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2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket Picks, Predictions, & Advice

March 17th, 2013 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket Picks, Predictions, & Advice
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NCAA Tournament Final FourThe brackets have just been released for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are already tearing through the 68 teams that are going to be in the field and making our March Madness predictions. Join us right now for our 2013 March Madness advice, as well as our 2013 NCAA Tournament predictions for the teams that could be cutting down the nets on the road to the Final Four in Atlanta.

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2013 Midwest Bracket Predictions
Louisville won the Big East Tournament this year, and it predictably was the overall No. 1 seed in the dance. Of all of the No. 1s, there really doesn’t seem to be a much easier road to get to the Sweet 16, and perhaps even the Elite Eight as the one that the Hoosiers have. Oklahoma State is a team that likes to run and gun, but it really is the only team that is going to be able to contend as we see it if it gets that far. Saint Louis is a team that is playing with a heavy heart in memory of its lost coach, Rick Majerus.

At the bottom of this bracket, there really isn’t a heck of a lot to see either in our eyes. Duke is a dangerous team that could ultimately win this bracket, and we think that it is going to be a de facto No. 1 seed through the Elite Eight. Actually, the most dangerous team that we see out of this bracket as a potential sleeper is Saint Mary’s, a team that is going to have to go through Dayton to make it to the main bracket. Michigan State is a team that is always prepared to make a huge move in the dance, as Head Coach Tom Izzo’s teams never go down quietly. Of course, he has a tough bracket to try to navigate through this year, and it starts right away with what could be an upset-minded Valpo side.

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2013 West Bracket Predictions
The biggest question this year in the West Region is whether Gonzaga really, truly belonged as a top seed. In fact, you could ask the question as to whether Ohio State is a legitimate No. 2, or if New Mexico is a legitmate No. 3 as well. What this is setting up for could be a bracket chock full of upsets.

We aren’t particularly worried about the play-in game winners sitting in that No. 13 line that are going to have to face Kansas State playing a de facto home game in Kansas City. However, Ole Miss is a team that has caught some fire of late, and it might be able to make some real havoc in that No. 12 slot, especially against a Wisconsin team that has a habit of falling short in the dance.

The bottom of this bracket contains a ton of dangerous double digit seeds. Iona is one of the highest flying teams in America, and it is going to turn on the jets for the full 40 minutes no matter what Ohio State tries to do to stop it. Iowa State, Harvard, and Belmont are all seeds down here that can score a ton of points and stroke it from long range. The defensive minded teams of Ohio State and Notre Dame could be in some trouble as a result. Keep a close eye on Arizona as well if it can survive that first game against Belmont, as the Wildcats really underachieved all season long. They have the talent to really go far in this tournament.

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2013 East Bracket Predictions
The road to the Final Four in the East Region goes through Washington DC, and for that reason, we have to think that Indiana is going to be at a huge advantage. Miami, the No. 2 seed in this bracket, is going to have some real issues in terms of getting some support from the crowd, knowing that it is a long ways away from both Austin, where it is going to be playing its first two games of the dance, and then at the Verizon Center. That’s why things could be opened up quite a bit in the middle of this bracket. There aren’t a lot of flashy teams in this bunch, but Marquette, Butler, Syracuse, and UNLV are teams that just continue to find ways to win on a regular basis.

However, if you look at the road to the Final Four, there really might not be a path from top to bottom that is easier than that of the Hoosiers. Indiana draws a play in game winner that won’t challenge it, and then it gets either an underachieving NC State team or Temple. Playing against Syracuse could be tough in the Sweet 16, but if that’s the toughest potential game in the bracket for what used to be the No. 1 rated team in America, the Hoosiers have it good.

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2013 South Bracket Predictions
The South is bracket that has a lot of teams that can score a heck of a lot of points in it. The highest scoring team in the bunch is actually Northwestern State, the No. 14 seed, who comes into this tourney as the top team in the nation from a scoring perspective. Other teams like North Carolina, VCU, and UCLA love to run and gun in the South Region as well.

