Posts Tagged ‘Kansas Jayhawks’

Sweet 16 Odds & Predictions – Michigan vs. Kansas 3/29/13

March 27th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Sweet 16 Odds & Predictions – Michigan vs. Kansas 3/29/13
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Michigan BasketballOur 2013 NCAA Tournament predictions continue on Friday, March 29th with the Sweet 16. Join us as the #6 Michigan Wolverines and the #2 Kansas Jayhawks go to war in what should be a remarkable opening game of the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament.

March Madness: Michigan Wolverines vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Michigan vs. Kansas Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Michigan vs. Kansas Date/Time: Friday, March 29th, 7:37 p.m. (ET)
2013 March Madness On TV: TBS

Key #1: The Wolverines need to contain Jeff Withey
Get used to hearing this for the rest of the tournament for as long as the Jayhawks are in it. At an imposing seven-feet tall, Withey has the type of size that just doesn’t exist in college basketball. He never strays all that far away from the basket, even if his man tries to get him outside. The problem with having a smaller man on him that could at least get him outside of the paint is that someone has to defend him on the other side of the court. That’s the big problem that Big Blue needs to avoid. Withey put up 16 points, 16 boards, and five blocks against an undersized North Carolina outfit the last time out, and there really isn’t going to be much of an answer for him in the Michigan lineup either. The key isn’t going to be stopping Withey, because that isn’t going to happen. They can’t let him get block happy either, as his offensive game seems to feed off of his defensive game. When Withey is rejecting all sorts of shots in the lane, he tends to get himself some more opportunities on the other side of the court, and quite frequently, those shots that he takes are of a very high percentage.

Sweet 16 Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
#4 Michigan Wolverines +2
#1 Kansas Jayhawks -2
Over/Under 136
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Key #2: Michigan simply has to get some points on the board
Here are some stats for you that might blow your mind. The Wolverines played some flat out awesome defensive teams this season. Michigan played a total of seven games against Top 25 defensive teams, two against Michigan State, two against Wisconsin, two against Ohio State, and one against Pittsburgh. In games against those teams, the Wolverines averaged just 57.3 points per 40 minutes. (Remember that a game against Ohio State and one against Wisconsin went to overtime.) In Kansas’ last 25 NCAA Tournament games, it has played to the ‘under’ to the tune of a 21-4 record. In that stretch, the team has allowed just 61.4 points per game. In the games that it has lost in the dance since 2007, it has allowed 68.4 points per game, and each of the foes scored at least 66 points against the Jayhawks. In the wins that it has had in that run, it has allowed 59.7 points per game and has only allowed more than 65 points twice in those games. That’s just a remarkably consistent stat for Head Coach Bill Self and the gang, and if Michigan doesn’t plan on getting into the 60s in this one, it isn’t going to end up winning the game.


Key #3: Glenn Robinson III has to continue to avoid being a no-show
The Big Dog’s son has had himself a very interesting first year with the Wolverines. He averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and he really did show tremendous flashes of athleticism along the way. Robinson though, was wildly inconsistent throughout the season. He scored eight points or fewer 12 times this season in 35 games. In those games where he scored eight or fewer, the Wolverines averaged just 68.3 points per game. They went 6-6 SU and 3-9 ATS. In games in which Robinson scored at least nine points, Michigan went 22-1 SU and 13-7-1 ATS. When you take out the games against teams that aren’t dancing, what’s left are an 0-6 SU record and a 1-5 ATS mark. When Robinson did score at least nine points against tourney teams this year, Big Blue is 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS. That’s a humongous overlay, and it’s further proof that the Wolverines really need Robinson to step it up and remain a consistent player if they want to have any realistic chance of coming away with a ‘W’.

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#2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats Predictions 4/2/12

April 1st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on #2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats Predictions 4/2/12
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The 2012 National Championship Game odds are out for the NCAA Tournament, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are taking the time to list our Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kentucky Wildcats predictions and keys to the game for the biggest and final game of the campaign.

