NCAA Tournament for the time being, and we think that that moves Kentucky out of the dance. The Wildcats do have the name recognition to get into the field of 68, but geez… Their resume really isn’t all that great, and they have some terrible losses. Maryland, playing at the same time, couldn’t quite get the job done against North Carolina in spite of the fact that it pushed the Tar Heels to the brink in the ACC Semifinals.

6:15 PM Update: Maryland is probably finished at this point. The team had a nice run through the ACC Tournament, beat the Blue Devils but losing to the Tar Heels on Saturday. Is it enough to keep the team in the field? Unfortunately for the Terps, two wins over the Dookies just isn’t enough to get into the NCAA Tournament.

9:15 PM Update: We feel as though the at large bids are all said and done with at this point, and we would be shocked if the 68 that we have in the field aren’t the 68 that are playing starting on Tuesday. Kentucky and Southern Miss are probably the first two teams left out of the field, followed by Virginia and Tennessee. We really don’t feel as though there is any argument to put these last teams out in the field at this point.

2013 CIT Bracketology, Picks, & Bracket Predictions (FINAL UPDATE)

March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 CIT Bracketology, Picks, & Bracket Predictions (FINAL UPDATE)
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CIT LogoOnce the NIT field and the NCAA Tournament field are set, there are still two postseason tournaments that are going to be left to set. Our CIT Bracketology is interesting as always, as the teams from the non-BCS conferences are going to fight it out in this, the fifth annual Tournament! Don’t miss the our 2013 CIT Bracketology, which will be updated every night from now through Selection Sunday!

Ever wonder how the CIT works? Teams can turn down bids to this tournament, as it is a significantly lesser tournament, and it doesn’t have a tremendous prize at the end like a trip to the Final Four or Madison Square Garden as the NCAA Tournament and the CIT have. The CIT matches up teams from all over the course from the smaller conferences against each other in the old NIT style, basically trying to keep matchups relatively regional. The matchups aren’t set until the previous round of games is complete, and no one is formally “ranked.” There are 32 teams in this field, each of which had to finish above .500 for the season, and the selection process has to be incredibly tough. There are always a ton of moving parts to consider for the College Insider Tournament Bracketology, but we’re here to sort it all out, as we go conference by conference to pick the 32 teams that will be a part of this tournament!

Don’t see your favorite team listed here in the CIT? Check out our NIT Bracketology or our CBI Bracketology instead. Also note that teams that are ineligible for the postseason are not included.

DSI Sports Book

Teams that have already accepted bids to the CIT in bold.

America EastHartford Hawks, Boston Terriers
We’re starting to believe that America East is now finished in the CIT. We now know that Vermont is going to be playing in the CBI, which is going to leave just these two here in the CIT. Hartford really was a surprising entry, knowing that there were so many other teams, even out of America East, which would have been deserving of bids here to the postseason.

Atlantic 10Richmond Spiders
We have confidence that there will be at least one team out of the A-10 that makes it to the CIT, but we aren’t sure whether it will be Richmond that decides to come and play in this tourney or not. The Spiders went out in the A-10 tourney in terrible fashion, getting bounced out after getting hit with three technical fouls in the final five seconds of the game.

Atlantic Sun
The Atlantic Sun has sort of cleared itself out at this point. Florida Gulf Coast is dancing. Mercer is going to the NIT. No one else had a winning record. This is fairly cut and dry at this point.

Big SkyNorth Dakota Fighting Sioux, Weber State Wildcats
It makes more sense for Weber State to be in the CBI than the CIT, but we aren’t sure that the field of 16 is going to have room for the Wildcats. There’s no way that the CIT would turn down a chance to bring back a Weber State team that won 26 games and fell just short of going to the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Sioux only finished right at .500 this year, but they have still been linked to the possibility of hosting a game here in the CIT. We’ll find out Sunday whether they get the nod or not.


