Predicting Tonight’s National Championship Game Winner + This Weekend’s Masters Contenders

Always a fun sports week with college basketball’s National Championship Game on Monday night followed by the best week of the pro golf weekend, or at least the most prestigious, The Masters.

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Starting off the week with the final game of a tumultuous NCAA Basketball season – the sport has been through the ringer since October when the FBI launched a raid into a handful of schools including Arizona. But at least we get to see a fun battle of the blue bloods – Michigan and Villanova in the final.

The Wolverines have been on a heck of a run, having lost only once since the calendar turned to February – and that loss was only five days into the month (at Northwestern). Basically what I’m saying is they’ve been undefeated for two months despite the fact Jordan Poole literally saved their season in a second round stunner against Houston.

But the truth is that Michigan hasn’t faced a seed HIGHER than #6 Houston this tournament – with victories over 14, 6, 7, 9, and 11 seeds in The Big Dance. Has any team ever had an easier road to the championship game? No way.

Villanova just looks the part…as they have all season. Led by star PG Jalen Brunson, the Wildcats are the perfect hybrid of solid offense and defense and I’d be shocked if they didn’t take home their second championship in three years on Monday night.

The Wildcats haven’t been tested all tournament and completely ran away from Kansas in the first few minutes on Saturday leaving the Jayhawks never having played within single-digits for the final 35 minutes of the game (or if they did, I must’ve been taking a bathroom break).

While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Wolverines keep it close at halftime, Villanova wins 74-66.


Off the top of my head, this year’s Masters looks to be the most anticipated golf tournament in recent memory. Tiger Woods is back and in good form…can he win his fifth green jacket? Or will Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, or Justin Rose win their first?

Last year I was fortunate enough to have Sergio Garcia at 40-1 to win in Augusta by virtue of a dramatic playoff with Justin Rose. This year I’ll present my five top bets to win golf’s most celebrated tournament:

5. Louis Oosthuizen (50/1) – Here’s one of my two long shots for this weekend. Oosty lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson in 2012 and also finished in the top-25 each year from 2014-16. He’s one of the most rock solid putters around and that’s what it takes to win at Augusta. Might be worth a bet for a top-10 as compared to straight winning it.

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4. Matt Kuchar (40/1) – Four top-10 finishes in his last six trips to Augusta and played an excellent final 63 holes in the Houston Open last weekend. Combination of good form and good record in The Masters is appealing at these long odds.

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3. Rickie Fowler (18/1) – Finished tied for 11th here last year and has faded on the weekend of late, including this past weekend in Houston. Can be electrifying if on his game, though, and is worth a long look at nearly 20-1 odds.

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2. Justin Rose (14/1) – Has finished in the top-25 each year since 2009 at Augusta with two top-2s in the last three trips. I feel like Rose is a virtual lock for the top-10 at this point.

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1. Jordan Spieth (10/1) – Three top-3 finishes in four trips to August = sign me up again this year. Faded to 11th last April with a final round 75. If he can keep it out of the water on the back 9 come Sunday, watch out. Was razor sharp in Houston securing a top-5 finish this past weekend. All systems go for his second green jacket.

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As for good ‘ole Tiger Woods, a top-10 can’t be discounted as I feel like he’s a good bet to at least make the cut and play on the weekend. But I just don’t see him being the Tiger of old who dominated Augusta time after time. In the fairly unlikely event that he’s truly contending on Sunday though, watch out…

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Friday, 3/23 Quick Hitters – I was right about March Madness + NFL Free Agency Thoughts

I want you to be honest with me for a second…

Are you excited about watching Kansas State vs. Loyola-Chicago in the South Regional Final on Saturday? Truthfully would you have watched it during the year if it was just a meaningless regular season game. The answer to both questions…is no.

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I appreciate that both teams are unheralded and have been tremendous during the first three games of this year’s tournament. But seeing them and Florida State in the Elite Eight makes me legitimately sick to my stomach.

I guess there’s a reason they call it ‘March Madness’ but as far as I’m concerned, college basketball is one sport where the best teams can’t be measured solely by how they do in the tournament.

Continue reading “Friday, 3/23 Quick Hitters – I was right about March Madness + NFL Free Agency Thoughts”

Why I Hate This Year’s March Madness, Predicting the Sweet 16 & Beyond, + UofA’s Utter Disappointment

Many fans love the unpredictability and drama the NCAA Tournament but I’m not one of them. Watching UMBC beat Virginia on Friday night was a cool moment, no doubt, the first 16 seed to ever defeat a top seed in the Big Dance. But I’d MUCH rather see the best teams play one another for the right to see who is the top dog. And it’s actually quite the easy fix.

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Continue reading “Why I Hate This Year’s March Madness, Predicting the Sweet 16 & Beyond, + UofA’s Utter Disappointment”

March Madness: Breaking down the bracket + my picks to win

Seriously…could the selection committee have done a WORSE job putting together this bracket? Leaving out USC was bad enough (I know they didn’t have many Quadrant 1 wins but they certainly passed the eye test to me) but seeding Arizona 4th in the SOUTH bracket with Virginia AND Kentucky!? Stupid.

Don’t tell me there wasn’t a bias against the schools investigated by the FBI earlier in the season. Oklahoma State and USC were left out. Arizona and arguably Auburn were underseeded. It was a colossal dumpster fire on Sunday…and these clowns in charge of putting it together should be ashamed of themselves.

Nonetheless everyone I know (that likes college basketball) fills one of these brackets out…so here are a few tips from me:

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Continue reading “March Madness: Breaking down the bracket + my picks to win”

Five Things I’d Change In Sports

Last night’s NBA Draft Lottery actually kept me up in the middle of the night.  What a flawed system!  We know it’s rigged (or strongly suspect it) so what is the NBA hiding? Why no more ping pong balls or frozen envelopes? Why does only one person get to see the results picked live?

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David Stern selects the famous “frozen envelope” allowing the Knicks to pick first and take dynamic (and future Hall of Fame) center, Patrick Ewing.

Three top-10 TV markets got the top three picks…Boston (#9), LA (#2), and Philadelphia (#4).  Yet Phoenix (#12) somehow dropped two spots from their projected #2 draft slot (no surprise given the Suns franchise-long jinx but still…).

The draft lottery process also got me thinking what else I’d immediately change if I were sports czar for a day.  Here are my top five rules / policies that I’d correct if I had the chance:

Continue reading “Five Things I’d Change In Sports”