The New Stuff

March Madness Hits Las Vegas Sportsbooks


It’s that time of year again, baby! The play in game was earlier today, so that means all 64 teams are set and ready to go for the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament. Arkansas - Pine Bluff defeated Winthrop so that means they’ll be getting Duke in the first round. So who’s currently the favorite at the sports-books? According to the M Resort here in Las Vegas, that honor goes to the overall number one seed Kansas Jayhawks with 5/2 odds. Then followed by Kentucky at 3/1, Syracuse at 6/1 and Duke rounds out the top four at 9/1.

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Unfortunately my beloved UNLV Rebels have some of the worst odds at 300/1 (only Utah State was given lower odds at 500/1). As much as I hate to say it, this does make sense. Even if they win the first round, they’ll more than likely have to face Kansas in the second round, and beating Kansas is going to be a difficult task (I hate Kansas).

I asked around to see what teams people were going to bet on. Kentucky and Syracuse garnered a lot of support, while others said they wouldn’t be surprised if West Virginia or Georgetown made a run for the championship. As far as cinderellas go, people seemed to be fond of San Diego State and Missouri. Butler, New Mexico and Purdue are the teams expected to knock out some of the higher seeds later on. If there’s one thing you can bet on, it’s the unpredictability of the tournament. Here are some facts to consider before filling out your bracket:

- A 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed - EVER.
- The lowest seeded team to win the national championship was #8 seed Villanova in 1985.
- 2008 was the only year that all four #1 seeds advanced to the final four.
- #9 seeds have a 50 - 42 record against #8 seeds in the first round.
- The 1990 UNLV Rebels hold the record for biggest margin of victory (103 - 73) in a championship game.
- The lowest scoring NCAA Championship game was in 1941, Wisconsin 39 - Washington 34.
- Last year’s defending champion, North Carolina, isn’t even in the tournament this year.

Remember that the odds listed here can change the closer we get to the tournament so be sure to check the board. The action starts Thursday, March 18th.

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