Monday’s SportsBIT Show: Breaking Down The Big Dance
Teddy & Pauly examine the 2017 NCAA Tournament field in Monday’s SportsBIT show. What did the selection committee get right or wrong? March Madness all begins Tuesday with the First Four in Dayton.
The most “hyped” snub for the field of 68 was Syracuse. Last year, the Orange barely snuck into the field and made it all the way to the Final Four. This season, SU had some tremendous wins but also some bad home losses to Georgetown and St. John’s. "They didn't win big games outside of the Carrier Dome,'' committee chairman Mark Hollis, also the Michigan State athletic director, said. Indeed, SU had only two away wins. However, the team that was the biggest snub was Illinois State of the Missouri Valley. The Redbirds are 27-6 overall and their only two losses in the conference were to an excellent Wichita State team. ISU and SU are among the NIT field.
Speaking of Wichita State, the Shockers enter the Big Dance on a 15-game winning streak yet were given a ridiculous No. 10 seed in the South. While the committee didn’t respect the Shockers’ body of work much, sportsbooks sure have as WSU opened as a 6.5-point favorite over No. 7 Dayton. The winner of that one likely gets No. 2 Kentucky. American Athletic Conference champion SMU also was seeded wrong as a No. 6. The Mustangs have won 26 of their past 27 games with the only loss by two to Cincinnati. "We're just going to have to prove them wrong now. We're better than a six seed," SMU’s Sterling Brown said. Wisconsin was seeded as a No. 8 but opened as a 6-point favorite over No. 9 Virginia Tech, the highest spread in an 8-9 game in years.
Usual No. 12 Vs. No. 5 Upset
The most common big upset in the Big Dance is a No. 12 knocking off a No. 5. A 12 seed has defeated a 5 seed outright in 18 of the past 21 seasons, and the series is tied 8-8 over the past four NCAA Tournaments. Since 2009, favorites are just 11-21 ATS in this matchup, including 5-11 since 2014.
Grizzlies Fading, Bucks Surging
The Memphis Grizzlies host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday in the NBA and those are two teams going in opposite directions. The Grizzlies are under .500 in the New Year and enter on a five-game losing streak. The past three defeats were at home by double digits. Coach David Fizdale has been tinkering with his starting lineup to no avail. The Grizzlies are 30th in the NBA in defense since the All-Star break. The Bucks, meanwhile, have pushed themselves into the Eastern Conference playoff race by winning and covering six games in a row. The return of injury from Khris Middleton has helped overcome the season-ending loss of Jabari Parker. Milwaukee has held its past five opponents under single digits. Teddy & Pauly like the Bucks getting 4 on Monday.