2012 Final Four Matchup: #2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats
Final Four Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Final Four Date/Time: Monday, April 2nd, 9:20 p.m.
Kansas vs. Kentucky Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Kansas has to make Kentucky react to a close game
If you go back and look at what the Wildcats have done this year, you have to be awfully impressed. They have 37 wins, including a 10-point victory against these Jayhawks. They only have been beaten twice this year, and in the five games in the NCAA Tournament, they haven’t been challenged at all. The closest game was the eight-point win in the Final Four against the hated Louisville Cardinals, and it was amazing that the Cards weren’t able to at least keep that one closer, knowing that they dominated possession thanks to just a slew of offensive rebounds. Sure, there have been some games this year that Kentucky has been able to win down the stretch; however, we have definitely seen some chinks in the armor. The door stayed open against the Vanderbilt Commodores, and they went on to pull the upset in the SEC Championship Game. That door might stay open yet again versus these Jayhawks.

National Championship Game Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Kansas Jayhawks +6.5
Kentucky Wildcats -6.5
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Key #2: Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson have to prove to be forces on the inside defensively
Withey and Robinson knew that they were going to be up against it when they took on Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas for the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Final Four. They passed the test and passed it with flying colors. The real hero was Withey on the defensive end of the court. He blocked seven shots in the game and had eight boards, and two of those blocks came in the last 90 seconds or so. Is Withey overmatched from a physical standpoint? Sure. Whether it is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Anthony Davis that goes against him, Withey is going to be in some trouble. That being said, he and his teammates have improved dramatically in terms of interior defense of late. In the first go around, shots were falling from inside the paint for the whole game. Withey only had four blocks. We think that he could be a big, big factor come Monday night for the Jayhawks.

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Key #3: The Wildcats cannot give up second chances
If there is one aspect to Wildcats that we continue to see in the NCAA Tournament that is bothersome, it is the way that they hit the defensive glass. The Cardinals, as we mentioned before, had 16 offensive rebounds, and that was the only reason that they were able to stay in the game. However, all of the last four opponents were able to bring down at least nine offensive rebounds against Kentucky, and three of the four foes were able to get more offensive rebounds for the game than the Cats did. It simply isn’t good enough at this level, and athleticism can only take them so far. They’ll be in a heck of a lot of trouble if they get sloppy clearing after possessions in which they play great defense.

Key #4: Experience cannot be a factor if Head Coach John Calipari wants to get his first title
Coach Cal is one of the most talented coaches in the entire country, but he is still missing that elusive National Championship in his career resume. Since coming to Kentucky, he has used the logic that he is going to bring in the most talented players that he can find, regardless of whether they commit for one year or not to his program. That being said, when you look at the starting five for the Jayhawks, you see nothing but veterans – juniors and seniors that have been through the wars together, and that all understand what it takes to get the job done in these big time games. Meanwhile, when you look at Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller, you don’t think of them as “veterans.” However, in relation to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, and Anthony Davis, these are vets. If it comes down to that proverbial close game in which experience makes the difference, once again, we could see problems for the Wildcats. They have to win this game on their talent level alone.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Final four picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

Final Four Predictions, Picks: Ohio State vs. Kansas 3/31/12

March 29th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Final Four Predictions, Picks: Ohio State vs. Kansas 3/31/12
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Tons of NBA level talent and All-Americans are going to be on the court in the Bayou on Saturday night, and tonight, we are making our 2012 Final Four predictions by breaking down the Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Kansas Jayhawks betting lines.

2012 Final Four Matchup: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks
Final Four Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Final Four Date/Time: Saturday, March 31st, 8:45 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Kansas Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: The bigs for the Buckeyes have to stay out of foul trouble
Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger are really the heart and soul of the Buckeyes. They are the men that truly can dominate the game on both sides of the court, and when they are on, they are capable of some big time damage. They are averaging nearly 34 points and 15 boards per game between them, and they have to stay on the court. Sullinger battled foul problems at times this year, averaging right around three foul per game on average. We have seen him struggle against some decent big men that were right around his height, but this time around, he is going to have two big time post players in Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson draped all over him on both sides of the court. The depth just isn’t there for this team if Sullinger is on the bench, as there isn’t a player that averaged even a dozen minutes per game for Head Coach Thad Matta this year outside of his starting five. It could be bad news if Sullinger gets two quick fouls, and if that turns out to be the case for the second straight game, OSU might not be all that lucky.

