Traveling – The Weekend in Basketball

Traveling is your quickest way to catch up on the weekend (or week) in the NBA and college basketball. The format is ideal for your morning commute to work or that first bathroom break of the day.

Let’s get into it!

bear ref

NCAA Tournament

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the last 96 hours like a cave person, watching nothing but college basketball. When I stepped outside this morning, I was blinded by the sun.

But, if you’re not quite that obsessive with college basketball, here’s a catchup on the five things people will be talking about today at the water cooler.

A Number 16 Seed Beat a Number 1

It had never happened in the history of the tournament. Sixteen seeds were 0-135 to be exact. Until Friday night. UMBC beat No. 1 overall seed Virginia. And they beat ’em good too, a 20 point victory.

The magic almost continued against Kansas State. UMBC lost a close one to the Wildcats (a fun game. An exciting game. But secretly a pretty ugly game).

Look for a new ebook detailing the event and how they pulled it off, available by Thursday for sure.

Sister Jean

Someone will make a Sister Jean reference today in your office. So who is she? She’s the 98-year-old superfan/chaplain/scout/nun for Loyola-Chicago. She watches the games close to the bench in a wheelchair. And she’s pretty awesome.

Loyola-Chicago is the biggest Cinderella story left in the tournament. The Missouri Valley champs beat Miami FL then Tennessee on their way to the Sweet 16.

Another crazy year

You ever have that person in your bracket pool who picks all Number 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s? Do you get kind of upset when they win because they picked all chalk?

Well check this out, only two Number 1’s, two Number 2’s, and two Number 3’s are in the Sweet 16. Those are the same numbers for Number 7’s, 9’s, and 11’s. That means if you had a bracket strategy of only picking 7’s, 9’s, and 11’s you would be doing just as well as the person picking 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s.

Beware of the Blue Bloods?

Despite all the chaos, Blue Bloods, the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and Villanova are all still alive. And, to some extent, Syracuse should be viewed as a traditional power, even though this year they were a play-in 11 seed.

But North Carolina, Michigan State, Arizona, UCLA all didn’t survive the first weekend.

Buzzer Beater

Michigan’s Jordan Poole hit the biggest buzzer beater of the weekend. Turns out he’s been doing this since high school.

Is there a favorite to win this thing?

For the first time that I can remember, it truly feels like all 16 teams have a legitimate shot to cut down the nets. Or at least make it to the Final Four.

According to Las Vegas, here are the odds to win it all:

  1. Villanova – 18/5
  2. Duke – 4/1
  3. Kansas – 6/1
  4. Kentucky – 7/1
  5. Michigan – 7/1

Now we would never encourage something like gambling on basketball, BUT intriguing bets would be these four teams. Low odds and sneaky good chances to pull it off:

West Virginia – 12/1

Texas Tech – 15/1

Texas A&M – 30/1

Nevada – 50/1

Putting $100 down on the Aggies would convert into $3,000, same amount on Nevada would be $5,000 if they go all the way. Look, definitely a risk, most likely kiss that $100 bill goodbye, but I feel like these bets rank higher than a lottery ticket and just a little lower than Bitcoin.

Is the NBA still playing?

Always feel like the NBA takes the month of March off, but believe it or not games are still quietly taking place. Take a look at how crazy close things are in the Western Conference.

  1. Houston Rockets – 56-14
  2. Golden State – 53-17
  3. Portland – 44-26
  4. Oklahoma City – 43-29
  5. Utah – 40-30
  6. New Orleans – 40-30
  7. San Antonio – 40-30
  8. Minnesota – 40-31

The Clippers and Nuggets are sitting outside the playoff picture by a couple of games, but look at that, you lose one game and you might fall from a Number 5 to a Number 8 seed. Go from playing Portland or OKC to playing Houston or Golden State.

 

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