Posts Tagged ‘Bracketology’


NCAA Bracketology (part 3)


March Madness and the NCAA Tournament are unquestionably the peak time for college basketball betting. In our first NCAA Bracketology preview, we told you about our weekly free newsletter and annual Bracketology article, which will become available on March 15th. In our second blog, we discussed how certain seeds (2 through 4) fare in the opening round. Now, we move to the more “upset-minded” matchups of 5 vs. 12 and 6 vs. 11.

The 2007 Tournament saw all four five seeds advance to the second round, but that has been the exception to the rule as 20 of the previous 22 tournaments have seen at least one 12 seed upset a 5. Last year, it was Cornell over Temple, which we correctly predicted. The year before, there were three 12’s that pulled the upset and overall there have been 35 upsets since the field was expanded in 1985. It is interesting to note that two 5 seeds last year – Butler and Michigan State – made it all the way to the Final Four.

For years, it has been noted that six seeds actually outperformed their fifth seeded counterparts. However, here too, we are seeing a litany of upsets. Over the last five tournaments, eight 11’s have beaten a 6 (against 12 losses). Last year, a pair of 11’s – Washington and Old Dominion (we called the latter) – advanced, meaning there have been 33 upsets all-time, nearly matching what we have seen from the 5 vs. 12 matchup. Like the 5 seeds last year, it is interesting to note that both six seeds that made it out of the first round won at least two games.

So, it’s obvious that you have to pick some upsets here. What should you be looking for? Well for starters, there is something new this year that we discussed in Part 1. The addition of extra ‘play-in’ games means that two of the 12-seeds could be at a distinct disadvantage in this year’s tournament. We’ll probably be looking to take the 5 seeds that draw a team that has already played its way into the field of 64. Mid-majors as 12 seeds are usually popular picks. On the flip side, when you have a 12 seed from a ‘power six’ conference and they are matched up against a 5-seed from a mid-major, there tend to be “upsets” as well.

As for the 6-11 matchup, a lot of these picks are simply gut feelings. Typically, of the six seeds that do win a 1st round game, at least one is going to win twice. So, basically take a look at the four six seeds and go-against the ones that look weakest to you. It’s also in your best interest to do your homework on the individual teams and matchups!


NCAA Bracketology Preview (part 2)


March Madness and the NCAA Tournament are unquestionably the peak time for college basketball betting. In our first NCAA Bracketology preview, we told you about our weekly free newsletter and annual Bracketology article, which will become available on March 15th. However, before we get to that, we will be going over the individual history of how certain seeds fare against one another in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

In Part 1, we told you that #1 seeds are 104-0 straight up all-time vs. #16 seeds and went 4-0 against the spread last year. We also talked about the expansion of the “opening round” or play-in games from one to four and how that will impact your office pool.

In this edition, we will discuss how teams seeded 2 through 4 fare in the first round against teams seeded 13 through 15. For winning college basketball picks throughout the NCAA Tournament, please visit our picks page.

2009 marked the first NCAA Tournament where every team seeded 1 through 3 made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, teams seeded 2 through 4 are a strong 169-43 SU. As you would expect 2 seeds have the highest success rate, losing only four times to a 15 seed and the last time this happened was 2001.

One 3 seed lost in the first round of the tournament last year and that was Georgetown, who bit the dust against Ohio U. That was the 16th all-time loss by a 3-seed in the first round.

It’s almost becoming automatic that you have to play against one 4 seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament each year. That’s because 22 of the previous 26 tournaments have seen at least one four seed go down in the first two days of the Big Dance. We called last year’s upset with Murray State over Vanderbilt.

This year’s 4 seeds could be in for more trouble. That’s because some of the teams that could end up as 13 seeds in this year’s tournament look very dangerous. Keep an eye on the following schools and make a note of them when the brackets are officially released: Coastal Carolina, Belmont, Oakland and Cleveland State. You can bet that the higher seeded opponents that draw any of these teams will not be happy come Selection Sunday!

Up next we will take a look at the 5 vs. 12 and 6 vs. 11 matchups, which have an incredible history of upsets.


NCAA Bracketology Preview (part 1)


March Madness and the NCAA Tournament are unquestionably the peak time for college basketball betting all year long. The Tourney is probably the most wagered on event of the year with the exception of the Super Bowl. Winning college basketball picks are always available at Vegas Experts where you can also download our free weekly handicapping newsletter, which contains free basketball picks from our expert sports handicappers.

The final issue of the My EDGE Newsletter will be published on March 15th, just in time for the 2011 NCAA Tournament. This is our most popular issue of the year as it contains our annual Bracketology article, where we assist you in filling out the brackets so that you can win your office pool. Note that these college basketball picks are straight up and not against the spread.

Last season, we had Duke making it to the National Title Game and also had West Virginia in the Final Four. In 2009, we correctly predicted that North Carolina would win it all, just like we did in 2005 when they beat Illinois (we predicted that exact Tournament Final). In 2007, we not only had the right Tournament Final and winner (Florida over Ohio State), but we correctly projected the entire Final Four field! In 2008, we correctly predicted seven of the Elite Eight teams (only missing on Cinderella Davidson).

In the upcoming weeks, we will be reviewing how certain seeds have fared against one another in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, we should not need to tell you that a #1 seed has never lost to a #16 seed in 104 all-time matchups. Last year did see top seeds go a dominating 4-0 ATS, winning every game by more than 20 points.

New to this year’s tourney is the advent of multiple “play in” games or as College Basketball powers like to call them “opening round games.” Beginning in 2001, on the Tuesday following Selection Sunday in Dayton, OH, typically the two lowest seeded teams in the field have squared off for the right to play the highest seeded team in the field. It is important to note that since 2004, these “play-in games” have not been very competitive with every contest decided by eight points or more. Last season was the first time the underdog won or covered in four seasons.

For this season, the “opening round” has been expanded to four games. Two of them will feature teams seeded 16th in their region, thus making them obvious candidates for “one and done.” However, there will also be two “play in games” between teams seeded 12th in their region, which is certainly important to note because, as well all know, 12 seeds have a strong history of going on and upsetting 5 seeds. Because of this, you’ll probably be required to have your brackets filled out a few days earlier as previously the “play in game” had been largely disregarded by most office pools.

Up next we will be taking a look at how #2 through #4 seeds have historically fared in the first round.


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