Final Four Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Ohio State Buckeyes -2.5
Kansas Jayhawks +2.5
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Key #2: Tyshawn Taylor has to have a second straight star-like performance
When Taylor signed on the dotted line to come to Lawrence, there was a heck of a lot of hope that he would be the next in a great line of Kansas guards. That being said, he has largely disappointed. This is the first year that he has averaged double digits in scoring, and in his first three tourney games in 2012, he scored just a grand total of 26 points. That isn’t going to cut it in this one to say the least. Taylor did score 22 against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Elite Eight last weekend. It was encouraging to say the least, but Aaron Craft and William Buford are significantly more experienced and have more to bring to the table defensively than the Tar Heels could without both of their best point guards from the start of the season playing. This is a man that is a lifetime 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc, and he shot at least 48 percent from the field over the course of his career as well. Taylor has to keep that up and be the hero on the biggest stage now that he is a senior.

Key #3: The Buckeyes can’t try to get into a three-point shooting game
There aren’t many aspects to the game that the Buckeyes aren’t very good at, but shooting the three-point shot is one of them. They shot just 33.2 percent from beyond the arc this year as a team, and they have the tendency to go cold when push comes to shove. This is a team that has only taken 20 or more three-point shots once in the three games here in the dance, and that one game was the truly close call against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Last year when the Buckeyes were pounding the interior, they were relatively unstoppable. However, when they tried to push their game to the outside in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16, they were simply off the mark when it counted the most. OSU has to get the ball to the inside more often, and then shooting games like William Buford had against UK when he shot just 2-for-16 from the floor won’t happen. If that’s the case, it would take a herculean effort by a Jayhawk to pull off the mild upset.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Final Four picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

#2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels Preview 3/25/12

March 25th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on #2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels Preview 3/25/12
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Two of the most popular choices to beat the March Madness odds are going to square off on Sunday afternoon in what should be a remarkable bout on the Elite 8 odds between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Kansas Jayhawks.

2012 Elite 8 Matchup: #2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels
Midwest Region Location: Scottrade Arena, St. Louis, MO
Elite 8 Date/Time: Sunday, March 23rd, 5:00 p.m.
Kansas vs. North Carolina Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: UNC has to get over this certain home court disadvantage
The Tar Heels are essentially facing their worst fear in this one. They are taking on the Jayhawks in St. Louis, a city that is traditionally known for its roots in the Big XII, not the ACC. There will be plenty of Carolina Blue in the stands, but that doesn’t mean that the majority still won’t be pulling for Kansas. We have seen the Heels absolutely fall apart in a few games this year that either were true road games or were de facto road games, such as the horrible five touchdown loss to the Florida State Seminoles and the early season upset against the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. In games like those, the crowd was able to really get the best of the Heels, and without any sort of leadership with experience running the show out of the point guard spot, it is going to be up to the rest of this team to maintain its composure if it wants to go to the Bayou for the Final Four.

Elite 8 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Kansas Jayhawks -2
North Carolina Tar Heels +2
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Key #2: Tyshawn Taylor needs to get his head back in the game
Taylor has now had three straight lackluster games here in the tourney, and even though he averaged 16.8 points per game this season, he now has three straight games with just 10 points or fewer. He shot a woeful 0-of-6 from beyond the arc in the win over the NC State Wolfpack on Friday night, and he was a big part of why the team shot 1-of-14 from downtown as a unit. Needless to say, that isn’t going to cut it, and if Taylor is really going to step it up and be the man to lead this team as he was in the regular season, he has to get his stroke back. This was a 49.2 percent shooter and a 41.6 percent three-point shooter during the season, and he really has no excuse for jitters any longer after being in the dance last year as a freshman. Taylor just cannot go MIA in this one, though we know that he is going to have some pain in the neck guards that are very athletic guarding him.