However, the top two teams in this draw are both defensive minded teams, though. As long as the pace of the big games stays slow, Kansas and Georgetown are the clubs that should ultimately make it to the Elite Eight when push comes to shove. The Jayhawks don’t really have to go all that far away from home when they head to Dallas for the Sweet 16, assuming that they get there. However, when they do, they could be greeted by either a solid Michigan team, or a VCU outfit that could ultimately be the most dangerous team in the dance. The Rams are going to press for the full 40 minutes, and they have a really tough defense to try to get ready for in short order.

Of all of the brackets, the South is clearly the most competitive of them all.

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.

Bubble Watch, NCAA Tournament Bracket Predictions FINAL UPDATE

March 16th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Bubble Watch, NCAA Tournament Bracket Predictions FINAL UPDATE
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Bubble WatchThe final bubble watch is in! Here at Bankroll Sports, these are the teams that we think are going to be in the NCAA Tournament. Join us for our final look at our March Madness bubble watch and our NCAA Tournament bracket predictions.

These are the 31 conference champs that have all been taken off of this page. The clubs that are listed are the ones that are going to be taking the 37 at large bids for the dance. Please note that Sunday’s championship game participants are all locked into the NCAA Tournament, though one of the two will take automatic bids, while the other will have at large bids to the dance.

Bubble Watch Update As Of Completed Games On 3/16/13

Atlantic 10
NCAA Tournament Locks: St. Louis Billikens/VCU Rams, Butler Bulldogs, Temple Owls
In the NCAA Tournament: La Salle Explorers
Left Home: Masssachusetts Minutemen

La Salle hasn’t done enough to get itself out of going to Dayton to start off the NCAA Tournament, but we do think that the Explorers are in the field. They really don’t have any glaring losses on the season, and in a year where a whole bunch of teams have done nothing but put together resumes with questionable defeats, that’s important. Are there any remarkable wins? Not really. But again, with no losses that are hurting since November, the Selection Committee has to put the Explorers in. UMass was never really considered a team that had a legitimate shot to get into the dance, and Saturday’s loss to VCU was the end of it.

NCAA Tournament Locks: Miami Hurricanes/North Carolina Tar Heels, Duke Blue Devils, NC State Wolfpack
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: Maryland Terrapins, Virginia Cavaliers

Both Maryland and Virginia only have themselves to blame for not getting into the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins lost a brutal game right at the end of the regular season to the Cavaliers. They did get the job done against the Blue Devils in the second round of the ACC Tournament, but they couldn’t figure it out against North Carolina in the closing moments. There are two great wins against Duke on this resume, but everything else just isn’t going to cut it. UVA’s problem is that it couldn’t take down NC State in the ACC quarterfinals. Had the Hoos picked up that win, they’d be dancing. They didn’t though, and they really don’t have a leg to stand on, knowing that there have been some lousy losses along the way at the end of the regular season. Both of these teams also scheduled relatively poorly outside of the ACC.

NCAA Tournament Locks: Kansas State Wildcats, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oklahoma Sooners, Iowa State Cyclones
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: Baylor Bears

Nothing to see here. The Bears had a shot in the Big XII Tournament to claim a scalp against Okie State, but they didn’t get the job done, losing in the dying seconds. The Big XII is going to send five teams to the dance this year with ease, while Baylor gets left at home in the NIT.

Big East
NCAA Tournament Locks: Syracuse Orange, Georgetown Hoyas, Pittsburgh Panthers, Marquette Golden Eagles, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Cincinnati Bearcats, Villanova Wildcats
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: None

The Big East has been fairly cut and dry over the course of the last few days. This would have amazingly been a nine-bid league had UConn been eligible for the postseason. Alas, the Huskies weren’t, but these other eight teams are all going to be dancing. Most are going to be in the top part of the bracket as well. No teams were seriously on the bubble in the end after Providence and St. John’s bowed out at Madison Square Garden relatively early at the Big East Tournament.