Big SouthGardner Webb Bulldogs
Gardner Webb has already accepted its bid into the CIT after posting a solid year in the crazy Big South, the conference that gave us Liberty as a 15-20 team that made the NCAA Tournament. High Point really seems to want to play in this tournament, but we aren’t so sure that it is going to happen that way. The Panthers lost their leading scorer, John Brown to a foot injury, and the fact that he can’t play might ultimately be a harm to them. This is a CIT bubble team if there ever were such a thing.

Big WestUC Irvine Anteaters
The Anteaters made it all the way to the Big West Final before losing to Hawaii. We really were wondering whether any of these teams from this conference were going to accept bids to the second season or not outside of Pacific, the NCAA Tournament reps, but alas, here comes UCI in what might be the first of many teams accepting bids to this tournament.

There were two surprising announcements that were made over the weekend. George Mason was going to be accepting a bid into the CBI or the CIT to host a game (likely the CBI), while Delaware, a team that seemed interested in the CBI all along, has announced that it won’t be accepting a postseason bid. That probably leaves the CAA without a team in the CIT.

Conference USAEast Carolina Pirates, Tulane Green Wave
Conference USA decided to partake in the CIT after all. East Carolina and Tulane both accepted bids to the CIT on Friday. We’re a bit surprised to not hear anything about Houston or UTEP, and we have a feeling that both teams are going to be left out when push comes to shove. Tulsa is a team that we know is likely headed to the CBI.

Great West ConferenceChicago State Cougars
Chicago State finished the regular season as the lowest rated team in the Great West. They had won just eight games through March 8th, four of which came against non-Division I schools. However, the Cougars knocked off Houston Baptist on the final day of the regular season and turned around and won the Great West Tournament. They’ll certainly be one and done in the CIT, but they have the league’s automatic bid to this tournament.

Horizon LeagueWisconsin Green Bay Phoenix, Youngstown State Penguins, Illinois Chicago Flames, Detroit Titans
Right now, it seems pretty cut and dry what’s going to happen here in the Horizon League. Green Bay, Ilinois Chicago and Youngstown State have all accepted bids to the CIT, and Wright State and Detroit might be stuck doing the same either here or in the CBI. The difference is that the latter two are at least waiting to see if they get the call from the NIT Selection Committee come Sunday. Wright State has been linked to the CBI. Detroit really hasn’t had much in the way of links anywhere at this point, so we’re going to assume that it will be in the CIT.

Ivy League
We had projected Princeton as a CIT team for quite some time, but that has gone by the boards. The Tigers have declared that they won’t be playing in the postseason this year, shutting the Ivy League totally out of the second season, outside of Harvard in the NCAA Tournament.

Metro AtlanticCanisius Golden Griffins, Fairfield Stags, Rider Broncs, Loyola Maryland Greyhounds
Six teams finished above .500 this year in the Metro Atlantic, and all six are going to be playing in the postseason. All of the teams in the MAAC now know what their postseason destinations are going to be. Iona won the league title and will be dancing for the second straight season, while Niagara will drop into the NIT as the regular season champs. The others have all already accepted bids to the CIT, which will leave the CBI looking for other teams in the Northeast to put in its tournament.

MACKent State Golden Flashes
The Golden Flashes gave Akron a run in the MAC Semifinals, but it wasn’t enough. They’re on the line now in the CIT after accepting a bid on Saturday to the tourney. Western Michigan is a different story. The Broncos could elect to come here, but it is sounding more and more like Kent State will be the only MAC team playing in the lower tournaments. Western Michigan is a possibility, and Ohio is a team that we have lined up in the CBI right now. Based upon all of what we’re reading though, the MAC is only a one-bid league to the CIT.

We feel bad about blowing the MEAC up in the postseason, but after the first two rounds of tournament play, it’s tough to justify anything right now. Norfolk State has officially dropped into the NIT, while UNC Central was knocked off by North Carolina A&T. The Eagles are hoping to get the phone call on Sunday, but we doubt that the phone is ever actually going to ring.