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Key #3: North Carolina has to get an edge on the boards and make it count
It seems likely that Kendall Marshall is going to be missing out on this one again, though obviously, you are going to want to check your injury report before betting this one if you are playing the Elite 8 odds on game day. That being said, just take a look at the rebounding numbers for North Carolina on Friday night with its win over the Ohio Bobcats. Tyler Zeller had 22 boards by himself, while the whole Ohio team only had 26 rebounds. John Henson and Reggie Bullock both ripped down 10 boards apiece, while Harrison Barnes had seven. We just don’t understand how a team this talented won the rebounding battle 56-26 and still had to play in overtime and arguably should have been beaten by a No. 13 seed that was out of one of the worst conferences in America. Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson aren’t going to let matters be this easy for the Tar Heels on Sunday, and that might make the difference. If UNC does get the edge though, it has to take advantage of its second chance opportunities and to get the ball up the court in transition in a hurry.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Elite 8 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

#11 NC State vs. #2 Kansas Sweet 16 Predictions for 3/23/12

March 22nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on #11 NC State vs. #2 Kansas Sweet 16 Predictions for 3/23/12
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Many think that the NC State Wolfpack are going to be the team to get the job done and become that coveted double digit seed to make it to the Elite 8. However, the Kansas Jayhawks are one of the favorites on the March Madness odds, and we know that they aren’t going to go down without a fight. Check out our Sweet 16 predictions for this big time clash!

2012 Sweet 16 Matchup: #4 NC State Wolfpack vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Midwest Region Location: Scottrade Arena, St. Louis, MO
Sweet 16 Date/Time: Friday, March 23rd, 10:15 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Kansas Television Coverage: TBS

Key #1: The Wolfpack have to play this game loose
It is tough to say that a team from the ACC has to play like it has nothing to lose, knowing that this is a side that has gone up against the likes of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils this year. However, what we have found over the course of the last few weeks is that NC State is really playing with a different sort of swagger about it. The team doesn’t feel like it is choking away those pivotal games that it needs to get into the dance, and though it didn’t ultimately make it to the ACC Tournament Final, it sure looked like one of the best teams in the conference. CJ Leslie has to keep his head on straight, and the team has to do whatever it can to get the ball in the hands of Scott Wood from long range. He is an assassin and a veteran, and he is the type of player that can put the whole team on his back and lead the club to a tremendous victory.

Sweet 16 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
NC State Wolfpack +8
Kansas Jayhawks -8
Over/Under 142.5
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Key #2: The Jayhawks need to dominate in the paint
You read that right: Dominate. This is what the Jayhawks just haven’t been doing in this tournament. There have been too many shots from the outside, and players like Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson, though are getting their stats, just don’t seem to be anywhere near as dominating as they were at times during the Big XII campaign. This also means that the little guys have to get into the paint and do some slashing, and it almost seems like the moment has been too big for Tyshawn Taylor to withstand even though this is now his second year here in the tourney. Robinson and Withey both have double-double potential, but they are going to have to be imposing to a somewhat undersized Wolfpack outfit that might not be in the greatest of shape coming into this one to compete on the glass.

Key #3: The defensive pressure has to be there for Kansas
This more or less goes right along with the fact that the Jayhawks have to be a dominating team in the paint. Every now and again, you see this defense go to sleep. We saw it at home against the Missouri Tigers when they went on that big time run in the comeback at Allen Fieldhouse, and we saw it in spurts with Robbie Hummel and the Purdue Boilermakers. Still, this is a team that ranks in the Top 50 in basically every major defensive category, and if it is going to play like that team, it is going to take a truly remarkable shooting effort for the Jayhawks to get knocked out. Getting lazy on the defensive end of the court can, and has been this team’s downfall in the past, and we are afraid that the only way that Rock Chalk gets booted here in St. Louis, a de facto home court, is if it doesn’t have the mindset to get the job done.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Sweet 16 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

2010 College Football Coaching Changes

August 24th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2010 College Football Coaching Changes
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Some of the biggest programs in college football have seen changes right at the top this year. The odds to win the 2011 BCS Championship have altered as well, as there have been hirings, firings, and replacements, along with some surprise changes that could shake the entire core of the NCAA football betting world. A number of schools have made changes at the top in what has been a very, very interesting offseason. Here is the list of the schools that are heading in new directions with their football programs and their 2011 BCS Championship odds.

