Posts Tagged ‘Northern Iowa Panthers’

Updated NCAA Tournament Betting Odds & Analysis (3/27)

March 27th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Updated NCAA Tournament Betting Odds & Analysis (3/27)
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List of Current Odds to Win The NCAA Tournament Can Be Found Below!

In spite of the fact that there was carnage for the duration of the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, the Sweet 16 saw many of the so called Cinderella squads bow out from the dance.

The one exception appears to be the #5 Butler Bulldogs, who pulled off the biggest upset in the third round of March Madness betting action by taking down #1 Syracuse and opening up the West Bracket in a big way. Their fellow mid-majors, the #12 Cornell Big Red, #11 St. Mary’s Gaels, and #9 Northern Iowa Panthers were all dismissed.

Still, there is a nice mix of conferences remaining amongst the last eight teams standing. The SEC and Big XII both have a pair of squads left, while the ACC, Big East, Horizon League, and Big Ten are all still represented as well.

The favorite to win it all is still the Kentucky Wildcats (+245 at 5Dimes). Even though HC John Calipari still steps up to the microphone following every single game and praises the work of his young freshmen and sophomores and downplays their abilities on the court, anyone watching this squad still knows that the best is probably yet to come. That’s saying something for a team that has posted an average margin of victory in this tournament of more than 25 points per game! G John Wall, F Patrick Patterson, and F DeMarcus Cousins just haven’t caught their stride yet on college basketball’s biggest stage, as the three have combined for just one 20+ point outing between them. If Big Blue is playing defense like it did against Cornell when it held the Big Red to just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor, this is going to be the hardest team left to topple in the tournament.

If you’re banking on long shots, the three longest odds on the board are all playing on the same half of the draw, and in all likelihood, one of the three will be playing for the National Championship. Either the #5 Michigan State Spartans (+1600 at 5Dimes) or #6 Tennessee Volunteers (+1200 at 5Dimes) will see their stock increase in value dramatically, particularly if the #5 Butler Bulldogs (+1500 at 5Dimes) can pull off the upset of the #2 Kansas State Wildcats (+435 at 5Dimes) in the Elite 8.

The other #1 seed remaining, the Duke Blue Devils (+355 at 5Dimes) continue to fly under the radar just a bit, as they’re being overshadowed by what Kentucky is doing in the East Region and all of the other upsets that have occurred in the dance thus far. However, even without getting anything really significant out of G Jon Scheyer in this tournament, Coach K has his club playing well enough on the defensive side of the ball to be able to make life absolutely hellacious for his opponents.

His Dookies will take on the final team that we have yet to discuss, the #3 Baylor Bears (+985 at 5Dimes), who are going to be playing essentially behind a home crowd at the Toyota Center after annihilating one of the Cinderella teams in this field (St. Mary’s) on Friday night.

Current March Madness Odds @ 5Dimes Sportsbook(as of 3/27/10):
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Kentucky +245
Duke +355
Kansas State +435
West Virginia +785
Baylor +985
Tennessee +1200
Butler +1500
Michigan State +1600

Updated 2010 NCAA Tournament Prop Bets & Free Predictions (3/24)

March 24th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Updated 2010 NCAA Tournament Prop Bets & Free Predictions (3/24)
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Just 16 teams remain in the NCAA Tournament! There are a ton of juicy prop bets that are still available as we enter the second week of this three week spectacle, and BetUS Sportsbook has all of the ins and outs covered for you as you boost your bankrolls with the biggest tournament of the year!

Prop Bet #1 – Will all three #1 seeds reach the Elite 8?: Let’s just do some simply math at this point, shall we? If you take the best three lines you can find anywhere on the internet on the three #1 seeds to win on Thursday and Friday, you’ll come to just about +105 odds. By parlaying the Duke Blue Devils (-450), the Syracuse Orange (-290), and the Kentucky Wildcats (-500) on the moneyline at BetUS Sportsbook, you’ll come up with about -103 odds. Under that premise, there’s no reason to lay -115 with this prop, but there’s also no reason to wager no either. However, we do like the idea of assuming that the #1s are all getting through this weekend. Unlike Kansas, who was tested by #16 Lehigh for a little while before ultimately pulling away, the Cats, Dookies, and Orange have just come out and throttled their opponents so far in the dance. There’s no reason to think that an undermanned Purdue team is going to be able to stop the mighty Blue Devils, and certainly no reason to believe that a bunch of Ivy Leaguers are going to be able to stop a John Calipari coached team with almost a full week of preparation. That leaves Syracuse playing Butler. The Orange have probably been the most impressive of the #1 seeds after having rocked Gonzaga in the second round, and even though we’re not so sure that they’re the right choice against the six point spread, we are convinced that getting -103 odds on the moneyline for them is a fantastic price. So ignore the prop line, but run with the idea.
Selection: Parlay Kentucky, Duke, and Syracuse on the moneyline (-103) at BetUS Sportsbook. (100% Deposit Bonus by clicking This Link.)

