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Home / Articles / Mike's First Round of March Madness/NIT's Analysis/Review/Notes

Mike's First Round of March Madness/NIT's Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Mar 18, 2023
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Friday, March 17, 2023 Grand Canyon vs. Gonzaga (NCAAB) - 7:35 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -15/-110 Gonzaga Rating: 9* Mike's 3rd Leg/Parlay Friday Selections (WIN) Mark Few (who should surpass 700 career wins next season) is a battle-tested HC when it comes to NCAA Tournaments. This team ALSO has built some serious momentum having lost just twice since December & are currently on a 9-game winning streak. The 28-5 SU Zags' rank 1st in offensive metrics like scoring (87.5 PPG) & FG percentage (52.9%). They now get to play an Antelopes' defense that ranks way down the line @ 200th. Few's squad has won 13 straight 1st-round games by an average of 17 PGG. I have a feeling West Coast Conference Player of the Year Drew Timme will make the best of foregoing the NBA to come back to play his senior year. His squad was oh so close in 2017 & 2021and should get off on the right foot versus a defensively-challenged Bryce Drew team in Grand Canyon (25-11). The WAC Tournament actually uses an analytical type seeding for their tournament that rewards teams with a better strength of schedule (GCU won it despite being seeded 5th). After dismantling the Antelopes, look for Gonzaga to have all they can handle from the Horned Frogs of T.C.U. For this one, we'll go to Ball Arena in Denver to play the GONZAGA BULLDOGS on the ML as my 3rd Leg/Parlay Friday Selection! Cal Santa Barbara vs. Baylor (NCAAB) - 1:30 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -10.5/-110 Baylor Rating: 9* Mike's 1st Leg/Parlay Friday Selections (WIN) No, we won't be advancing these Baylor Bears to the Final 4 or National Championship since NO team has ever won it all after losing in the first round of their conference tournament. HC Scott Drew (16th season) are no strangers to the NCAA's & just won the National Championship 2 seasons ago. I'm not reading too much into their early exit from the Big 12 tourney since THIS tourney is the one that's for real. I believe their 3 deep threats will show up to play with LJ Cryer, Keyonte George & Adam Fegler capable of creating space quickly. They'll take on a Joe Pasternack Gauchos' team (27-7this season but 0-4 SU lifetime for the tourney) who believes in being methodical & tries to keep the game @ a slow pace so they can keep it in the sixties for a "W". Yes, they do come in riding a 7-game winning streak. However, I'm not a firm believer in UC Santa Barbara. They can't be close to battle-tested since they've played ZERO Quad 1 opponents AND play an excellent shooting team beyond the arc where they rank 217th in defending. A bad matchup will = a bad result. Let's go to Ball Arena in Denver for my 1st Leg/Parlay Friday Selections - a 9 Star ML Play on the BAYLOR BEARS! Vermont vs. Marquette (NCAAB) - 2:45 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -10.5/-110 Marquette Rating: 9* Mikes' 2nd Leg/Parlay Friday Selections (WIN) These Vermont Catamounts have a knack of winning the American East Conference Tournament as in 4 times since 17' (plus no tourney in 2020). HC John Becker's (12th season) style of play is slow & deliberate (317th in tempo) with his senior-laden squad. He takes on a Shaka Smart Marquette squad I feel will finally get off the snide (Marquette & Smart that is). It's been close to 10 years since Smart earned his last-coached March Madness win with VCU & it's also been 10 years since the Golden Eagles won a tournament game (HC Buzz Williams' squad went to the Elite 8 before falling victim to Boeheim's collapsing 2-3 match-up zone "D"/Syracuse team 55-39). Both streaks come to a screeching halt right here! Marquette won't be taking Vermont lightly after how tough an exit they were last season losing to Arkansas 75-71. Becker returns one starter from that team & will struggle with Marquette's twin sophomore sensation guards in Tyler Kolek & Kam Jones. The old "Warriors" will look to match the 77' Al McGuire-coached team who won the National Championship 67-59 @ the Omni in Atlanta with players like Butch Lee & Bo Ellis leading the way. I strongly believe this season's Big East Regular & Post-Season winners have a shot. Let's go to Nationwide Arena in Columbus to play the MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES on the ML for 9 Stars as my 2nd Leg/Parlay Friday Selections! Thursday, March 16, 2023 College of Charleston vs. San Diego State (NCAAB) - 3:10 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +5/-110 College of Charleston Rating: 9* Mike's 1st Leg/Parlay Of March Madness (WIN) San Diego State come into this game with the more talent & physical "D" (Aztecs rank 10th) but that not necessarily tabulates to pointspread wins automatically. This classic 12/5 matchups also has ANOTHER team coached by Pat Kelsey whose coming