Friday, March 27, 2009

Tao of Hoops: Sweet 16 Friday

By Pauly
Las Vegas

March Madness Sweet 16 - Friday Games:

7:07 PM ET Arizona (12) vs Louisville (1) -9.5
7:27 PM ET Syracuse (3) vs Oklahoma (2) -1
9:37 PM ET Kansas (3) vs Michigan St (2) -1
10:07 PM ET Gonzaga(4) vs North Carolina (1) -8

Pauly's Friday's Twist My Arm Picks:
(I really don't like any of the games... so I'm betting small)
Michigan State -1
Gonzaga +8
Oklahoma -1
Parlay: Louisville, Syracuse, UNC, MSU
Parlay: Arizona, Syracuse, UNC, Kansas
Parlay: Arizona, Syracuse, UNC, MSU

Disclaimer: these picks are for entertainment purposes only. After all, gambling is illegal at Bushwood Country Club and in parts of rural America. The Tao of Poker is not a registered investment adviser or broker/dealer. Readers are advised that the material contained herein should be used solely for informational purposes. Tao of Poker does not purport to tell or suggest which games that readers should wager for themselves. True gamblers should always conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Tao of Poker will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained on Tao of Poker. Readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions.

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3:03pm... Scared Picks?

Louisville and UNC will both win. I just don't know if they can both cover. Most likely, one team will cover and win by a dozen and the other team will struggle in a close game. Which one? I usually have a clue, but not this time. So much so that I'm staying away from both games. OK, maybe I'll bet something on the Zags. However, I'm betting a parlay with both the favorites and Syracuse.

My gut told me that Arizona's run is over and Louisville will stomp them. But L'ville struggled at times. UNC had royally fucked me at times like this in the past. I'm cautious. I wanted to bet them and it seems like most of the money is going on Gonzaga today. The line has dropped in the last 24 hours from 9 to 7.5! Which makes me even more afraid. I picked UNC to go deep in all of my pools and added them to a couple of parlays. A good hedge would be a small bet on Gonzaga. I only wish I bet them at 9.

Michigan State and Kansas are teams that always fuck me when I bet them or bet against them. And guess what? They are playing each other. No way I want to touch that game, yet I think Michigan State could win by five or six if things go their way. So I decided to bet small on the Spartans. Izzo is undefeated as a #2 seed. That's refreshing to know as I slapped down the Benjamins for that game. Time to smoke the Jawhawks.

Syracuse? Well they are one of the hottest teams in the country with their only loss in the last few weeks coming to Louisville. They play close games which is why the spread is a single point. Syracuse wins this game by 2 or Oklahoma wins by 8. Which scenario do you think happens? I think Syracuse's run is over and the Sooners advance to the Elite 8.

Oh and my brother's picks? "I like Oklahoma, Louisville, Michigan State and Gonzaga," said Derek.

Tough day for sure. One of the toughest Sweet 16 days of betting that I can recall.

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6:40pm... The Calming

Had a lot of work to do this afternoon and stayed in my room. I placed my bets and settled back into my room to play a bit of online poker before the Arizona/Louisville game tips off. I'll be able to sweat the first two games but then I have to miss part of the later two games. Gotta go to the cocktail party for the Dream Team Poker Tour. The event starts tomorrow at Caesar's Palace. The Tao of Pokerati's 420 All Stars shall make a big splash featuring a new and improved clean and sober and smokeless Shaniac...

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7:55pm... Easy Street

Louisville and Oklahoma off to positive starts, while Arizona and Syracuse began their Sweet 16 games in the hole. Louisville shot well and took advantage of a couple of turnovers from Arizona in the first ten minutes of the first half as they opened up a double digit lead.

And the OU/Cuse game? Not so pretty start. The Orangemen held to 2 points in first five minutes of play.

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8:25pm... Zona Blowout

Wow. That was the Arizona team that almost bubbled. Many thought they should have been playing in the NIT instead of the NCAA. They silenced the haters in the first two rounds en route to the Sweet 16.... until then were stomped by Louisville. Wow. They stretched to lead to over 23 points and they are not letting up. Louisville finally looked a Final 4 team.

OU took a 13 point lead into halftime. They gotta withstand a couple of runs from Cuse in the second half. If they can do that and hit their free throws down the stretch, they'll win and cover. Of course, I had Syracuse in all of my parlays so if they lose, those are toast.

Showcase Bud Light Commercial Count: 2

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3:20am.... Late Night Update

Well, I'm back from the Dream Team Poker cocktail party. Lots of pros and random stars and other big names in the poker world. The team to beat? The Poker Hos with Tiffany Michelle, Lacey Jones, and Maria Ho. We picked up our team Tao of Pokerati jerseys. I'll write more about that later.

I sweated the games during the party, which was held inside the poker tournament area. Luckily there were a few TVs in the room and the sports book was located a few steps outside the poker room. The Michigan State game went down to the last minute of the game and the Spartans held onto win and dethrone the defending champions in Kansas. I stood in the sportsbook with Thor Hansen as I sweated my ass off during the last minute which seemed to last an hour and a half. I desperately needed MSU to cover. I started the day 1-0 after Oklahoma ended Syracuse's run. The Gonzaga bet was just wrong and (even though the Gonzaga/UNC game was not over, I conceded) I slipped to 1-1 going into the crunch time. MSU won and I survived the day with the slimmest of profits.

I overheard one guy say that if Missouri wins the entire thing, then he wins $150,000.

Anyway, the Elite 8 added four more teams... Louisville, UNC, Michigan State, and Oklahoma.

Saturday's games?
4:40 PM ET Missouri(3) vs Connecticut(1) -6
7:05 PM ET Villanova (3) vs Pittsburgh (1) -2
I think I like UCONN and Nova. But I want to sleep on it. I was talking to Shrink and he suggested that I jump all over UCONN before the line moves... higher. I might bet $500 on it now so at least I lock it in and improve my chance by 1/2 point or a full point.

That's it. No live blog on Saturday because I'm playing in Dream Team Poker.

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