Flawed Field Sets Up Exciting March Madness Possibilities

March Madness will be officially upon us soon, but with #1 Syracuse inexplicably losing last night at home to a Boston College team that came in 6-19 overall and 2-10 in the ACC, the madness is already well underway.

Many years, a few teams separate themselves from the pack as clear favorites. This year, however, there are question marks surrounding every contender. So if you are looking to make any March Madness futures bets, you might well be better off throwing your money at a top poker site like 888 or elsewhere, depending on where you reside.

Syracuse and Arizona are fantastic defensive teams, but can you count on them to score enough when it matters? Kansas is strolling toward another Big 12 title, and their talented group of underclassmen, led by Andrew Wiggins, has gelled after some early stumbles and bumbles. But it’s Kansas, who is just as prone to getting dumped out in the first round (or second, as it is known now) as making a Final Four run. That same statement applies to Duke. Undefeated Wichita State is having a great season, but making the Final Four two years in a row isn’t easy, especially when you can’t sneak up on anyone this time around. Defending national champion Louisville has a gaudy record and has beaten up on the AAC’s also-rans, but they’re woefully short on quality wins.

At present, Florida, who will be #1 next Monday if they don’t up and lose at Ole Miss on Saturday, might be the best team in the country. But they were pushed at home by an average (at best) Auburn team, and those who reside in other parts of the country might not be sold on how they’ve dominated an SEC that is Florida, Kentucky, and no one else.

If there is one thing about no contender standing out from the pack, it’s that it could mean we’re in store for a fantastic NCAA Tournament. Perhaps one of the blue bloods like Duke, Kentucky, or Kansas will come out on top in Dallas in about a month and a half, but a San Diego State, Creighton, Saint Louis, or Iowa could easily step in their way and make a run themselves. It may not be good for your bracket, but it will certainly make for good entertainment.

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19 Replies to “Flawed Field Sets Up Exciting March Madness Possibilities”

  1. Hello my friend,
    You probably thought I was dead. No such luck. I’m going through some changes, but I’m still kicking.
    The Gators are still always on my mind just as my sportschump T-shirt is always on my back.
    Mad respect to you and our boys in Gainesville.
    Cheers brother!

  2. Glad to be back amongst the land of the living.
    How far do you think the boys can go in the tournament?

  3. I have no doubt the upcoming Conference tourneys and March Madness will indeed be Madness. There are so many teams capable of great things but indeed, how many can be confidently predicted to win six or seven games in a row against such a balanced field. This year more than most the phrase “survive and advance” really means something.

  4. Chris, An undefeated Wichita State team would be an underdog to atleast 15 other teams in the nation on a neutral ct. Don’t be surprised to see them a #1 seed and a dog somewhere in the Dance.

  5. Aer…

    I’m setting aside my homer hat… or trying to (and yes, I actually have one of those).

    I honestly think this Florida Gator team can win it all.

    They’re well-rounded both offensively and defensively and they’re obviously well-coached.

    Say what you will about the Southeastern Conference, it’s been down for years.

    And there’s clearly talent they’re going to run into in the tournament…


    This Florida team has been tested over the two and chance years, had some tough tourney losses, aka Louisville redux. They start four key seniors and I think they just might be poised to learn from those experiences.

    That being said, my fingers are crossed.

    And the bourbon is on ice, ya know…. just in case.

  6. Burnsy….

    I agree with you about the open field… or at least I used to.

    I think the better teams are starting to separate themselves.

    (Okay, once again dealing with homerism)

    At the beginning of the season, I thought there about 15 teams that could win it all.

    I guess when it all comes down to it, there’s 64 (+4), but how many really can?

    Here’s your top 20, as of today. How many of these teams do you think has a legit shot to be the last one standing?

    1 Syracuse (64)
    2 Florida (1)
    3 Wichita State
    4 Arizona
    5 Duke
    6 San Diego State
    7 Cincinnati
    8 Kansas
    9 Villanova
    10 Saint Louis
    11 Louisville
    12 Creighton
    13 Michigan State
    14 Virginia
    15 Iowa
    16 Wisconsin
    17 Iowa State
    18 Kentucky
    19 Texas
    20 Michigan

    Can you pick ten of those teams listed above that can take home the grand prize?