in with some serious momentum (2 losses since November 11th)! They're hungry for another tourney win (last one in 1997) & get a pretty good shot here. As it appears San Diego State (winners of the Mountain West Conference) look solid, history paints quite a different picture. This conference 0-8-1 ATS (1-8 SU) in first round games since 2010. The Aztecs have went one-and-done in their last 3 appearances in the Dance. The Cougs have a Top 5 in the country tempo rating & can NAIL it from beyond the arc. Let's see how the Aztecs handle their runs! Let's go to the Amway center in Orlando to play the 1st Leg/Parlay on the Colonial Conference Maroon & White COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON COUGARS (buying to + 13) for 9 Stars. Boise State vs. Northeastern (NCAAB) - 7:35 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2/-110 Boise State Rating: 9* Mike's Thursday Night Bailout Play (WIN) If you missed my earlier selections, climb aboard for my nightcap. HC Leon Rice (12th season) Mountain West entry can D-it up as they come in with a very strong 14th-ranked "D" in the important analytical category of adjusted defensive efficiency. The 23-9 Broncos won't run (219th in adjusted tempo) but aren't as a deliberate style as Northwestern who ranks 305th in tempo, I'm also high on Boise State because of their balance scoring. All 5 of their starters hit in double figures. Yes, the Wildcats Boo Buie presents a problem (17.1 PPG). However, with tempo & defense, this is the PLAY & the NUMBER where we'll take a pristine advantage! The motivation -- Boise State looks to capture that 1st-ever NCAA tournament win (0-8) & 1st win versus the Big Ten (0-7). This team has that cinderella feeling so we'll go to Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to play the BOISE STATE BRONCOS (buying to + 10 1/2) for my last leg of the parlay. Princeton vs. Arizona (NCAAB) - 4:10 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -14.5/-110 Arizona Rating: 9* Mike's 2nd Leg/Parlay Selection (LOSS) HC Tommy Lloyd grabbed 33 wins in his 1st season @ the helm of the Wildcats last year (lost to Houston in the Sweet 16). This season, he topped that up with winning the Pac-12 Tournament & is an accumulative 61-10 SU. When they play against a team coming off a win of more than 8, Lloyd's squad is a sizzling 22-2 SU. And no, this isn't a typical old-school Pete Carril model Princeton Tigers' squad they're taking on. The tempo they play it is a lot faster. Their wins of late have produced over 70 points. What concerns me is Princeton's lack of "D" as shown in their last 3 defeats. They've yielded a ridiculous 87.7 PPG in tose affairs. Zona's big boys with 7'0" Oumar Ballo & 6'11" Azoulas Tubelis present a HUGE problem! We're going to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to take the ARIZONA WILDCATS for 9 Stars on the ML as my 2nd Leg/Parlay Selection! Tuesday, March 14, 2023 Hofstra vs. Rutgers (NCAAB) - 7:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -5.5/-115 Rutgers Rating: 9* Mike's NIT Opener (LOSS) Not many are having faith in the 19-14 Scarlet Knights @ home here. HC Steve Pickiell (7th season) played in arguably the toughest conference in the nation in the Big Ten. They now take on a Colonial Conference Hofstra Pride squad of HC Speedy Claxton (2nd season) that's 24-9 but did some 'cake" teams along the way. Yes, the Pride is 10-5 in true away games. However, who were the majority of those wins against? Let's go to Jersey Mike's Arena in New Brunswick, NJ to play the real deal -RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS buying to + 3 as my 9 Star NIT Opener! For some reason, this game is not on the odds-feed. Let's get into it as Washington State squad that gets to play Eastern Washington once again but in the post season. Back in November, the Cougars travelled up to Spokane Arena & dismantled the Eagles 82-56 as 6'6" G Jabe Mullins knocked down 8 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 24. EWU is another with a decent road record of 9-6 but went up against the Big Sky Conference. We'll side with the talented Guard T.J. Bamba (18 PPG in playoffs) to get the "W" & home & inch closer to punching a ticket to Paradise, NV for the NIT Final 4. Let's roll to Beasley Coliseum in Pullman to play the WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS on the ML as my 9 Star Tuesday Night NIT Late-Nighter! Play 2 of a 2-Teamer (LOSS) NOTES: As promised, we delivered on Friday with a 3-0 after seeing our 1st NCAA loss (Arizona losing made it 2 consecutive years a #2 seed lost in the 1st round). The NIT's on Tuesday was a debacle (0-2) with both teams losing close or in OT after experiencing conference tournament hangovers. Hey, no complaints here as I set a career mark of 26 consecutive wins in CBB. Be back Saturday for the Round of 32 (2nd Round) as I continue a new run that sits @ 4-0! Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 CBB Overall Record: 31-3 for a surreal 91%

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