Akron Zips (+700000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Akron has been a train wreck in the MAC for a number of years, and last season was no exception. The Zips went just 3-9 and just 2-6 in conference, and a 4-8 ATS record didn’t make many college football betting friends either. Now, there is a huge quarterback battle going on in Akron, as QBs Patrick Nicely and Matt Rodgers are both candidates for the job. Rodgers’ injury last year might’ve been the final straw to getting JD Brookhart fired. Rob Ianello, the new man in charge, has a long way to go to get this program back to the form that it was in back in 2005 when it won the MAC Championship.

Buffalo Bulls (+500000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Without a doubt, Turner Gill was the most beloved coach in the history of Buffalo Bulls football. He really helped put the program on the map, especially two seasons ago when the Bulls upset the previously unbeaten Ball State Falcons to win the MAC Championship Game when no one gave them even the remotest of chances. If the name Jeff Quinn sounds familiar to you, think back to both Central Michigan and Cincinnati. Both of those teams lost Brian Kelly right before their bowl games. Quinn was the man in charge of both a bowl win for the Chippewas over Middle Tennessee in 2005 and last season’s Bearcats loss to the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. Getting back to a bowl game would be a triumph for Buffalo, which fell a game short of eligibility last year.

Central Michigan Chippewas (+120000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): The Chippewas had a chance to really make some noise last year, the final season with QB Dan LeFevour. However, just as has been the case in quite a few instances when a legendary coach leaves a program, Butch Jones decided that LeFevour’s departure was the best time for him to try to move on to a big time coaching gig. Now, the Chippies are left with Dan Enos, the former running backs coach for the Michigan State Spartans. Enos has never been a head football coach at any level, clearly showing that CMU didn’t have a heck of a lot of options. No one wanted to be the man that followed Jones in Mount Pleasant, especially without LeFevour there to quell the pain of transition.

Cincinnati Bearcats (+15000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Shame on Brian Kelly for leaving the Bearcats right before their bowl game after a perfect regular season and a Big East championship! The team made the right call by going after Kelly’s successor at Central Michigan, Butch Jones as a replacement. We already know that Jones knows Kelly’s system after taking over for him without missing a beat at Central Michigan, and several teams were eager to grab his services. Jones made a good call as well, as he knows that QB Zach Collaros might actually be better than the departed Tony Pike. Collaros can win this team the Big East title this year, which might immediately put Jones in line for an even better position.

East Carolina Pirates (+160000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): ECU was on the verge of something special with Skip Holtz in charge, but when South Florida came calling for the second generation coach, he had to move on to the bigger named school. Ruffin McNeill has been an assistant at Texas Tech for a number of years. Many thought that he would be a logical successor to Mike Leach, especially after guiding the Red Raiders to a 41-31 Alamo Bowl win over Michigan State last year. Will the spread offense work at East Carolina, though? It is certainly a huge shift from the traditional, “take care of the football and play good defense” mentality that Holtz had. There could be a bit of a transition period for the Pirates, but ultimately, McNeill should make a good director of the ship there.

Florida State Seminoles (+7000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): For the past three seasons, Jimbo Fisher has just been waiting patiently for Bobby Bowden to retire so he could take over command at Florida State. Truth be told, the Noles have been under Fisher’s watchful eye ever since he stepped foot in Tallahassee, so this might not be a huge transition for the garnet and gold. Fisher has transformed this offense into a train wreck from the Drew Weatherford/Xavier Lee days into one that is genuinely feared with QB Christian Ponder at the helm. It’s going to be fun watching this team grow once again, especially with the QB of the future, EJ Manuel already waiting in the wings. A defense still needs to be picked back up to get Florida State back on the map. Fisher has huge shoes to fill from the second winningest coach in NCAA FBS history.

