13) Call me an old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn, but NBA players making 8-figure salaries taking nights off to “rest” is complete BS. They fly around on private jets, never, ever carry their own luggage, but can’t play on consecutive nights? They’re soft.
Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t missed a game in his two years in the NBA; nothing soft about him, but he is becoming the exception instead of the rule. Karl Malone played in 80+ games in 17 consecutive non-strike seasons— you don’t think he ever got tired?!?!?!
12) When Tampa Bay Bucs’ WR Mike Evans was playing at Galveston Ball HS in Texas, the WR on the other side of the field was Phillies OF prospect Nick Williams, who is in AAA with the Phils now, and is their #4 overall prospect, according to Baseball America.
Now, on to some NCAA tournament trends……..
11) Over last four years, 16-seeds are 9-7 vs spread in first round games; over last 24 years, the #1 seed in East Region is just 7-16-1 vs spread in the first round.
10) As I type this, Rhode Island (97%), St Mary’s (96%), UCLA (94%) are getting highest percentage of money wagered on them in their first round games. Most evenly divided action is Princeton (52%)-Notre Dame game. These numbers are at William Hill sports books in Nevada.
9) Last three years, 14-seeds are 8-4 vs spread in first round, with four SU upsets. All four 3-seeds are favored by 12+ points this week, first time since 2009 that all four 3-seeds were a double digit favorite in the first round.
8) Over last five years, Atlantic 14 teams are 13-8 vs spread in first round games.
7) This is mostly random but still interesting; you look at 4-13 first round games- the favorite is 16-7 vs spread in the East region, 9-2 in Southeast, 3-6 in Midwest and 3-14 in the West.
6) Last two years, Big X teams are 3-11 against the spread in the first round;
5) Last 23 years, the 12-seed in the Midwest is 18-5 vs spread in first round, 15-8 SU; last 10 years, the 12-seed in the West is 8-2 vs spread, winning three of last four SU. Favorites are 10-5 vs spread in 5-12 games in Southeast, 8-4 in East the last 12 years.
4) Since 2008, Mountain West teams other than San Diego State are 5-22 vs spread in the NCAA tournament, 4-16 in the first round.
3) 10-seed Wichita State is favored by 6 points over 10-seed Dayton; since 1987, 10-seeds that are favored over a 7-seed are 10-16-1 vs spread. In the last 30 years, this is the most points a 10-seed has been favored by in the first round.
2) If you look at the eventual national champ the last 11 years, they went 10-1 vs spread in their first round game, exception being Kentucky in 2012, which beat Western Kentucky by 15 in first round, laying 26.5. WKU’s coach then was Ray Harper, who now has Jacksonville State of OVC in the tournament, this year against Louisville in first round.
OVC teams are 6-1-1 vs spread in first round the last eight years.
1— Illinois State coach Dan Muller put out a message on Twitter Monday, asking any “Big 5” conference coach to play a home/home series with the Redbirds next season. Muller won’t get any calls, since the Big 5 conference teams don’t have the onions to play true road games. You think Jim Boeheim is getting on a plane and flying to Normal, IL for a game in December?