The 2012 March Madness betting tournament kicked off last Thursday, and with the first weekend out of the way, fans, analysts and handicappers alike, are all considering the possibility, that this year’s tournament was a little overhyped. Known as the tournament in which upsets are a regular occurrence, the upsets and more importantly the buzzer beating game winning shots have hardly taken place. In fact, in the first four days of the college basketball betting tournament, there had been more buzzer misses, then suspense. Today we’ll look back at the first four days and predict what is to come.
As we noted earlier, there haven’t been that many upsets, but the upsets that have taken place have been quite memorable. For instance, on Friday night, two teams that were both highly ranked, and predicted by everyone and their uncle to either make the final four or win the tournament all together were ousted. First, the Missouri Tigers were upset by the 15th ranked Norfolk State, thus making fans and bookie software agents alike, consider that a 15th ranked team could be this year’s Cinderella story. Then if that wasn’t enough, Lehigh upset legendary basketball program, Duke. Unfortunately, both Lehigh and Norfolk State were one hit wonders, as Norfolk State was decimated by the seventh ranked Florida Gators. Meanwhile, Lehigh was destroyed by 10th ranked Xavier.
While the two 15th ranked teams were one and done stories, there have been a few other interesting stories as the tournament progressed. For example, ninth ranked St. Louis nearly pulled off the first major upset of the March Madness Tournament, when they came within three points of defeating the top ranked Michigan State Spartans. As we alluded too, there have been plenty of missed three pointers, and yesterday’s thrilling affair was no different, as St. Louis had the opportunity to tie the game, but offered up an air ball instead. Michigan State, along with Syracuse, Kentucky and North Carolina are the four top seeds of the tournament. Yet, the Spartans and Orange have come within striking distance of throwing away their National Title berths.
As we move ahead to the Sweet 16 tournament, there are plenty of teams that still have a possibility to pull off that one major upset that can change the dynamic of the March Madness tournament. One team that has NBA scouts and fans alike wondering if they could be this season’s surprise team, are the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The 11th seeded Wolfpack have already upset both the San Diego State Aztecs and the Georgetown Hoyas. Later this week, NC State will face off with Kansas, before the winner receives a date with the winner of Ohio v North Carolina. In an ideal world, North Carolina will take on North Carolina State. In theory though, North Carolina may be eliminated against Ohio, as stars John Henson and Kendall Marshall both have broken wrists suffered in earlier round matchups.