Kansas Jayhawks (+35000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Kansas had to think that last season was the year that it could really contend for a National Championship. However, Mark Mangino, who helped resurrect the program and turn it into a national contender in the first place, failed miserably, as he wasted the talents of seniors like Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier, Todd Reesing, and Jake Sharp. Turner Gill was the hottest young coaching commodity on the planet, and KU was sure to snatch him up. He is already looked at as a hero in Lawrence, as very few of the players and even fewer of the alumni had any care for the way that Mangino treated his team at all.

Kentucky Wildcats (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Rich Brooks deserves a lot of credit for keeping Kentucky football relevant for a number of years. Still, it was time for him to go, as it seemed as though the program hit a peak under his direction. Head coach in waiting Joker Phillips is set to unleash his offensive talents on the rest of the SEC in a move that is probably going to take a few years to get perfected. The Cats are always going to be a second rate team in the SEC, particularly in the East, where programs like Florida and Tennessee will always be the hottest recruiting beds. Phillips has his work cut out for him to make the Wildcats more than Music City Bowl honorary members on an annual basis.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (+150000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Here’s a team that wasn’t so certain that it was really changing coaches. La Tech was shocked when Derek Dooley left for Tennessee, and they had to scramble to try to replace him at the last second with most of the best coaching options already off the board. Little known Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes is the man that was suddenly put in charge on January 20th. He is bringing in a spread offense which will bring La Tech essentially into the 21st century of WAC football. This program has bigger problems, though… trying to figure out what conference it is going to be playing in once the WAC finishes falling apart.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (+750000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Mired in the middle of a bad conference for a number of years, the Warhawks are just trying to figure out how to get to a bowl game and to challenge the top teams in the Sun Belt. Signing Todd Berry made a lot of sense though, as he is very familiar with the system at Louisiana-Monroe having served under previous head coach Charlie Weatherbie as an assistant for two years. He has bounced around as assistants in other locations since 2005, but he’ll return to the Bayou and try to get the Warhawks on the map for the first time in the history of the school.

Louisville Cardinals (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Simply put, the firing of Steve Kragthorpe was an absolute must in Louisville. Kragthorpe single handedly destroyed the program that Bobby Petrino turned into a Top 10 program year in and year out in the Big East. Kragthorpe couldn’t find a way to win in the senior year of QB Brian Brohm, one of the most decorated players in the history of the school’s football team, and since then it has been all downhill. Charlie Strong comes in from Florida, where he will bring a spread offense that should at least spark a bit of promise for a program that has been dropped into the doldrums of the Big East for the past few years.

Marshall Thundering Herd (+140000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Mark Snyder was one of the many coaches that were essentially forced out of their positions. Snyder wasn’t even allowed to hang around for the team’s bowl game, a 21-17 win in the Little Caesar’s Bowl over Ohio. John “Doc” Holliday has been the associate head coach at West Virginia for a number of years, and many are surprised that it took this long for him to land a head coaching job. The cupboard certainly isn’t bare at Marshall, and many think that Holliday can be the man that can bring this program back to prominence in its new conference, C-USA.

Memphis Tigers (+350000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Simply put, Memphis is in terrible shape right now. The Tigers might not be favored in any game which they play this season, and if that’s the case, the prospects of a one or two win campaign is a real possibility. Former coach Tommy West blasted the program on the way out the door, which might cause us to never hear his name again. Larry Porter is going to be taking over, but even he knows that this is probably nothing more than a temporary stop before he gets fired as well. The Tigers are going nowhere fast, and unless the school pumps some more money into the facilities there, this program is closer to being gone than being relevant.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+11500 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Notre Dame football has been on a steep decline ever since Lou Holtz retired. Coaches like Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie helped wreck what was once one of the most proud programs in the history of college football. Charlie Weis didn’t help matters any either, though he at least took the team to a BCS game in his reign. Former Cincinnati HC Brian Kelly accepted the Irish position just days before his Bearcats tried to complete an undefeated season with a Sugar Bowl victory over the Florida Gators. Cincinnati’s players elected to play without their skipper, and the end result was a huge loss to mar an otherwise fantastic campaign. Kelly probably has three years to turn the Irish into winners.

