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Western Kentucky Was a Great 2009 NCAA Tournament Pick

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Mar/20/2009
Western Kentucky

Leave it to the gamblers and our experts here at Gambling911.com to offer up Western Kentucky as one of the 2009 NCAA Tournament upset picks.

Frank Doyle of Sportsinteraction.com accurately predicted a Western Kentucky win just a few days ago.

"When considering your 2009 NCAA Tournament Picks it's widely known that fifth seeds have become vulnerable against twelfth seeds in recent years, and nobody looks more vulnerable among the fives than Illinois to my eye. Illinois is a 4.5 point favorite against No 12 Western Kentucky in Portland on Thursday night, and that really looks like a bargain on the Hilltoppers to me.

"Some of the finest people in America if not the world were educated at Big Ten schools but that doesn't explain why the Big Ten has seven places at the Dance this year. Illinois was 24-9 for the season overall, 11-7 in the Big Ten, four games behind Michigan State, and now the word is that the Illini guard Chester Frazier is unlikely to see much playing time at all because of a hand injury. Western Kentucky was good enough to beat Louisville back in November, and the Hilltoppers are definitely good enough to cover 4.5 against Illinois."

They did THAT and more.

For Western Kentucky it is the second consecutive season they have advanced to the second round of the tournament. It's the first time the Hilltoppers have won a game in the tournament in consecutive years since 1986 and '87.

All five starters scored in double-figures for Western Kentucky, including a team-high 17 points from Steffphon Pettigrew.

Steffphon Pettigrew had 17 points to lead Western Kentucky (25-8), which led by as many as 17 points. It was the 19th time in the last 21 years that a 12 seed has beaten a No. 5.

Trent Meacham had a season-high 24 points for the Illini, who were without senior defensive specialist Chester Frazier, who had surgery on his right hand last week.

"Chester has been our leader and the heart of our team all year," Meacham said. "It's tough when you don't have him especially because he played the most minutes for us all year. When you play an entire season with someone like that, he's our iron-man, our leader and we never had to go without him. It was a big blow for us."

Western Kentucky will face Gonzaga (27-5) in a second round on Saturday.

The team was also the most bet on early in the week, mostly getting hit by "sharps".

Sportsinteraction.com was offering a special Free $100 promo to those who open up an online sports betting account for March Madness.  Restrictions do apply.

 

Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com 

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