  7. Bets…

    I’m sure we’ll talk come tourney time about potential, money-making underdog upsets come March.

    How have you fared during the tournament over the years? I imagine there’s money to be made but is there as much love as opposed to your average NFL or bowl season?

  8. Chris,
    More lucrative with any NCAA event than any NFL or NBA side plays. The only way I’ve found to attempt to beat the professional leagues are situational plays, i.e back2back or end of long road trips= plays against.
    I win in the tourney mostly with totals/props/ and even coaching matchups for 2nd half adjustments. Every year though the betting market gets tougher and tougher.

  9. I’ve looked at the rosters of both the Gators and Blue Devils and what I can surmise , there’s depth and talent on both along with each having a great coach in Billy Donovan and Mike Krzyzewski . Which for me , has to count for something , given their vast experience and having won 6 national titles between them both, along with countless appearances in the NCAA Tournament , itself .

    Dropped this piece concerning Jeter’s retirement and what it ultimately may mean for baseball in general .

    Bowing out in style, bowing out gracefully or simply bowing out, because the game has now become uninteresting ?

    tophatal ………

  10. Bets….

    I’ve never been a guy who bets on halves. I have a buddy who does and does pretty well but it’s never been my forte.

    As you know, I’m more of a moneyline guy. I see a dog who shouldn’t be or who has a legit chance of winning outright and I load up…. that is, when I have the bankroll to do so.

  11. Florida-Duke would be quite a final game, Al.

    The several ironies of an old school/new school match-up.

    Coach K (old school) vs. Billy D (new school, sort of)
    Duke roster (new school – young) vs Florida roster (old school – four seniors)
    Duke program (old school) vs. Florida program (new school)
    Not to mention a duel between the last two schools to win back-to-back championships.

    That’s a Finals I’m pretty sure CBS could sell to its viewers.

    One shining moment, baby!

  12. That type of a contest would make for great thrills no matter what . Can’t believe however, that the two schools have only met four times in the course of their respective histories . Got to be something wrong there ? Duke apparently leads the series 3-1 .

    Hear the idiocy concerning Sandy Koufax ? Got hit by a line drive while at the Dodgers’ Ballpark after a ball had been struck by Andre Ethier during batting practice . He (Koufax) was said to be OK , but was clearly shaken up by the incident (stumbled and fell backwards) . At the time, he was speaking to reporters in the open field and not behind any type of protective area .

    Which manager in the Majors do you believe will be under the most pressure to succeed this season ? My money is firmly on Mike Scioscia of the Angels ! Owner Arte Moreno cannot continue to throw good money after bad , while getting nothing in return . Not only that , but Mike Trout is due to be paid big time , considering the numbers he’s put up since his entry into the Big Leagues .

    tophatal ………

  13. Wild news about Koufax, Al. What is he even doing these days?

    Re: the baseball managers on the hot seat, let’s just say anyone but Tampa’s Maddon and Boston’s Farrell are game for the hot seat if their teams don’t perform.

    And with different conferences come different schedules, Al. I would dare to venture the only times Duke has played UF has been in the tourney. I remember one of them was in the Final Four, the first time the Gators had ever been there. In that game, they got a rude awakening to who, and how uncoverable, Grant Hill was.

  14. The thing with MM is, as cliche as it is, it is all about the match ups. You are in a one and done deal and if you draw someone who’s your worst match up nightmare, you can be done as opposed to won. We’ve seen teams roll into the Tourney with plenty of mo but then they meet an opponent who takes away what they do best. The great teams adjust and advance. On that list right now I’d say there are six or seven I might trust to run the table…as long as they didn’t meet their Kryptonite. Can’t wait!

  15. Which is why, Burnsy, more often than not, the most well-rounded teams win the whole kit and kaboodle.

    I’ve watched a lot of Gator hoops this year and while they have had a few close calls of late, I do think they’re one of the better teams out there.

    Well, duh, obviously. They’re ranked number one.

    But there’s a good reason for that.

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