March Madness Bracket

Mat-side video review could become available next season

Under the proposal, which must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel during a June 18conference call, wrestlers would be allowed to go to their respective corner while the review is taking place. The Wrestling Rules Committee met April 9-11.

The process was in place last season as an experimental rule. Wrestlers were required to remain in the center of the wrestling area while the referee conducted the review.

Coaches wishing to challenge a call/non-call via video review must immediately go to the head scorer at the mat-side table and declare they are making a challenge. The referee will conduct the review when there is no significant action after the request has been made.

The number of coaches challenges will also be changed in tournament competition. A coach who has seven to 10 wrestlers competing will start with three challenges available; a coach with four to six wrestlers in a tournament will start with two challenges; and a coach with one to three wrestlers participating will have one challenge.

Currently in tournaments, coaches are allowed three video challenges regardless of how many wrestlers they have competing.

Coaches will still have only one challenge available during dual matches. Additionally, falls remain the only exception to a coachs video challenge. The coach retains the challenge when an outcome is upheld.

The referee can call for a video review at any time. To alleviate any financial impact of the video review, the match referees are the only individuals who will review the call.

At the Division I Wrestling Championships last month, coaches made 51 challenges. Thirty-eight of the calls were upheld, 10 were reversed, two were inconclusive and one was a deemed a video error. The average time per review was one minute and nine seconds.

Mat area

Committee members proposed the matted apron around the wrestling area extend at least 5 feet between out-of-bounds lines when two mats are side-by-side, and at least 5 feet from the out-of-bounds line and any obstruction such as a table, bleachers or wall.

Currently, it is recommended that the apron extend 5 feet, but the committee wants to make it a requirement to enhance student-athlete safety.

Again, all rules proposals the Playing Rules Oversight Panel must approve all changes.

Edge of wrestling area

In a progression of the rule that allows wrestlers to score takedowns on the edge of the wrestling area, committee members are also recommending that near-falls and pins can occur as long as any part of either wrestler remains inbounds.

In recent years, a rules change was invoked involving takedowns in that area of the mat, and the committee believes expanding the rule to include more ways to score points will enhance the sport.

The committee wants more action on the mat, which should create more scoring, said Jeff Swenson, committee chair and director of athletics at Augsburg. This change will benefit the offensive wrestler.

In addition, the committee developed a point of emphasis for referees to be quicker to call a stalemate when neither wrestler is improving position.

This should make it simpler for referees to make the call regardless of where the wrestlers are on the mat, Swenson said.

Reaction-time takedowns

Committee members recommended a takedown be awarded from the neutral position when a wrestler gains control by taking his opponent down to the mat. If the defensive wrestlers hand comes in contact with the mat, it is considered control and a takedown should be awarded.

Currently, it is the referees judgment on whether there was a significant portion of the defensive wrestlers weight borne on his hand/hands in order for control to be established.

The recommendation makes this call clearer for the referee.


The committee agreed to have a separate section in the penalty table that addresses stalling and to add the disqualification back in to the sequence.

The first stalling violation results in a warning; additional violations are 1 point, 1 point, 1 point, then disqualification.

Weight management

Committee members are recommending that the Feb. 15 deadline for a wrestler to reach or descend to the lowest certified weight class be eliminated. This proposal would have to be approved by the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

Wrestling Rules Committee members believe if a wrestler follows the current NCAA weight-loss plan throughout the season, there is no need for a deadline.

Under the weight-loss program, a wrestler shall not lose more than 1.5 percent of body weight per week from the weekly weigh-in while making the descent to the lowest certified weight class.

CBB: Final Four Betting Outlook

The last time this Football Live Betting Lines Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US NFL Lines many low seeds made it to the Final Four was 2000, when Michigan State (1 seed) was paired with Florida (5), Wisconsin (8) and North Carolina (8). For students of the game, it was obvious there were no great teams this season. Many of the higher seeds had flaws and most were exposed by opponents who brought a little something extra on the day these teams fell. While people talk about parity, a more concise assessment about the 2009-10 campaign was competitive balance, meaning on any given day, any team could beat another in a one game setting. It sets up what most believe is a wide-open mini tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend. Let's take a look at each teams championship odds according to, and their chances of cutting the nets down on Monday night.  

Butler (+350 to win national championship at

Butler (32-4, 16-20 ATS) advances to their first ever Final Four and as luck would have it, they don’t even have to travel to a far away destination. The Bulldogs have the highest winning percentage among the four teams at 88.8 percent, thanks to reeling off 24 (13-11 ATS) straight wins. This season the prize for doing so is playing in downtown Indianapolis, less than eight miles away from the Butler campus. The Bulldogs will be the first team to play in home city since UCLA in Los Angeles in 1971.

In the beginning of the season, Butler was top 10 material, but losses to Minnesota, Clemson, Georgetown and UAB (the first three in NCAA tournament) had people saying they weren’t quick or strong enough to compete at the higher levels. Looking at the for -Opponents average adjusted defensive efficiency- finds the Bulldogs have been in the Top 10 most of 2010 and explains why they have allowed more than 60 points once in last 12 games.