San Jose State Spartans (+800000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): There aren’t many programs that have been as inept as San Jose State in recent years. The Spartans really were never in a position to let Tomey, a legendary coach in West Coast college football go. However, he announced his retirement, which is leading way to Mike MacIntyre to come across the country from Duke, where he was the team’s defensive coordinator. Working on the defense would be a good start for the Spartans, as they were one of the worst ‘D’s in the land last year… Of course, they had one of the worst offenses as well. A couple home wins would be a huge triumph this season.

South Florida Bulls (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Jim Leavitt was the only head coach that the Bulls ever knew, even when they were just a tiny I-AA school just trying to make ends meet. However, amidst some off the field issues, the university decided to get rid of their head coach and sign Skip Holtz to replace him. The move made a lot of sense, as Holtz has been leading East Carolina up the ranks of Conference USA, the same conference that South Florida came out of from back in the day. With QB BJ Daniels and a host of returning starters, the Bulls might be the most BCS ready hire of the bunch, especially with a proven coach like Holtz on the sidelines.

Tennessee Volunteers (+50000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): The poor Volunteers finally looked to be heading in the right direction, as the family of Kiffins, Lane and Monte were finally starting to round this program into shape after several lousy years with Phil Fulmer in charge. Kiffin decided to bolt to USC when the opportunity arose this year in spite of the fact that the program could be in shambles. That left the men on Rocky Top scrambling. Though it wasn’t a sexy hire, Derek Dooley was about the only name that the Vols could come up with. No one is expecting this hire to work, and if someone better becomes available next year than a coach that was mediocre with a WAC school, expect Tennessee to jump on it.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (+17500 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): In one of the more bizarre stories in a very awkward offseason, Texas Tech fired Mike Leach following allegations surrounding one of his players. Leach is still sitting out this season to sure up some legal matters against the university, but hiring Tommy Tuberville was a huge coup for the program. The biggest question that is yet to be answered is whether Tuberville will let the Air Raid continue, or whether he will instead install a more run first offense which is similar to the ones used in the SEC where he came from at Auburn two years ago. Texas Tech was on the verge of being a real national power under Leach. Tuberville is expected to, at minimum, keep that up.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (+300000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): One of the two FCS coaches that took the jump into the FBS this year was Montana’s Bobby Hauck. Hauck takes over for Mike Sanford, who went just 16-43 overall in five years with the Runnin’ Rebs. Not only did Hauck have a lot of success at the FCS level, but he also coached under one of the great FBS coaches of our time as well in Rick Neuheisel both at Washington and Colorado. The Rebels might have themselves a real winner coaching them up, but reaching a bowl game would be a huge accomplishment for a program that has been a wreck since turning over its coaching staff the last time.

USC Trojans (No Line to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Pete Carroll saw this one coming. He knew that USC was about to get hammered by the NCAA for recruiting violations which saw RB Reggie Bush lose his Heisman Trophy. Before the dust settled though, the university successfully conned Lane Kiffin into coming back to Southern Cal, the place which he became a highly coveted assistant coach just a few years ago. Kiffin is upset about the punishments, which make the Trojans ineligible for the National Championship or a bowl game for the next two years and costs the program a number of scholarships. Still, this is clearly a very, very talented team that could run the table… if it wanted to. It’s Kiffin’s job to make sure that his team is ready to play and isn’t worried about the fact that it won’t be in a bowl game this year.

