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

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dance Line$ - Picking the Tournament - National Championship Game

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!

Whew, thank God this tournament is almost over and done with. My pockets have really taken a hit. Just imagine if I would've put some real money down.

I have no one to blame but the odds-makers, the underdogs and the favorites. They all did me wrong.

Anyway, at least there's tonight. Yet another chance for me to end on a good note and resuscitate my self-esteem.

Record: 23-41-2

Final Four: 0-2

Monday, 4/6/15. National Championship: 

(1) Wisconsin -1 vs. (1) Duke, Indianapolis, IN, CBS

So, here we are. Two teams left standing and all those cliches to rattle off. But, this one actually should be great. Two of the four best teams throughout the season, and oh by the way, both teams are at the top of their games. Most people have only given Duke credit for this. Yes, the Blue Devils have been dominant the entire tournament, winning five games by an average of 17.6 points. However, it's hard to argue that any team is playing better than Wisconsin. The Badgers had to beat North Carolina, Arizona and all-mighty Kentucky to get here. Many have wondered whether Bo Ryan can get his team up for one more game, after their physically and emotionally taxing win Saturday night. Well, this "one more game" isn't some regular season game, it's the National Championship game. If you can walk, you can get up for this game. This contest features two of the top three offensively efficient teams in the country (Wisconsin, 1 and Duke, 3). Duke has been the better defensive team, especially during the tournament. That being said, this game will be a battle of wills rather than a battle of statistics. For me, it comes down to which team wants it more. Of course, both teams really want this game and are filled with winners, they wouldn't be here otherwise. But, the Badgers are the older, more experienced team that came into practice this season with this game in mind, having had their hearts broken last year. Kaminsky, Dekker and Jackson will pull every ounce of energy from their bodies in order to win this game. I don't expect Duke's freshmen to wilt, by any means (especially Tyus Jones, who is an absolute killer), I just expect Wisconsin to be just a little bit better and prevail in this true pick em game. 

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.