Butler has a star in Gordon Hayward and very good collegiate players like Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack along with Horizon League co-defensive player of the year Ronald Nored. The Bulldogs are 7-3 ATS in last 10 NCAA tourney tilts.

Bulter can win the title at “home” if they continue to play the “Butler” way, which is hard-nosed defense, intelligent on offense and strict use of fundamentals which makes up for athletic shortcomings. Though not a good spread team, they are 11-4 ATS the last 15 times they’ve scored 70 or more points.

Michigan State (+450)

In the words of CBS announcer Verne Lundquist, “Well how do you do?” Michigan State (28-8, 15-20 ATS) keeps being counted out and for the sixth time since 1999 and in back to back years, the Spartans will their way to the Final Four. Tom Izzo’s squad will welcome the week off before playing on Saturday, as their road to Indianapolis has been the most nerve-wracking, winning four games by a total of 13 points, including the “blowout” of Northern Iowa by seven.

Many times we hear about coaches winning games in March and now April in college basketball, however a coach has never made or missed a shot from the sidelines. What makes Tom Izzo so special this time of year is attention to detail. He prepares his players to succeed all the time. A striking contrast between Michigan State and Kentucky in their Elite Eight games was the Spartans were more thoughtful and executed their passes better than the Wildcats, who were too casual. Izzo’s teams are 22-9 ATS as a neutral court underdog or pick.

Michigan State is 19-8 ATS in all neutral court games over the last three seasons and its players have taken it upon themselves to make-up for the loss of top scorer Kalin Lucas. Looking at tape of the determination level of Durrell Summers and Raymar Morgan is striking from a month ago; were it was not unusual for them to disappear on the floor for periods of time; no more for these Spartans in their hunt for a second straight championship game appearance.

The Spartans finish the job they started last season, by out-executing opponents and making shots.

West Virginia (+225)

It’s been 51 years since West Virginia (31-6, 17-19 ATS) has been to a Final Four, led by Jerry West, who would become NBA Hall of Famer and have his likeness be part of NBA logo. The Mountaineers were a team many believed capable of playing in Indianapolis in early April, way back in November.

This is a team that just keeps on working, being average in shooting at 43.1 percent, tenacious on the offensive glass and literally finding ways to win. This tournament more than in the past several years, shows the ability to win four games to reach this juncture is razor thin. A missed shot and a made basket at the other end within 10-20 seconds has ended up the difference or critical point for all these winners.

West Virginia is very much like their coach Bob Huggins, scrappy, tenacious and unrelenting. The Mountaineers look to impose their will on you with smothering defense, getting in your face with switching man-to-man. Huggins also has shown his flexibility in using 1-3-1 zone, something the older players were used to when John Beilein was still in Morgantown. Because of the height and wingspan of many of Huggins’ players, this zone has shutdown opposing teams, nearly every time is use. WVU is 16-2 ATS in a NCAA tournament games since 1997.

Da'Sean Butler is the go to guy on offense and Devin Ebanks has learned his role on this club as the season wore on, being more effective offensively as well as defensively. Kevin Jones and Wellington Smith are excellent role players, each with job to do and Joe Mazzulla has stepped up game having to fill in for Darryl "Truck" Bryant.

The ‘Teers have won 10 in a row (7-3 ATS) and keep finding ways to win, which might be enough to be champs of college basketball if they can shorten scoring droughts.

Duke (+120)

On Selection Sunday, a few wondered if Duke (33-5, 22-14-1 ATS) would be a No. 1 seed, as it turns out the selection committee was accurate in their assessment of the Blue Devils. This is as different a team as coach Mike Krzyzewski has taken to what will be his 11th Final Four. Most of the Durham teams of the past were loaded with high school All-Americans, many with pro potential. This team is more like a team of one of his former players and now assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski, just with more overall ability. “Wojo” was a tough-minded player who made the most of his talent and never quit. This Duke squad is much the same way, in attack mode continually.

This Blue Devils team can still fill the basket from all areas of the offensive zone, but now has the height with Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas and the Plumlee brothers, to aggressively rebound at both ends of the floor. The Dukies are 20-8 ATS after two straight games with 15 or more offensive rebounds. Duke also plays very good positional defense, holding teams to 40.2 percent shooting and now the guards and wing players can funnel opposing teams towards the lane where tall timber awaits.

Duke wins it all if they continue to play great defense, especially on the perimeter, rebound and have at least two of their three outside shooters, Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler or Nolan Smith hitting at normal or above figures from the outside. A rested Duke squad is a very good squad this season at 17-1 and 11-5-1 ATS with three or more days off.


With the NCAA tournament moving into the Sweet 16 round on Thursday, here are some trends you’ll want to use as the field narrows further. Stay tuned throughout the next few days as we take a closer look at each of the games. Get the latest lines and key betting info on the LIVE ODDS and GAME MATCHUPS pages of

Sweet 16 Round

• The Sweet 16 round is typically the end of the run for most “Cinderella” teams. Better seeds & favorites have only lost six of the 32 games in this round over the L4 years. They are 10-6 ATS the last two years.