Missouri ValleyEvansville Purple Aces, Bradley Braves
The Missouri Valley is going to be interesting to break down over the course of the last day of the regular season. It really seems as though Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, Bradley, and Evansville should all find postseason homes to go with Wichita State and Creighton in the NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa is a projected CBI team, while Bradley has accepted a bid here to the CIT already. Evansville is holding out hope for the NIT but probably won’t get the call. And what about Illinois State? We just haven’t heard much from the Redbirds at this point. They could be in the CBI, or they could just be left home all together in a move that would be shocking.

Mountain West
We’re leaving Wyoming in our CBI field, though at 19-13 with all 13 losses (including the conference tournament) coming in conference play, we’re not all that sure that the Cowboys truly deserve that distinction either. Air Force will make the NIT cut, and both Fresno State and Nevada are terrible and won’t finish anywhere near .500.

NortheastWagner Seahawks
First we had them out. Now, with the news that both are hearing from the CIT, we are going to put both Wagner and Bryant back in the the postseason. These teams both had great years, and they are worthy of being here in the postseason, but there are a lot of teams that could say the same. Still, these Northeast based teams have a good history of being in the CIT and the CBI, and we think that this is another perfect example of two teams that might not be quite as deserving getting in over teams that are more deserving. Wagner is the CIT team on the list right now. Bryant has reportedly accepted a bid to the CBI.

Ohio ValleyTennessee State Tigers, Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
The Ohio Valley is going to be left determining largely how the rest of the CBI and CIT are going to fall into place. If you listen to reports, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky are both headed to the CBI. We already know that Tennessee State, a team that won just a ton of home games this year, has accepted a bid to the CIT. SEMO wasn’t great this year at 17-16, but it has been linked to the CIT as well. If the Redhawks get in, it would be a huge shock, knowing that a more deserving team is likely going to be sent home instead.

Patriot LeagueLehigh Mountain Hawks
Lehigh and Lafayette are going to be tough sells if they are left out of the postseason all together. The Mountain Hawks won a ton of games this year, while the Leopards made it all the way to the Patriot League final. We can’t justify both playing in the postseason yet, but if these projected ACC/SEC/Big Ten teams we have in the CBI don’t end up coming, Lafayette will find its way into the postseason.

SouthernElon Phoenix
Elon has officially taken a spot in the CBI after a good season in the SoCon. It’ll be a bit of a disappointing postseason tournament bid, but playing in the second season is good enough for these guys this year. Charleston is probably going to be in the CBI when push comes to shove, and it makes sense to leave a SoCon team in the other postseason tourney. The Phoenix fit the bill if they’re willing to play.

When Northwestern State won the Southland Tournament on Saturday, that really ended any chance of the Southland having any teams in the CBI or the CIT. Stephen F. Austin will drop into the NIT. Northwestern State will dance.

The SWAC is a nightmare this year. Texas Southern and Arkansas Pine Bluff are ineligible, and Southern is dancing. The next best team? 15-19 Prairie View A&M. At least the Panthers made it to the SWAC Final… but then again, someone had to do it along with Southern.

Summit LeagueOral Roberts Golden Eagles, Oakland Golden Grizzlies
And here’s where there are some issues for the Summit League followers. Oral Roberts and Oakland clearly weren’t as good as North Dakota State and Western Illinois were this year. The Bison really have been quiet in terms of bids to these secondary tournaments, and they could find themselves sitting on the sidelines as a result. Oakland has already accepted a bid to the CIT, and Oral Roberts is expected to be right behind. With Western Illinois rumored to be going to the CBI, there has to be a place for NDSU… we just don’t know where that spot is if it isn’t the NIT.

Sun BeltFlorida International Golden Panthers
With Utah State bowing out of the CIT and the CBI, we’re going to slot Florida International into the field. We just don’t see a way that the team that beat Middle Tennessee State, as good of a win as most of these have on their resume at this level, would be left out.

