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Step aside, little lady. I was called into analyze the crime scene. Name's Naj, and I work the late shift for College Sports Investigations.
Yeah, the Wizard called me. And the General. And the Dean.

Seems someone had stolen a few games from the NCAA first round, otherwise known as March Madness. The absinthe-sniffers who called me into this black-bag job seemed nuttier than a fruitcake, but they promised me the green if everything was solved on the QT and hush-hush. There was some religious angle also, and Demons, and Devils and other weirdness to speak of.

But first, they'll have to tell me why Oakland is in Michigan, they don't teach those Geography like that in Acme Detective School, and what my danger pay is for messing with Moccasins, Grizzlies, Fightin Illini, and who the hell all these Cats and Tigers and Bears and Wildcats [3, 4, 5?] are...

Chatt +19
Wake Forest - I have covered so many, many times shorting the Deacs in the first round. 19 a big nut to crack. Mocs have been here before. Wake 13-16 ATS. Remember when Butler was beating Wake 40-12 in a tourney game? I sure do.

W Va -2.5. Mountaineers overlooked. Beat 2 good teams on way to BE final. Creighton good, but not that good. Going against the public here.

UW-M +5
Alabama. Upset alert here. UWM a stellar 16-7 ATS. Bama only 10-6 away from home. UWM is 13-4. They won 9 of 10 while Bama 3-3.

Illinois -26.5. Take the 2nd best team and give the points. a 30 pt win.

Nevada +1.5
Texas. Nevada as good as if not better than Texas. Horns 6-8 away from home, lost to CU by 12, ugly. Nevada finished 9-1.

Cinci -3. No one likes Bearcats in first round but me. Iowa finished strong but not that good overall. Won't score on Huggins.

Washington -20. Huskies are 2nd highest scoring team in country, will cruise to easy win.

Pitt -3.5
Pacific. Pacific was Cinderella this year. Pitt got beat up in tough conference, will win by 10. Avoid trendy UOP pick.

UAB +3
LSU. No one can practice for 40 mins of hell. UAB just putting it together now, and want that winning March feeling again. LSU is tremendous 19-8 ATS however, almost a misprint. Hard to call.

Utah St +5.5
Arizona. Slowball plays havoc on Cats. Utah St covers. Barely.

Utep +3
Utah. Miners win this one going away. Omar Thomas breaks out to bigtime. 2 good players will beat Utah's one anyday.

Texas Tech. UCLA very good ATS, finished strong. Bobby Knight's woes in March continue this decade.

Charlotte +4. 49ers are a better team, prove it against state rivals.

ODU +9
Mich St. I'm feeling that 12 over 5 magic here. Watch out spartans.

Stanford +2
Miss St. Cardinal great ATS, Bulldogs lousy, choked last year and will do so again.

ULaLa +11.5
L'Ville. Rajun Cajuns have awesome 17-9 ATS. L'Ville may be looking ahead too much here.

Villanova -5. Wildcats win this one big against 1-man UNM. Both teams good ATS.

Ohio U +11.5
UFla. This has gone up 2 pts since Sunday. Fla hot, but not worth an extra basket in my mind, first round losses have been piling up.

St Mary's +2.5
S. Ill. I like Mary's players, record, ATS and dog status. Salukis too popular for my taste in this game. And their conference is overrated.

BC -6.5. This has dropped from 8 already, could go lower, Ivies always always always overbet. BC with huge chip on shoulder, will crush Quakers. Also hedging here with Penn in first half to cover +3.5 because that's how all their tourney games seem to go.

This will be my 9th straight time to Bracketville for opening week.

My picks will change with the point spreads, injuries and supsensions, rumor, inneundo, CSI intuition, and coaching decisions and press remarks pre-game time. This is what I think now.



"Those Gamblers Anonymous groups really must be desperate for members, I took their 20 question survey and it was WAY too easy..." ~ actual quote overheard in 2001 at the Hard Rock.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
"Those Gamblers Anonymous groups really must be desperate for members, I took their 20 question survey and it was WAY too easy..." ~ actual quote overheard in 2001 at the Hard Rock.

Yea, it's like I tell people. I don't have a drinking problem. I can drink a whole case of beer without barfing.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Final 1st round update from these picks: 11 wins, 9 losses.
One spread change kicked me from a loser to winner. WVa dropped from 2.5 to 1.5 by gametime. That half-point saved me.

Upsets called: Milwaukee, Nevada, UAB, all took the money line instead of points.

Favorites win big as predicted: BC, Cinci, Nova [by far my largest wager].

Easy Covers: Mocs, ULaLa, Ohio [should have won.]

I'll post my 2nd rd results and 3 rd thots later.

Futures bets dead: All big east. [altho 2 teams would have been gone in any case due to second rd matchups.]
Alive: Mich St, Wash, Zona. 3 outta 4 that I could get ain't bad.

Plus, I hedged many of them by taking dog and the points for that round - Vermont, NCSU.

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