Vanderbilt Commodores (+60000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Bobby Johnson actually had the Commodores ranked for the first time in their history just two years ago, but since that point, they have fallen upon relatively hard times. He elected to resign just a few months ago, which was a shocking move to the program which he helped assemble. Assistant head coach Robbie Caldwell was immediately named the interim coach of the team, and just a few weeks ago, he had that tag removed. Still, Vandy isn’t going to be competing in the SEC East any time soon, and six wins would be a massive, massive triumph any year.

Virginia Cavaliers (+60000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): Be careful what you wish for, Cavaliers fans. UVA at least had a lot of great recruits coming to Charlottesville under former head coach Al Groh, and for quite awhile, it was a relevant team in the ACC. However, the Cavvies got tired of Groh and got rid of him this year, bringing in Mike London, a former assistant and the previous head coach of the Richmond Spiders, making London the other FCS coach to leap up to an FBS program as a head coach. However, the cupboard is entirely dry for Virginia. This could be the worst BCS conference school in the land this year.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+900000 to win 2011 BCS Championship at 5Dimes Sportsbook): With the transition to the Sun Belt now fully complete, the Hilltoppers decided to go in another direction this season, firing David Elson after an 0-12 season in which the team really wasn’t competitive at all. Taggart is a WKU alumnus and has since been the running backs coach at Stanford. His key project? Toby Gerhart, who became one of the top running backs in the nation last year. The Hilltoppers hope that Taggart can bring just a shadow of respectability to this program over the next few seasons as they try to establish themselves as a legitimate member of the FBS.

Weekly Sports Betting Rap Sheet (3/22/10)

March 22nd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Weekly Sports Betting Rap Sheet (3/22/10)
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Two rounds of the NCAA Tournament are now in the books, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re giving all sorts of heck to the teams and players that were totally missing in action to cost their teams a shot at the National Championship.

Rap Sheet Picture of the Week

Kansas Jayhawks C Markieff Morris in disbelief after the #1 team in the land was bounced by an inferior Missouri Valley Conference foe.

Where else can we start than right at the top? The Kansas Jayhawks are going to be looked at as the biggest disappointment of this entire season. They were the #1 team in the land and the #1 overall seed in this tournament, and they knew that they were going to have to face a pair of mid-majors in this tournament before heading to the Sweet 16. It took a strong second half run for the Jayhawks to finally take out #16 Lehigh on Thursday, and it became increasingly clear that this was a squad that was disinterested with playing these small time inferior squads.

Enter the #9 Northern Iowa Panthers. If you want proof that this was an underachieving team, just look at how well the Jayhawks played when desperation finally set in. C Cole Aldrich looked like a man on a mission, and the defense was stifling down the stretch. But the great equalizer in this tournament, the three point shot, finally gave the Panthers a four point lead that they would never relent. Now, HC Bill Self has to answer a lot of questions about why team looked like garbage, and G Sherron Collins has to deal with criticism for shooting 0/6 from downtown in the team’s final game of the season. This was really, really inexcusable Kansas, and you know it.

However, the Jayhawks were the only disappointing group in the Midwest Region. The Georgetown Hoyas had to be considered a trendy selection to come out of this bracket, as they marched all the way to the Big East final before getting knocked off in the dying seconds by West Virginia. It didn’t take long to be bounced from the tournament that really mattered, though. Sure, we’ll listen to the fatigue factor thing, but let’s be realistic here. This first round debacle against the Ohio Bobcats was against a #14 seed who was a #9 in their own mid-major conference. No excuses. None whatsoever.

In fact, let’s just give a little bit of grief to the rest of the Big East. Remember when this league was supposed to have nine, ten, maybe even 11 teams in this tournament? Five of the eight teams were gone in the first three days of this tournament, and one of those teams that made it to the second round, the #2 Villanova Wildcats, nearly became the fifth #2 seed in the history of this tournament to lose to a #15 seed in the first round of the dance.

Here’s ranting on the Mountain West and the Atlantic 10 as well. Three days into the dance, and all four teams out of the MWC were already eliminated. Save watching Xavier in the A-10, watching this conference play ball in March Madness has been incredibly painful. Both the Temple Owls and the Richmond Spiders were crushed in their first round games by higher seeds.