March Madness 2009 Betting Preview

Written by:
Frank Doyle
Published on:

Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle tries to make sense of another wild college basketball regular season with his March Madness 2009 betting preview and makes a pick for who'll cut down the nets in Detroit.

As most Gambling911.com readers know, the season began with North Carolina being universally hailed as a team likely to succeeded Bobby Knight's 1976 Hoosiers by going undefeated to a national title. Now, in Championship week, the Tar Heels are just one of a number of schools who are in contention to win it all once the dancing begins.

If anything, the Tar Heels are drifting in the market. News this week of a toe injury to point guard Tyler Lawson casts grave doubt on the Tar Heels' ability to win a fifth Tournament if that injury hasn't cleared up by the time the music starts.

The Big East is where Sports Interaction sees the two top contenders, and no-one is taking Louisville lightly either, not least if the Cards go on to win the tourney as well as the regular season. The question is, will the contenders take it out of each other when they meet - as they inevitably must - in the Garden and then have nothing left for the Dance? It's certainly happened before.

Outside of that big three in the Big East, you have traditionally powerful conferences like the SEC and Big Ten having pretty mediocre seasons and then hoping that something can spark at the Dance. I don't see how that can happen, to be honest. Part of the idea of the big conferences is that you hone your skills against the best, but what's the difference, really, between beating a poor Kentucky and a poor UAB, other than aura and mystique? Curt Schilling told the world all we need to know about aura and mystique when you're playing for keeps.

Kansas and Oklahoma are the teams for which we've been seeing some action at Sports Interaction from the Big 12, interest in Missouri having tailed off a little. Again, it's hard to fully see it. Griffin is outstanding for the Sooners but just when you expect them to step up, they don't. Maybe a run in the Big 12 Tourney will get their motor running, maybe Blake Griffin will carry them to the title on his back. But I don't see the Sooners as being worth backing with Sports Interaction right now.

I'm tempted to say Memphis just because I like their attitude, I like Calipari and I think the Tigers are getting hot at the right time. Timing counts so much at the Dance. The knock against Memphis is that the Tournament has always been won by a major conference school. Obviously, that record won't last forever but until it is broken it makes it very difficult to put your trust in, and your money on, a mid-major candidate with Sports Interaction.

For that reason then, I'm picking Pittsburgh. The loss of Jerome Dyson looks too much for Connecticut to bear while Pitt looks the class of the county with DeJuan Blair and a supporting cast that aren't just some other guys. Easier to be sure once you have your bracket of course - and don't forget Sports Interaction has a downloadable one for you to enjoy, packed with fascinating tourney facts - but right now Pitt looks like the team to back with Sports Interaction as we hurtle to Selection Sunday.

Frank Doyle, Gambling911.com

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