"I Know the Game Like I'm Reffing It"

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dance Line$ - Picking the Tournament - Final Four

This year, I will be picking every game of the Tournament against the spread.

For the record, I am doing this just for fun - for the love of the game!

Off the record, who knows, so wish me luck. Thanks!

Welp, we're here. The Final Four. You could not ask for more in terms of the quality of the teams and coaches that make up this year's field in Indianapolis.

As for the quality of my picks, let's just say there's a reason professional betters choose their action judiciously.

Anyway, team Blacketology is on a mission to finish this tournament off strong in order to provide the proper momentum going into 2016.

Record: 23-39-2

Elite 8: 1-3

Saturday, 4/4/15. National Semifinals: 

(7) Michigan State +5.5 vs. Duke, 6:09PM, Indianapolis, IN, TBS

These two met in mid November and Duke dominated. But, it goes without saying that this is a vastly different Michigan State team, because, well, they're coached by Tom Izzo. His teams always get better as the season progresses and occasionally (like every other year), they get so much better that they make a run at a National Championship. The Spartans beat Georgia, Virginia, Oklahoma and Louisville to get to this point. None of those teams are slouches. Unbeknownst to many, Izzo & co. are a top 15 offensive team, but still that gritty team on defense and the backboards we've all come to know and love. Duke is an explosive offensive team. They are young, but they have risen to meet the challenge of their competition perhaps more often than any team in the country. The Blue Devils' defensive effort has picked up significantly in the Tournament and is the reason for their relatively easy road to Indy. I like Duke to prevail, but 5.5 is just too much for me to give Izzo. Three and a half months later, it will be a game this time.

(1) Kentucky -4.5 vs. (1) Wisconsin, 8:49PM, Indianapolis, IN, TBS

I have been saying all post-season that Kentucky was being overvalued by the public, and thus Vegas, so I would be picking against the Big Blue Nation. That theory has pretty much held true, as Kentucky is 1-3 against the spread in this tournament. However, after Notre Dame pushed the Wildcats to the brink last weekend, it seems as if Vegas got a bit skittish. A 4.5 line for Kentucky would have been unheard of at the start of the Tournament. When the bracket was announced, many opined that Kentucky was likely to be a double-digit favorite throughout. So, the UK spread has come back down to earth and is actually where I think it should be. Kentucky is not unbeatable, as we were shown by lesser teams in the SEC and most recently by the Irish. Wisconsin may well be the second most dominant team this season. The Badgers ran through the Big Ten and beat North Carolina and Arizona in impressive fashion to get to Indianapolis. If you think Notre Dame was offensively equipped to give Kentucky a scare, Wisconsin is probably a bit more so. Bo Ryan's squad is the country's top rated team in terms of offensive efficiency, just ahead of the second ranked Irish. Having said all that, I'm taking Kentucky. John Calipari has been tremendous when given close to a week to prepare his squad, just ask Bob Huggins. With a 4.5 spread, that leaves me just enough room to predict a close game that Kentucky survives.

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