West CoastSanta Clara Broncos
The Broncos have been rumored to send Santa Clara to the CIT, and it makes a heck of a lot of sense. This is a team that has a good history of playing in these third-tier tourneys, and the CIT would love to have another West Coast team to mix in with some of the teams from the WAC that are inevitably going to be here. The problem is that there aren’t many of those West Coast teams, and the travel expenses might start to get out of control. The Broncos should still be okay to be in the CIT, but they might reconsider come Sunday if they want to be play in this tournament or not.

WACDenver Pioneers
Both Denver and Utah State crashed out of the WAC Tournament far too early, and they are both going to pay the price as a result. Both could have put together NIT resumes, but after these bad losses this is the best that either would do. Last year, Denver turned down a bid to the CIT and the CBI. This year, we know that it is Utah State is that turning down the bid.

2013 College Basketball Invitational CBI Bracketology (FINAL UPDATE)

March 17th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 College Basketball Invitational CBI Bracketology (FINAL UPDATE)
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CBI LogoThere are 16 teams that are going to be in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, and most of the teams are going to have the opportunity to come from some of the biggest conferences in America. We know that a lot of these teams are ultimately going to turn down the chance to play here in the CBI, because it doesn’t pay for them to travel to games, and they don’t want to pay for the right to be in home games, but we have to make the assumption that all of the teams are going to ultimately be play until proven otherwise. Check out our CBI Bracketology for 2013!

Don’t see your favorite team listed here in the CBI? Check out our NIT Bracketology or our CIT Bracketology instead. Also note that teams that are ineligible for the postseason are not included.

Before we begin, we must note that this is a very fluid situation and will remain so for the rest of the week until the bracket is finally set. Some teams are starting to accept bids to the secondary tournaments, and others are showing some interest as well. We’re going to be keeping this page up to date so you can tell where all of your favorite teams are going to be headed this year for the postseason.

Western Teams
The definition of a “West Bracket” really has been blown up by the fact that there really don’t seem to be all that many teams from the West Coast that are willing to be in the CBI. The Oregon State Beavers have turned down a trip to the CBI reportedly, and that finally opens up the spot for the North Dakota State Bison that we have so badly been trying to slot in for the last few days. The Utah Utes are also expected to play after their great run in the Pac-12 Tournament. The other “West” teams are going to be the Texas Longhorns and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Both teams have the resources to be able to travel the longer distance without it hurting them, and both seem to be quite excited to get into this field to give it a shot at taking home some hardware this year.

Bovada BonusEast Coast Teams
From this point down the bracket though, a ton has changed overnight in the CBI. In the Northeast, about the only teams that are going to be playing are the Bryant Bulldogs and the George Mason Patriots. George Mason will supposedly be hosting, while Bryant has reportedly accepted a bid to this tournament. This would likely be the first round matchup if that were to be the case. The Vermont Catamounts have also accepted a bid into the CBI, which is going to make things a bit dicey for a matchup. We have to think that there is another team from the Northeast that is going to be coming into this bracket, but for now, we’re going to shift the Purdue Boilermakers here instead.

Midwest Teams (1)
There really are eight teams from the Midwest that have drawn some interest from the CBI, and we are going to break those teams into two sets of brackets. The Charleston Cougars are going to have to travel a bit farther than most teams in the CBI if this is how things play out, but the SoCon reps have been linked to this tournament without many others being in the Southeast. The Summit League’s Western Illinois Leathernecks could be a team to watch if they get into the CBI as we expect. The Murray State Racers have gone back and forth as to whether or not they are going to accept a bid to the CBI or the CIT. We think they will, and we’ll put them in this bracket. The Wright State Raiders have been a team that we have consistently kept in the CBI for quite some time, and the runners up in the Horizon League are deserving of the spot.

