Ken Thomson

I can’t remember a season where there truly are 20 teams that have a shot to win 6 straight games and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Gonzaga is still the only unbeaten and I expect them to remain that way going into the Big Dance. The reemergence of PG Nigel Williams-Goss makes the Zags a true threat to run the season table but it will be a tall task. Speaking of tall, they need big man Przemek Karnowski to stay injury free. The Zags missed the big fella in the post season before and this team is thin inside and needs Karnowski to be part of their run.

As far as the Power Five Conferences, there are several more talented teams on paper such as UNC, Duke, Louisville from the ACC, Purdue & Wisconsin from the Big Ten, Oregon, UCLA & Arizona from the PAC-12, Kansas, Baylor & West Virginia from the Big 12, and Florida, Kentucky & South Carolina from the SEC. Throw in the Big East with the defending champs, Villanova, and we have the makings of a darn good tourney with upsets a plenty on the agenda!

Tough break for Creighton losing Maurice Watson or they could’ve made a deep run. Butler is still pesky and will be a tough out. In the American Athletic there are two teams that could eventually cut down the nets. Both Cincinnati & SMU can lull you to sleep with their shooting woes some nights but they both lock down defensively and will never be out of a game. Dark horses like Florida State, Iowa State, Maryland, Virginia, Notre Dame & Wichita State are all relevant in Final Four talk as well with solid coaches in place at all six venues.

All in all, sit back, buckle up and get ready for one heck of a ride on the Big Dance Express….it truly will be Madness at it’s finest!!


Basketball Guy

We’re right around the corner from the best three weeks in all of sports, March Madness, and I do believe it’s as wide open as it has been in a long, long time. If Villanova stumbles coming home I do think that a mid major will be the overall number one seed entering the tournament – the Gonzaga Bulldogs from Spokane, Washington.

The ACC is clearly the best conference. So deep its scary. They have five teams I think that can win it and a bunch others that are tough outs. The next three toughest conferences are like three headed monsters. The Big 12 has Kansas, Baylor, and West Virginia, who I think can all be dangerous on neutral courts and in tourney style games. The Pac 12 has UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona, who all three, if they get hot can really go deep. And the SEC, with Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina, will be represented well. I guess we could throw The Big Ten in there with Wisconsin, Purdue, and Maryland. All three have styles which I think will do well in the big dance.

I would start a conversation about bubble teams and different scenarios but that would last forever, endless possibilities. I will give you three teams however, who I think are live with still some value left. We are going to try to skip over the big boys and go to the next couple tiers down. You can probably find 30-to-1 on the Purdue Boilermakers. Caleb Swannigan is a double-double machine and I think they have enough other pieces to go a very long way. Same story with the Florida Gators. Long and athletic and the offense is really coming around. I feel Mike White’s gang will be awful tough to beat about a month from now. The last team I like is about 75-to-1, the SMU Mustangs. Tim Jankovich has taken the baton from Larry Brown and really ran with it. This team is tailor made for tournament style games and they know how to win close games. They won’t buckle when it gets a little hairy at the end.

The conference tournaments are right around the corner and I cant wait. Numerous betting opportunities always pop up along the way. Enjoy the ride, it’s a great time of the year!


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