The 2011 NCAA Tournament is approximately halfway through day two of the first round and my results betting against the odds are less than stellar. After a strong start yesterday morning but things quickly went downhill in the afternoon/evening session. Today wasn't as bad as yesterday afternoon against the spread, but it wasn't spectacular. You can check out my picks from the morning before checking out the results below.
No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 Oakland - Texas went into the game as a ten or eleven point favorite and I had them covering against Oakland. We seemed well on our way to the cover midway through the second half before Oakland made a late run and covered. The Longhorns led by 15 with just over four minutes remaining, but an 18-7 Oakland run ended the game at 85-81 and me losing.
No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 9 Tennessee - The Vols were a two-point favorite but I went with Michigan to cover and win. I wasn't 100% sold on the pick, but I also liked nothing about Tennessee. Well, Michigan covered and decimated the Vols with one of the biggest blowouts of the first round, winning 75-45. Combine that with Duke's easy win over Hampton and Sunday could bring an intriguing second round matchup between these two.
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 15 Akron - Notre Dame was a 14-point favorite against the Zips and I picked the Irish to cover. Akron played them incredibly close in the first half and were able to hang close enough to the cover to get it at the end. Notre Dame hit a pair of free throws late but couldn't get any other shots off and missed the cover by two points.
No. 8 George Mason vs. No 9 Villanova - The Wildcats were a slim one-point favorite but I took George Mason to get the win. Villanova was in control for most of the game but could never completely pull away from the Patriots. At the same time, it seemed like GMU could never get over the hump and recapture the lead. However they grabbed a lead late and a huge Luke Hancock three-pointer was the difference-maker as the Patriots won 61-57.
No 5. Arizona vs. No. 12 Memphis - Arizona was a 5 ½-point favorite and I picked the Wildcats to cover against Memphis. The game bounced back and forth and Memphis had their chances to steal the victory. However, it seems like the talent disparity was just a little too much and the Wildcats held on to win. Unfortunately for me Arizona did not cover in their 77-75 victory.
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Hampton - The Blue Devils were 23 point favorites against Hampton and just blew this one out from the get-go, winning 87-45 and never even sniffing the spread. I decided to go with three separate bets on the number one's covering and this was certainly a solid start.
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Florida State - The Aggies were a 1 ½-point favorite against Florida State but I went with FSU to cover and win. I went with them in part due to a highly rated defense (http://kenpom.com/team.php?team=Florida%20St.) and it paid off as FSU dominated late to defeat Texas A&M 57-50.
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 16 UT-San Antonio - Ohio State was a 23 ½-pt favorite heading into this game and I went with the Buckeyes as part of my clean sweep of number one seeds. After nailing Duke earlier I was able to continue with a second win in this one as the Buckeyes had little trouble with UTSA, winning 75-46.
We had a bit of a bounce-back effort today, going 5-3 against the spread. More impressively I was 8-0 straight up, which is great for brackets and survivors. Considering how yesterday developed in the afternoon I won't get too confident. Of course, all I really want is a UNLV win. Everything else is secondary for me.