Prop Bet #2 – Odds to win the South Region: It’s pretty clear that the Blue Devils are the favorites to win this bracket and go to the Final Four, but is that really justifiable at -145 odds? What you’re saying is that Coach K’s team is going to be at least three, if not four point favorites in a prospective Elite 8 matchup with Baylor? That doesn’t feel like what’s going to happen, especially if Duke even remotely struggles with #4 Purdue or the Bears obliterate #10 St. Mary’s. Don’t rest on the talent level on this Baylor team. G LaceDarius Dunn dropped 26 points on Old Dominion in the second round, and he has the ability to go off for 30+ on just about every team that he faces. Yes, this test against St. Mary’s is probably going to be a lot harder than it looks on paper with a #3 going against a #10, but if the Bears survive that one, you’ve got some fantastic odds on them to go to the Final Four.
Selection: Baylor Bears +225 at BetUS Sportsbook. (100% Deposit Bonus by clicking This Link.)

Prop Bet #3 – Odds to Reach NCAA Championship Final: We’re keying in on the left hand side of your bracket in the West and Midwest Regions. It’s pretty clear that the Midwest Bracket opened up a ton when #9 Northern Iowa knocked off overall #1 seed in this tournament, Kansas. Any of the four teams could still represent that region in our opinion. That leaves a date with most like either Syracuse or Kansas State in the Final Four. Why not take a stab on the Panthers at great odds in this situation? It’s basically a coin flip that they take out Michigan State, and we like our chances of Sparty getting bounced without G Kalin Lucas in the lineup. Yes, it could be a very difficult #2 Ohio State squad in the Elite 8, but it could just as easily be an overrated #6 Tennessee team as well. You may look up next week and see that you’ve got great odds on a mid-major team to win just one more game on the grandest stage in college basketball.
Selection: Northern Iowa Panthers +3000 at BetUS Sportsbook. (100% Deposit Bonus by clicking This Link.)

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.

Rock Choke Jayhawk P-U!

March 21st, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Rock Choke Jayhawk P-U!

Don’t mind the silence that you hear right now in the heartland of our country at this point. Normally, after a Kansas Jayhawks basketball game, you hear blue and red clad nut cases chanting in that slow, monotone, drone-like voice, “Rock Chalk Jayhawk K-U.”

If we slip the ‘A’ out of “chalk,” scoot the ‘K’ over a spot, buy an ‘E’, and change the ‘K’ in “KU” to a ‘P’, you can sum up this performance with our new saying.

Rock Choke Jayhawk P-U!

There are times that perception just doesn’t amount to reality. This wasn’t one of those cases. We all saw on Saturday afternoon that Kansas was one of the most talented teams in the nation. C Cole Aldrich looked like a man amongst boys at times, bullying his way through the paint like an enraged animal. Any time that HC Bill Self didn’t like what was happening on the court, he could bring in a new fresh set of five players if he wanted to and still have a solid looking club out there that was good enough to play with anyone in the nation.

Saturday’s shocking two-point loss to the Northern Iowa Panthers was simply a case of the magic (or if you will, the madness) of March.

Let’s step back for a minute and give a major thumbs down to the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, which punished Northern Iowa for some unknown reason by making it a #9 seed in the dance in spite of the fact that it won 28 games and the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles.

HC Ben Jacobsen’s crew won each of their MVC Tournament games by at least 15 points. They slammed Old Dominion in BracketBusters and destroyed Siena in a BracketBusters rematch game from a year ago this year as well. Yes, losing to DePaul, Evansville, and Bradley were all unsightly losses, but what more did you expect from this team?

They played fantastic defense all season, allowing a grand total of one opponent to reach the 70-point plateau against them, and they won 12 games by at least 15 points this year.

I know the logic… Play somebody.

Guess what? The Panthers just played somebody… and won.

