Bet The Board Bracketology (1.0)

It happens every February. As the football season winds down punctuated by the Superbowl climax, like clockwork sports bettors need to turn their attention to other money-making sports betting pursuits. Enter college basketball and the six week regular season sprint to the greatest three week betting binge known as March Madness.

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This past weekend the selection committee revealed their initial mock bracket. Instead of splitting hairs worrying about the teams on the bubble (we’ll hear about those schools that can’t win the national title from now until selection Sunday) our focus falls on those protected 1-4 seeds where you’ll find the real national title contenders. To the committee’s credit they stumbled into a few proper evaluations atop the heap but inevitably left a few deserving schools out of the mix. This year’s top 16 is far from synonymous with college basketball royalty meaning we could be poised from some interesting debutantes heading to San Antonio

Here’s how the committee seeded the top 16 with Virginia, Villanova, Xavier and Purdue being given the highest honors of #1 seed status

South Region

  1. Virginia
  2. Cincinnati
  3. Michigan St
  4. Tennessee

East Region

  1. Villanova
  2. Duke
  3. Texas Tech
  4. Ohio St

West Region

  1. Purdue
  2. Kansas
  3. North Carolina
  4. Arizona

Midwest Region (sign me up for this if it’s football season…minus X of course)

  1. Xavier
  2. Clemson
  3. Auburn
  4. Oklahoma

Without the exercise of placing teams in various brackets based on conference affiliation or geographic constraints here’s how we actually see the top 16 teams in the land compared to the committee.

(all future prices from BetOnline.AG current at time of article release)

  1. Virginia (7-1)
  2. Villanova (7-1)
  3. Purdue (10-1)
  4. Cincinnati (20-1)
  5. Michigan St (5-1)
  6. Gonzaga***not seeded by the committee (25-1)
  7. Auburn (33-1)
  8. Duke (8-1)
  9. Texas Tech (20-1)
  10. Xavier (16-1)
  11. West Virginia***not seeded by the committee (33-1)
  12. North Carolina (25-1)
  13. Tennessee (20-1)
  14. Wichita St***not seeded by the committee (25-1)
  15. Ohio St (20-1)
  16. Kansas (33-1)

As you can see there are a ton of similarities but as far as we’re concerned three programs (two outside the power conferences) are being disrespected by the committee in college hoops fixtures Gonzaga and Wichita St while Arizona, Clemson, and Oklahoma are being given free passes despite rather unimpressive bodies of work coupled with dangerous current form

Mark Few and Greg Marshall are two grizzled coaching veterans and definitely shouldn’t be discounted leading their upper classmen laden rosters onto college basketball’s biggest stage in March forcing a few traditional powerhouses to start their spring breaks a big prematurely.