NCAA Basketball

Kaminsky - Wisconsin

I smell cheese…mmmm..

NCAA Championship Game Picks


Just pick the winner!


Wisconsin vs. Duke opened at pick’em and hasn’t moved. So like the last major championship in North American sports, the Super Bowl, it comes down to picking the straight up winner to cash a ticket.


This has the potential to be one of the all-time classics. Two #1 seeds that are both playing out of this world.


Duke has cruised to the Final, throttling Gonzaga and Michigan State in the Elite Eight and Final Four respectively. They’ve toyed with very good teams.


Wisconsin has had about as an impressive tourney run as I can remember. After their tourney opener, every time they hit the court, the Badgers faced a top-tier program. From Oregon in the Round of 32, a talented UNC team in the Sweet 16, followed by a great Arizona team in the Elite Eight, they were challenged.


And then that happened….down goes Kentucky. The Badgers handled a 38-0 Wildcats team in one of the most entertaining college games I’ve seen the last few years.


I’m really looking forward to the expected Kaminsky vs. Okafor battle and the Dekker vs. Winslow matchup.


Okafor will be better at the next level, up in the pros, but right now, I give Kaminsky the edge and like him to have yet another “Tournament MVP” type of performance.


Bet365 has the updated odds and all the props for the big game: Wisconsin vs. Duke Odds


Wisconsin vs Duke Pick

This should be a back and forth thriller from the tip-off. Both are playing great ball at both ends of the court. Duke’s become an elite defensive team, while still being so tough to handle offensively. Wisconsin’s D has been out of this world, and it’s had to be, considering the Murderer’s Row they’ve had to run through to get here. Offensively, it’s all about the efficiency. This team is mature, skilled and battle-tested.

Battle-tested in a way that Duke isn’t. The Blue Devils have yet to face a lineup like this in the tourney.


I like the Badgers’ experience and discipline to give them just enough of an edge to win the championship.

Wisconsin at Pick is my play.


Drop by the Everyedge Sports Betting Forum for more picks on the NCAA Championship game, sports betting discussion and insights into all the day’s action.


This Kentucky Fans Christmas time!


I liked this play more on Wednesday and Thursday than I do this morning. But here goes…..

Wisconsin vs. Kentucky Final Four Pick

Wisky and the points looked good to me the moment this matchup was set, but the more time that passes, the more I break the game down, the more my conviction weakens.

I thought this article was going to be a smooth piece to put together, but that hasn’t been the case.

I’m still playing the Badgers, as I originally planned, but building the case hasn’t been the cakewalk I felt it would be.


One check on the Wisconsin side of the ledger is the watching what Notre Dame was able to do. Not only can Wisky duplicate that strategy if they choose, but they can do it better (spread out the Kentucky bigs, pulling them out. Feed Kaminsky inside and when it doesn’t go to Kaminsky, hit the outside shots).


Oh, and Kaminsky and Dekker don’t need to be under the basket to hit shots – they can hurt you from all over.


But on the flip side of that Notre Dame contest, they didn’t do Wisconsin any favors with that two-point loss. Kentucky was pushed to the brink and survived – forget about any edge Wisky might have had facing a very young team flirting with over-confidence. The Fighting Irish received that benefit. It won’t happen again.


With future NBA talent all over the court for Coach Calipari, the Wildcats are going to create major problems for one of the most disciplined, fundamentally sound teams that I’ve watched the last few years.


The talk about this being one of the best college lineups ever, says it all. They are the best team in college basketball.


But I still see a close game. Look for Wisconsin to execute the gameplan, and even if things aren’t clicking as they hoped, their discipline, ability to hang on to the ball and limit points off the transition, limit free points at the stripe and their experience will guide them.


Wisconsin vs. Kentucky Pick:

The play is on the Wisconsin Badgers to cover the five points.

Wisconsin +5


Duke vs. Michigan State Pick

We put up a pick yesterday on the Duke vs. Michigan State game – Duke vs. Michigan State Pick


Bet365 has the updated odds and all the props for the big game: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky Odds

Okafor - Duke

We get all the calls bettors!


Let’s start this off by saying I think the Spartans’ impressive run through March ends now that it’s April. I’d prefer it didn’t, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking it.


I can make a case (quite easily) for Izzo’s crew to pull off the upset Saturday afternoon…but the Blue Devils are going to punch their ticket to the Monday nighter.


Let’s have a closer look:


Duke vs. Michigan State Pick

NCAA Final Four Odds: Duke -5

Total: 138


As you already know, I’ve got Duke filling one slot in the Championship matchup. But covering those five points, that’s another story altogether.


Both sides can point to a commitment on the defensive side of the ball for this #7 vs. #1 Final Four battle.


The Blue Devils weren’t fussed by the challenge of stifling Gonzaga, who were the #1 team in the country in field goal and three-point percentage. When it was time for the Zags to turn it up, Duke responded, holding them to a paltry four points in the final seven minutes of their Elite Eight match.