• Since ‘03 there have been 20 favorites of 5-1/2 points or more in the Sweet 16 round. Those teams are 20-0 SU & 12-7-1 ATS (63%), holding their opponents to just 64.4 PPG while winning by 12.1 PPG.

• #1 seeds are 8-0 SU & 6-2 ATS in the Sweet 16 round over the last two years. However, they are just 5-5 SU & 2-7-1 (22%) in their L10 of this round when favored by 5-points or less.

• In the last seven games where two teams seeded #6 or worse met in the Sweet 16, the lesser seed is 6-1 SU & ATS (86%).

• Double-digit seeded teams are just 2-10 SU & 4-8 ATS in the Sweet 16 round since ’03.

• Oddsmakers have provided a good blueprint on totals in one sense in the Sweet 16, as in games with posted totals of 128 points or less, UNDER the total is 11-2 (85%) since ’99.

Here are some more Sweet 16 Notes

• #1 Seed favs < 11 pts off BB SUATS wins are 10-2 ATS
• #2 Seeds are 12-5 ATS vs opponents off a SU dog win
• #4 Seed dogs are 2-8 ATS vs foes off BB SUATS wins
• #5 Seeds are 1-4 ATS vs foes off BB SUATS wins
• #6 Seeds off a DD SU win are 2-6 ATS
• #9 or higher seed dogs > 2 pts are 3-10 ATS
• Favorites off a SU win of 30 > pts are 4-0 ATS
• Favorites off BB SU wins of 15 > pts are 10-2 ATS
• Underdogs who scored < 65 pts last game are 7-3 ATS
• Underdogs off BB dog wins are 2-9 ATS
• Underdogs who scored 85 > pts last game are 2-7 ATS

Best Team SU & ATS records in this round

Xavier: 3-0 ATS, Michigan St: 5-1 SU & ATS, Kentucky: 10-2 SU / 9-3 ATS, West Virginia: 3-1 ATS

Worst Team SU & ATS records in this round

Butler: 0-3 SU / 1-2 ATS, Tennessee: 0-3 SU / 1-2 ATS, Washington: 0-3 SU, Duke: 1-5 SU & ATS, Syracuse: 1-4 SU / 0-4-1 ATS, Purdue: 1-3 SU & ATS.

Best Conference ATS records in this round
Atlantic 10: 6-0, SEC: 8-2 as dogs, Big 10: 14-5.

Worst Conference ATS records in this round

Big East: 0-5 as favs < 7 pts, Pac 10: 1-6 as dogs, Big 12: 1-5 as favs 10 < pts, ACC: 3-11 as favs 8 < pts.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

This will be the most exciting game on Friday, GUARNTEED.  We like to call it Friday Madness!

The tenth seed Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech will be meeting seventh seed Oklahoma State Cowboys  at Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI 7:15pm eastern time.

Will President Obama’s pick of the Yellow Jackets help them? We’ll see, but the Cowboys are the slight favorite at -1.5 points (, so pretty much this game will be a tossup. And that’s why 7 - 10 games are the toughest to handicap.

The Jackets will face a team very different than themselves in their NCAA opener, which is the way of most 7 versus 10 games in the tournament. Neither side enters off a dominating season, but each does something well enough to make it very dangerous. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets pound the ball inside. The Oklahoma State Cowboys rain threes from everywhere; they’ve taken 205 more three-pointers than has Georgia Tech.

Oklahoma State's James Anderson and Obi Muonelo are one of the best guard combos in the country, guys who can score from just about anywhere on the floor. Georgia Tech counters inside with freshman rising stars Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal, bruisers who can outmuscle anyone who gets in their way.

Only one of Oklahoma State Cowboys' starters - Matt Pilgrim - is taller than 6 foot 6, and Keiton Page is just 5 - 9. Compare that to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who bring Favors (6 - 10, 246 pounds) and Lawal (6 - 9, 234), and whose shortest starter is 6 - 5. However, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have proven they are quite capable of handling the big boys. They handed the Kansas Jayhawks one of its two losses this year, and also beat Kansas State and Baylor, all who have very good big men.

According to Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt, the game likely will come down to how well the Yellow Jackets can defend Big 12 player of the year and Oklahoma State scoring leader James Anderson and his hot shooting teammates at guard, Keiton Page and Obi Muonelo.

Georgia Tech guard D'Andre Bell said, after being asked Thursday afternoon about Oklahoma State's free shooting ability. "It works for them. The type of 3’s that they take. They take contested 3’s, in transition 3’s, whether there are hands in their faces or not, it goes in for them." Ranking 15th nationally in three point attempts and first overall in the Big 12, the Cowboys have proven this season that from long range, they can be deadly, knocking down a big shot with ease.

I would pay close attention to the halftime score of this game because Georgia Tech is just 3 - 9 this year when trailing at the half. Also, when the Yellow Jackets trail with five minutes left, they are 1-9. The winner of this game faces the Ohio State or UC Santa Barbara winner on Sunday.