Big 10
NCAA Tournament Locks: Wisconsin Badgers/Ohio State Buckeyes, Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Illinois Fighting Illini
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: Iowa Hawkeyes

The Big Ten was largely the best conference, especially at the top this year in America. Seven teams are in the dance for sure, and the question was whether an eighth would join the bunch or not. Iowa’s non-conference schedule was terrible this year, and in the end, in spite of some decent victories, it just wasn’t able to get the job done. The loss to Michigan State kept the Hawkeyes out of the NCAA Tournament once and for all.

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Conference USA
NCAA Tournament Locks: None
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

Southern Miss had a chance to get into the NCAA Tournament the easy way on Saturday, and it would have been in the field had it figured out how to beat Memphis even just once this season. Alas, the Golden Eagles were dropped all three times that they played the Tigers, and that last loss in double overtime proved to be a heartbreaking defeat. This is a team that we could see getting the nod from the Selection Committee on Sunday, but it really isn’t warranted.

Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Tournament Locks: Wichita State Shockers
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: None

Creighton comes off of the Bubble Watch page as the automatic winners of the Missouri Valley. Some are questioning Wichita State, but the Valley has a rich history here in the dance, and the conference is deserving of a second team in the field of 68.

Mountain West
NCAA Tournament Locks: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, San Diego State Aztecs, Colorado State Rams
In the NCAA Tournament: Boise State Broncos
Left Home: None

If there is a team that was incredibly happy about how things went on Friday and Saturday, it’s Boise State. The Broncos bowed out of the Mountain West Tournament in the quarterfinals, and they had to sit, watch, and wait. What they saw as they were resting on the sidelines though, were a bunch of games go their way. Boise State deserves to be in the field of 68. The team has some big wins this year in the Mountain West, which was a significantly tougher conference than say, the SEC was for really the whole season.

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NCAA Tournament Locks: UCLA Bruins, Arizona Wildcats, Colorado Buffaloes, California Golden Bears
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: None

There really wasn’t anything left to doubt in the Pac-12 by the time the conference reached its semifinals. Stanford, Washington, and Arizona State never really had the resumes to get into the field, and they were all really pipe dreams. The other five teams are all getting into the dance without really any degree of doubt. Cal might ultimately end up in Dayton, but it is firmly in the dance.

NCAA Tournament Locks: Missouri Tigers
In the NCAA Tournament: Ole Miss Rebels
Left Home: Kentucky Wildcats, Alabama Crimson Tide, Tennessee Volunteers

The SEC might be a dominating football conference, but this year, it isn’t going to want to remember anything that happened on the hardwood at this point. Florida is expected to win the SEC Championship at this point, and we are going to assume that it is going to do as much. If not, Ole Miss will make the fact that it is on the bubble elementary. We still think that the Rebels are in the field regardless of what happens on Sunday in Nashville. They did what Kentucky couldn’t do (beat Vandy), and there wasn’t anything that any of these teams in the SEC did that were all that notable in the SEC Tournament. Alabama couldn’t get its statement win over Florida. Tennessee and Kentucky both suffered relatively bad losses that should proving to be fatal.

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Sun Belt
NCAA Tournament Locks: None
In the NCAA Tournament: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
Left Home: None

If you take the names off of the fronts of the uniforms, you’ll see that the Blue Raiders have a resume to get into the dance. They have a Top 30 RPI, they have a Top 15 non-conference SOS, and they have a 28-5 record. The problem is that a ton of those wins came against Sun Belt teams. The Blue Raiders went 19-1 in conference play in the regular season, but it was beaten by FIU in the league semifinals in a devastating defeat. That being said, look at the rest of this resume. It really is rock solid. There has never been a team fail to get into the NCAA Tournament with a Top 30 RPI, at least 28 wins, and no more than five losses regardless of what conference they came from. It would be upsetting to us if the Blue Raiders were left out.

West Coast Conference
NCAA Tournament Locks: St. Mary’s Gaels
In the NCAA Tournament: None
Left Home: None

Gonzaga is the automatic qualifier out of the WCC, and that could at least make things somewhat interesting for St. Mary’s. Still, that win over Creighton, a good tourney history, and a rock solid SU record should be enough to get the Gaels into the tourney. It would have been really nice to claim at least one win against the Zags at some point this year, though.