Live EventLocking in my Bets for Week 5 | BWCFBS 9/28/22Watch Now

Welcome To March, Here's Your Cheat Sheet And Betting Guide For An Unbelievable Week In College Hoops

Nothing elaborate here. It’s that month where everyone in the world truly gets dialed in to college basketball. That said we’re at the start of possibly the best week and a half of the season, where there’s afternoon games, midmajors handing out 1-bid invites and the start of conference championship week. I’m not here to argue championship week vs first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, I’m here simply to remind you to get your bets in before 1pm on most days.

If you’ve been watching all season, there’s a good chance you already know what’s been going on. If you haven’t been watching this season, well shame on you because it’s been one of the most fun regular seasons in quite some time. Consider this a cheat sheet for the next week leading up to Selection Sunday and filling out a bracket. We’ll get right in with this week and some of the midmajors that you need to pay attention to:

1) Bids can and will be stolen

You hear this every year around this time. What league will have a bid stolen? We've already avoided a big debate with Loyola winning the MVC yesterday. They would have been a bubble team - likely on the wrong side though - if they didn't win. Just avoided a potential debate. If you're a fan of Rutgers, Indiana, Florida, Memphis, Xavier, etc here is what you are cheering for. 

WCC - Gonzaga and St. Mary's to win. They play San Francisco tonight in the semifinals and while San Francisco is likely a Tournament team already you want to have the debate. A USF win means they are in 100% no questions asked. You also want to make sure Santa Clara doesn't beat St. Mary's in the 2/3 game and set up a chance for a true stolen bid. 

A-10 – I don’t believe the A-10 or the American are truly mid-majors, but they are both stuck in no mans land in terms of conference strength. The A-10 doesn't have a lock for the NCAA Tournament. It feels like a 1-bid league. Dayton played its way to the bubble before losing to La Salle. Davidson might have an outside shot if they lose in the Tournament, but it'd be a true debate. Cheer for Davidson to win. 

AAC – Same deal here. Teams are hoping Houston and Memphis play and just move on. Two-bid league, don't let SMU steal a bid. 

2) The race for a 1 seed is more intriguing than bubble talk

I got into this debate yesterday but I'll say it again. I'm more intrigued in the race for a 1 seed. Don't get me wrong, I understand why we focus on the bubble. Who is in, who gets left out, it's what people notice. But 1 seeds matter more. That's just a fact. There's a reason 1 seeds tend to make Final Fours and win the title. It feels like a race of 6 teams for 4 spots. That said, I do think Gonzaga is 99% locked into a 1 seed then I actually think Baylor might be the 2nd 1 seed with Arizona at 3. That leaves Kentucky, Auburn and Kansas for that last spot assuming Arizona holds serve in the Pac-12. I'd have Auburn as the 4th 1 seed now, but a loss in the SEC Tournament and a Kentucky win would flip that. A Kansas Big 12 title win with wins over Texas Tech and Baylor would probably put them up there. 

3) Yes, the ACC is actually bad

It's just a fact. They are going to end up with 4 or 5 NCAA Tournament teams but outside of Duke they are all going to be 9-11 seeds. It's bizarre to watch and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but they just are. 

4) Names you need to know

We're taking out the obvious here. Names you should know that could lead a team to a conference title or title game - Aldones Williams (Wake Forest), Jared Bynum (Providence), JD Notae (Arkansas), Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona), Bryson Williams (Texas Tech), Kendric Davis (SMU), Justin Lewis (Marquette), Malaki Branham (Ohio State) 

5) The MWC is must watch

Speaking of conferences that are going to be awesome, make sure you watch the Mountain West. They legit have 4 NCAA Tournament teams and UNLV could steal a bid since the Tournament is in Vegas. Boise State, Colorado State, Wyoming and San Diego State are all the Tournament teams. This is one of the tournaments where we could see mayhem. UNLV as a 5 seed in the title game vs a 3 seed. Not to mention we get late night hoops, which makes it all better. 

6) Rick Pitino

Ricky P made the Tournament last year and is a heavy favorite to get Iona there again this year. We're all cheering for it. If Ricky is going to coach college hoops I need him in the Tournament. Rules are simple here. 

7) Picks

This is all from the Barstool Sportsbook. Download it here.

Big East

I'm gonna take a shot at Marquette +700 here. Why? I want to avoid UConn/Nova - the two teams I think are the best in the conference. They are in the 2/3 spot. Marquette gets Creighton in the 4/5 game and Creighton lost RJ Nembhard to a brutal wrist injury. I'll take a shot with the defense of Marquette there and then getting Providence. This Marquette team just feels like one who is going to thrive at MSG. Basically just trying to find value in fading UConn/Nova on the same side of the bracket. 

Big 10

I hate to take the favorite but we're taking Purdue +175 here. Why? Well the Johnny Davis injury scares me for Wisconsin. It's reported he has a sprain but I wouldn't be shocked to see Wisconsin limit him for this Tournament. Get him ready for the NCAA's. At the same time they are likely drawing Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Ohio State has been a bit of a mess the last couple of weeks. The top half of the bracket is where I wanted to go but Illinois, Rutgers, Iowa and Michigan all up there is something I want to avoid. I want to sell Purdue but I just can't. The defense is average, the offense is awesome. 

Big 12

The biggest question here is what you think of Texas. They lost to Kansas in OT on Saturday and are the 4th team here. 5/1 is a lot tastier than a shorter price but can you really trust them? I do think this is one where you have to look at what's at stake here. Kansas/Baylor playing for 1 seeds and Texas Tech trying to get to a 2 seed. I actually like Texas Tech at +250 despite having to play Baylor in the semis. This is a Mark Adams special where the players are 'up' for the Big 12 Tournament more than others. That defense is also disgusting. 

A-10

A wide open tournament here but I'm going with who I think is just the best team. Davidson +350 is the pick. Bob McKillop is the best coach in the conference. Davidson is the 1 seed and avoids Dayton, VCU, Richmond until the finals. That's 2 of their 3 conference losses with the other one being a random upset to URI. I don't think that happens again. Foster Loyer made his way back from injury in the loss against Dayton and it matters that he's there. 

MWC

I talked about the MWC being must watch and this sort of shows how open it is. Part of me wanted to take UNLV with them just having the homecourt advantage and everything. But coming from the 5 spot isn't where I want to go. Give me Colorado State +450 though. They are the 2 seed and obviously avoid Boise, UNLV and Wyoming until the finals. Mostly I just love David Roddy's game and what Niko Medved has done there. 

Do a solid

It's March, subscribe to Bench Mob on podcasts and YouTube.