Midwest Teams (2)
The Southern teams that you are used to seeing in this spot are largely deciding not to play in the CBI according to various reports. The SEC teams are all probably going to be turning down bids to play in the CBI, and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets announced that they won’t be playing in the postseason either. So, here are some more Midwest teams that could be in the field of 16. The Nebraska Cornhuskers are the big name team here, knowing that the Children of the Corn had a respectable year in the Big Ten and might want to keep playing. The Eastern Kentucky Colonels appear as though they are going to come up just short of the NIT and will be a good fit here as a potential host in the CBI. The Ohio Bobcats are probably just short of the NIT as well, and they would join a team like the Northern Iowa Panthers, who went from a team that would perhaps be an NCAA Tournament contender to one that totally fell out of the dance and the NIT in a span of just a few weeks.

2011 March Madness Picks: Tips for Filling Out Your Bracket

March 13th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2011 March Madness Picks: Tips for Filling Out Your Bracket
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(Printable March Madness Brackets; PDFGIF) If you’re looking for the best March Madness bracket tips, you’ve certainly come to the right place! Here at Bankroll Sports, we’ve got all of the ins and outs covered for the hot tips that you need to look out for to make your bracket a winning one.

**Click Here For Free March Madness Bracket Contests**

The first and most obvious thing to remember when you are filling out your brackets is that there are going to be upsets. There will be at least one No. 12 beat a No. 5, and there will probably be at least one No. 13 or higher that takes down a Top 25 foe. Tens knocking off sevens are commonplace, and they’re even favored from time to time on the March Madness odds. Simply just trying to fill in chalk along the way probably isn’t going to win you too many NCAA Tournament bracket contests.

But how do you pick out those upsets? Look for some teams that have legitimate stars. The Wofford Terriers, the winners of the Southern Conference have a huge man in the paint they rely on named Noah Dahlman. Sure, Dahlman wouldn’t be expected to average 20.0 points per game over a 30 game schedule in the Big East, but players like this find ways to lead their teams in single games. Seeing a man like Dahlman going up against an undersized team could be just the mismatch that you’re looking for.

You also have to consider home court advantage. The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels are most likely going to be playing their first two games in Charlotte, NC. Needless to say, the Cameron Crazies are going to be out en masse, and any potential “neutral court advantage” that the little guys could be getting would be swallowed up by the ACC fans on Tobacco Road. This will happen all across the country, so be sure to look out.

In events where there is no home court advantage, fans generally want to see upsets. That means that No. 13 seeds that are on runs are going to sway the crowd on their side until they are finally squashed… unless they can withstand that pressure from the big boys… the deeper into the game the mid majors hang around, the more and more dangerous that they become.

Also, you have to remember that three point field goals are incredibly important. They’re the great equalizer for a lack of talent. Teams that can stroke three balls like none other tend to stick around longer in this tournament than most. Just look at the Cornell Big Red last season, as the Ivy League champs shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc for the season. Other times, it doesn’t take a full team, just a player or two. Case in point, Ali Farokhmanesh from last season with the Northern Iowa Panthers. He single handedly dragged down the top team in the country, the Kansas Jayhawks.

Though we all love Cinderella stories, we know that more often than not, when it comes down to the Final Four, you’re going to see the big time teams floating around. The way you pick those teams out is really simple. You need to find deep teams with at least 1-2 superstars that can take over games. However, be forewarned that a man like Kemba Walker for the Connecticut Huskies probably isn’t dominating the entire NCAA Tournament. A game or two, ok. But not the whole way. Well rounded teams with a star or two tend to do a heck of a lot better, just like the Duke Blue Devils did last season with Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, and Jon Scheyer.

And that brings us to our final March Madness tip. We absolutely love teams with experience in this tournament. The Florida Gators have five returning starters. The Blue Devils have back two of their three studs from last year’s title team. The Butler Bulldogs are bringing back most of the team that was in the finale last season. The Michigan State Spartans, even though they have had a terrible year, have a ton of pieces from the puzzle from the Final Four team of two years ago…

Just keep these NCAA Tournament bracket tips in mind, and you’ll be sure to clean up in your 2011 NCAA Tournament free bracket contests this year!