If Duke brings that defense to this game, the paths to victory for Michigan State get real narrow.


With offensive efficiency under the spotlight, Duke’s options create issues for Izzo. They don’t have the bigs to throw at Okafor all game and they are going to have to double him. Not at the start, but rest assured, it is going to happen. And when it does, Okafor will dish to the open guy, giving Duke its open shots.


Okafor’s been held in check the last two, resulting in a sort of “pick your poison” scenario, as Winslow went off at both ends while the big guy got all that attention.


It’s a key matchup the Spartans will struggle with.


The Pick:

The points are tempting, very tempting. But I think Duke pulls away late and covers the five points. Duke’s D can handle Michigan State, but despite how well the Spartan D has played this last while, the Blue Devil offensive options present too many problems.

Although I do so reluctantly, I am playing the Blue Devils (but the dog is a lot more appealing in the second game – write-up to be posted sometime soon).

Duke -5


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Check out Bet365 for the updated odds: Duke vs. Michigan State Odds



Making the tournament – ho hum for both programs.

Making the Round of 32 – “whatever” for both of them.

Making the Sweet 16 – expected on both campuses.

Making the Elite Eight – all part of the plan for Duke; starting to be a big deal for the Bulldogs, this thing just got REAL.  

Making the Final Four – Just TCB (takin’ care of business) for Duke; the biggest win in school history for Gonzaga.


Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Duke Blue Devils tips off at 5:05 ET on Sunday afternoon to close out the Elite Eight.

The NCAA Tournament Odds are currently Duke -1.5, with a total of 145.

The line just moved down from -2, to -1.5 at Pinnacle Sports.

gonzaga vs Duke Pick

Another Elite Eight for the Blue Devils


Omnipresent Duke have long established themselves as one of the top programs in college basketball. Gonzaga are working on a resume that they hope can land them in those “best programs in the country” conversations.

A win today will definitely make the Bulldogs Linkedin profile pop.

In this matchup, Duke has the legacy, Gonzaga has the “on-court” experience. Duke doesn’t feel like they accomplished anything, while Gonzaga are on the verge of uncharted territory. Coach K has been to the Elite Eight 14 times (most of any current coach), Mark Few has been to the Elite Eight…I’m not sure, but I know it’s a heck of a lot less than 14.

But don’t think for a minute for the Blue Devils aren’t hungry. As referenced above, this group isn’t satisfied and feel no sense they’ve done anything special, as they’re judged by Duke standards – which are exceedingly high. They’re as hungry to move on as the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga vs. Duke Pick:

With an experienced group, I don’t see Gonzaga getting overwhelmed by the moment, but it is BIG for this program. Duke are playing their best basketball of the season and look like they could win it all. Offensively, they’re going to create problems for the Bulldogs, problems that I’m not sure Few and his crew can work out.

These are two very good teams, but I’ll give the edge to Coach K and his troops.

I think Duke goes through to the Final Four.

Duke -1.5


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I’m going to put my trust in Pitino. His record in this tournament when he’s had several days to prep goes beyond impressive ( I’m too lazy to do the Thesaurus thing, so let’s just leave it at “beyond impressive”).


Pitino doesn’t lose these Sweet Sixteen matchups – or more accurately, he rarely goes down to defeat, boasting an 11-1 mark in this round the 12 times he’s guided one of his teams here.


Clearly it’s not all about Pitino and prep, as he’s often arrived for those games with the better team and an expectation of winning. Which is what he does.

NC state vs Louisville pick

The Sweet 16 has been very sweet for Pitino


NC State tripped up Villanova in the round of 32. I know everyone is talking about the job the Wolfpack did defensively, holding ‘Nova to a putrid 31% from the field. Fair enough. But I watched that game and spent most it shaking my head at how a #1 seed could panic that easily, playing right into the hands of their less-talented opponent.


The Wildcats were making dumb decisions all over the court. Once the upset was in play, every time Villanova got the ball it was like Greg Norman with a Sunday lead at Augusta. I can still hear the coughing.


This isn’t a great Louisville team, make no mistake, but they caught a break getting to face the Wolfpack in this round. I don’t see them squandering it.


Yes, I have some anxiety around freshman guard Quentin Snider holding up under the pressure (both the mental pressure and the actual pressure from NC State). He’s had to step in after Chris Jones’ off-court activities proved to be too much for even a big program like Louisville to hide.


But the kid played like a champ vs. Northern Iowa, turning the ball over but once. I don’t care if he doesn’t score. If he hangs on to the ball and makes smart plays, the Cardinals should be headed for the Elite Eight.


Check all of the updated NCAA Basketball odds


NC State vs. Louisville

NCAA Picks: Take Louisville -2.5


Be sure to stop by the Sports Betting Forum for more Sweet 16 picks and opinions.