Yes, it is that time of year again. Time for the NCAA Tournament and time for me to head to Las Vegas. It's no coincidence that the two have fallen into the same general timeframe twice in the last three years. There's just something about the NCAA Tournament that makes me want to wager money on teams I have never heard of before. It's sort of like 16 Kentucky Derbys all in one day, then again the next day. So why wouldn't you want to be in a place where gambling is the main attraction...feed the sickness.
Sadly, this time around I'm gonna have to wait til the Sweet 16 to do my Vegas gambling, as I won't be leaving until this Thursday, and I'll have a build up post sometime this week I'm sure.
Since I wasn't in Vegas the last two days, I had to do my gambling online. Last year, this didn't turn out too well for me and as you've been reading, my luck hasn't been that great lately, but this year I had some insider knowledge. I would have shared it with you earlier, but you might have changed the lines. So, sorry, you're loss. Here's the insider tip...bet on black..and red. Yep, the black and red of the Fighting Wildcats of my alma mater, Davidson College.
The 'Cats were matched up against Ohio State in a first round game, and the crafty veterans of Davidson were certainly not going to roll over like Belmont or some shit like that. Davidson went undefeated in the Southern Conference last year, only to lose in the tournament and go to the NIT. Oh yeah, and there they won their first two games only to fall to Maryland after leading by as much as 16. Now, they were a year older, only lost one player, and came off a schedule that included games against UNC, Duke, Syracuse, Charlotte, St. Joe's, Missouri, UMass, and of course, a Southern Conference Tournament Championship.
So what do the generous people of Sportsbook.com put them at...10.5 point underdogs. Sign me up.
The 'Cats fought hard, and even had a 4 point lead at the half. Could this turn out as only the 5th ever #15 over #2? Unfortunately, the perimeter game for OSU picked it up in the second half, allowing their big man to become a presence, while Davidson, and their star shooting guard, Brendan Winters, struggled to make a basket. The result was a 70-62 loss and an elimination for the Wildcats and an end for four of their best players collegiate careers.
In watching this game, I realized why college basketball is so popular. Why fans of college sports are the most fanatic of them all...me included. It's because we were a part of this. I went to this school. I watched these guys play (well, not these particular guys) and cheered their shots and saw them walking around campus and hanging out at our parties. And it is because of that, that I recognize how amazing it is for a school of 1700 people (of which, I used to be one), where we could walk into the game at any point and sit right behind the bench, and where most of the players will be bankers or lawyers after graduation to be matching up against a school that fills 50,000 seat stadiums for their football program and has sent Michael Redd and Jim Jackson on to the NBA.
And I was and am a part of that. And always will be. You just don't get that with a pro team.
And you don't get $100 for betting on Davidson covering the spread. Hell yeah!