That point aside, let’s not belittle the performance that this team put up over the first three days of this tournament. G Ali Farokhmanesh not only nailed the three pointer on Thursday that buried UNLV, but he also dropped four more three balls on the Jayhawks and scored 16 points in the upset on Saturday. F Jordan Eglseder, who hit a grand total of one three point basketball all season dropped two threes on KU as well. The team turned over the Jayhawks 15 times and stayed competitive in the rebounding battle at just -5.

That being said… C’mon Kansas. You’re Kansas.

Maybe we should’ve known that something was wrong with the Jayhawks when they were pushed for at least a little while by #16 Lehigh on Thursday night. Tournament teams in general shouldn’t be struggling with the Mountain Hawks, especially when you’re the #1 overall seed in this tournament.

At the outset of this tournament, everyone was asking the question whether it was going to be Maryland or Michigan State that was going to get murdered by the Jayhawks in the Sweet 16 and whether it was going to by Ohio State or Georgetown falling in the Elite 8.

Self was the one man that knew what he was getting into, as he immediately pointed out UNI as a potential trap game on his squad’s road to Indianapolis.

He was ready. His team wasn’t.

The Panthers jumped out to a 10-2 run and really never looked back, controlling the game’s tempo by slowing down the Jayhawks to a plodding effort.

During that whole game, it was only a matter of time before the Jayhawks went on a run, just like they did against both Texas Tech and Texas A&M in the Big XII Tournament. Someone was going to wake G Sherron Collins or one of the other many stars on this team up.

Collins shot just 4/15 from the field and 0/6 from downtown for the game.

The run was never really complete. The choke job, however, is finished.

The Jayhawks are #1 in the land no more, and though it’s clear that Northern Iowa is no normal #9 seed, this is still a case of a team that just didn’t give its best effort in a do-or-die situation.

Welcome to March Madness, boys and girls. The fun is only just beginning.

Bubble Trouble: Let the Madness of March Begin

March 2nd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Bubble Trouble: Let the Madness of March Begin
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March Madness has officially kicked off, as conference tournaments are underway and the first official tickets to the dance will be handed out in the days to come. When it’s all said and done, there are 35 teams that won’t win their conference tournaments that are invited to the grandest dance in the world anyway.

Truth be told, a whole bunch of those spots have already been handed out for certain. Figure that these teams, without any shred of a doubt whatsoever, are already making plans for being in the brackets come Selection Sunday…

Atlantic 10 (3): Temple, Xavier, Rhode Island
ACC (1): Duke
Big XII (4): Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas
Big East (4): Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh
Big Ten (4): Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin
Mountain West (2): New Mexico, BYU
SEC (3): Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee

Now, we’ll argue that one of these teams from each conference is going to get their respective league’s automatic bid to the tourney. That makes 14 at-large bids that are certainly gone. If you’re team’s not on this list above and you think you’re going to the NCAA Tournament, you’d better pay really good attention to the rest of this article.

Everyone get out your Gonzaga shirt, your Murray State hat, your Northern Iowa socks, your Siena sweater, your Old Dominion shoes, and your Butler underwear.

In a perfect world, all six of these teams are just going to win their conference tournaments and take their automatic slots in the field. That would leave the other, oh, 40 or so of you out there the maximum possible 21 tickets to fight for.

However, this isn’t a perfect world, and this is what makes the madness of March so fantastic. In the event that the Zags, Racers, Panthers, Saints, Monarchs, and/or Bulldogs happens to lose a game in the next week or so in their conference tournaments, they’ll be thrust into the at-large pool with the rest of you suckers that are groveling to the Selection Committee to put you in the field of 65 in spite of the fact that you have obvious flaws on your resumes. In the cases of Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, and Butler, they’re not going to join the 40 of you that are praying to get in. They’re going to join the 14 that already know that they’re in the driver’s seat.

For Murray State, Siena, and Old Dominion, not winning their conference tournaments may leave them in the NIT. Or maybe it won’t. One thing is for certain, though. If you happened to lose to one of these three teams in the regular season (I’m looking at you Georgetown and Charlotte!), you’d better hope that that team gets into the field via the automatic bid, because if they don’t, you’re going to be subjected to having the Dikembe Mutombo finger waved at you for having lost the head-to-head series against a fellow bubble dweller.

The beauty about college basketball though, is that virtually everyone gets a chance. If you want to play in the NCAA Tournament, play your way into the field. Keep winning in your conference tournaments, and you’ll find your way onto the dance floor one way or the other.

If not and your bubble pops, don’t go blaming anyone but yourself.

Let the madness of March begin…