Monday, December 11th, 2017

Four O’clock Games

Published on March 18, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

I’m running out of titles to call these first round predictions. And yes, that’s right … I still call it the first round. I’ve heard several of the commentators call it the “second round”, implying that the First Four was the first round.

The concept may be a good idea, but you can’t call the four play-in games a round. The only reason that the NCAA could be possibly doing this is because there will soon be a First Eight and then First Sixteen and finally the First 32. This is where you have the 9 through 16 seeds all get play-in games to get the round of 64. But seriously, 96 teams!? Is that really what we want to see?

Maybe not the First 32; but First 16? Of course it is. There will be a lot more meaningful and suspenseful games and popularity of March Madness will only increase. Then there will be multiple teams from smaller conferences getting bids they otherwise wouldn’t while all of the quality big conference schools get in. After that, the NIT will really start to stand for Not-Important-Tournament.

7 Texas A&M vs 10 Florida State

This is the game to watch in this second group of games. The sportsbooks currently have the 7-10 matchup between the Texas A&M Aggies (24-8) and the Florida State Seminoles (21-10) as a pick’em. This game truly is a 50/50 battle.


Texas A&M was on a tear early in the season. They went 16-1 to start the season and had were 3-0 against ranked teams during that time. Then, the Aggies lost 4 of 5, followed by a 5 game winning streak. The Aggies should be happy that they can’t play Texas until the Finals, as they lost all three meetings this season.

florida-st-vs-texas-amTexas A&M is 5-0 in the first round since 2006. This is their 6th straight tournament appearance. They have only gone to the Sweet 16 once in that time.

Florida State has proven that they can play with any team in the country. They lost close games to the best teams they played in their non-conference schedule. But they were able to end Duke’s long winning streak. Florida State ended the year early with a first round exit to Virginia Tech. This is the third straight year that Florida State has made the NCAA tournament. The Seminoles are 0-2 in the first round.

I think that both tournament trends will continue. Texas A&M will go to 6-0 in the first round and FSU will go to 0-3 as the Aggies win 71-68.

1 Ohio State vs 16 UT-San Antonio

ohio-st-vs-ut-san-antonioUT-San Antonio won their First Four matchup against the Alabama State Hornets. They won by almost the exact score that I predicted (Hurray – for once!). Now they get to lose to Ohio State in the first round.

Like I said before, I don’t like betting on the 1 vs 16 matchup. The line is usually too high and a 16 can lose by 20 points and win the bet. In this case, the Buckeyes are a 24 1/2 point favorite; that is a hard pill to swallow with any two team. Still a full two-thirds of the bets have been on Ohio State to win by 25 or more.

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