Saturday, March 21, 2009

One More Saturday Night: March Madness - Round 2 Saturday

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

And we're back after 48 hours of non-stop, pantles, bong-rattling basketball. How's your bracket holding up? Now is when the real fun begins and I start escalating my bets.
March Madness Round 2 - Saturday Games:

1:05PM ET UCLA (6) vs Villanova (3) -2

3:20PM ET Maryland (10) vs Memphis (2) -9
3:25PM ET Texas A&M (9) vs UCONN (1) -10

5:40PM ET Purdue (5) vs Washington (4) -1.5
5:40PM ET Michigan (10) vs Oklahoma (2) -6.5
5:45PM ET Louisiana State (8) vs North Carolina (1) -11

8:00PM ET Western Kentucky (12) vs Gonzaga (4) -11
8:05PM ET Texas (7) vs Duke(2) -7

Pauly's Saturday Picks:
Villanova -2
Oklahoma -6.5
UNC -11
W.Kentucky +11
Parlay: Gonzaga, UW, UCONN, and Memphis

Disclaimer: these picks are for entertainment purposes only. After all, gambling is illegal at Bushwood 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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I'm starting the day with a small profit which means that even if I whiff on every single bet, I'll end the day with only a modest loss.

Lines moved overnight. UNC is now -12.5 (locked in at 11). Nova is now -3 (locked in at 2) and Oklahoma is now -7 (locked in at 6.5).

I'm starving. Going to head to my local neighborhood diner for an omelet and try to beat all the rush of hungover hipsters.

I'm not looking too good on my sheets... however, if Louisville wins then I'll win my pool. Otis leads the Pauly's Pub Pool at the end of Round 1.

* * * **


The local eatery was packed to the hilt with the weekend crowd. I luckily found a spot at the counter. They had a TV on in the corner airing NCAA chicks hoops. Once the time reached 10am local time (or 1pm ET), I sorta asked them to change the game to CBS.

Just returned from breakfast. MiamiDon emailed me his picks and sadly he pretty much picked against me in a lot of games. Yikes! He likes the two Texas teams. We should have probably just bet each other to eliminate the juice. Senor texted me his big picks and they matched up with mine.

Nova is shooting out of their tits in the fist nine minutes against UCLA. Rollie Massamino sighting! The former coach of Nova was at the helm of the highest seeded team to ever win the championship (they were #8 in 1985 and beat #1 seeded G'Town).

How flaming is Jay Bilas?

Commercial Tilt: Been seeing a lot of financial services being pitched over the last 48 hours... including TIAA Cref (which does a lot of planning for university workers and professors) and Fidelity. They're trying to gobble up the last bits of your money and trying to brainwash you during a blitz of commercials that at this point happen every five fuckin' minutes. It used to be a standard formula that commercials represent 23% percent of the coverage in any given one hour period (or 7 minutes every 30 minute block). I betcha there's gotta be some geek out there timing commercials for March Madness.. I'd wager that that percentage of commercials is around 30% and sometimes higher.

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Nova took a double digit lead into halftime. It could have been much worse for UCLA, but the Bruins woke up in the last bit of the first half and went on a mini-run. Just when it looked like they finally showed up to play... the buzzer sounded. Nova got saved by the bell. In the second half, Jay Wright's Nova crew should continue their dominance in the paint... and hopefully they can keep them off the glass. They absolutely dominated the boards.

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Commercial Tilt: I sat through a commercial break at 16:06 left in the second half. Action resumed for one play and the whistle blew at 15:55. Then they went to another commercial break. 6 minutes of commercials and just 11 seconds of play. At least I saw Showcase's commercial among that mutated consumerist barrage.

Showcase Bud Light Commercial Count: 1

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Positive start of the day with a +200 score on Villanova. The cruised in the second half against an inept UCLA team that should have lost to VCU. Nova won by 20. Second tiered Big East stomped on another weak Pac-10 team. Balanced attack from Nova with seven players scoring at least 8 points.

Two mid-afternoon games with MD/Memphis and UConn/A&M. I added Memphis in a four-team parlay and bet UConn laying 10. Waiting for UConn to tip off.

Memphis jumped out to double digit lead over MD in the first few minutes of play, a much different looking team that started out flat in their opening round game on Thursday. MD is a team that has caused me headaches over the last decade... one of those teams that fuck me when I bet on them and fuck me harder when I bet against them.

I was talking to Change100 in Uruguay via Skype when Showcase's commercial came on during the end of the UCLA game. It was the only game running at the time, so he might have gotten some good exposure.

Showcase Bud Light Commercial Count: 2

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4:20pm... 10-0

Derek overslept and woke up late. He told me his picks: Villanova, UConn, Purdue, OK, UNC, WKY, Texas and MD.

"MD since Memphis likes to shave points," he said.

I should have bet Memphis. I know, I know. We're all saying the same fuckin' thing. At least I'm looking good for my parlay.

The first minute and last minute are some of the most import parts of the first half. You have to get off to a positive start during Round 2. In the opening round, especially on a Thursday game, everyone is tight and nervous and you can get away with not playing optimally. However, during Round 2, it's essential for dogs to strike first and it's even more important for heavily favorites to jump out to an early lead.

During the opening round, the #1 and #2 seeds (Duke/UNC/UConn) that covered the spread opened up double digit leads in the first half. The top seeds that struggled in the first half (Memphis/Louisville/Pitt) all won their games but failed to cover.

With that said, UConn seized control from the opening tip and ran off a 10-0 run against Texas A&M. Nothing makes a gamble happier than laying ten points and seeing your team open up a can of whoop ass with a 10-0 lead.

UConn took the floor with Coach Calhoun back on the sidelines after being hospitalized. I think he had a weak haaaaaaahhhhht. If this was Hollywood, we'd say he ODd on something and needed to be revived. Maybe old Jimmy C hit the sauce too hard and had to be tossed in the drunk tank to sober up like Shooter in Hoosiers? He strikes me as a guy who takes nips off a flask of bourbon at halftime.

Commercial Tilt: Vin Diesel drives his car underneath a flaming tumbling truck in Fast & the Furious. I mean how could you not want to see that fuckin' flick? If Jordanna Brewster reveals her ta-tas and we get a beaver shot from M-Rod, then that schwill is definitely worth the $12 buck entry fee.

Today's smoke break is brought to you by PokerStars....

Hey Dick Enberg, this toke's for you!

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4:44pm... Fudgepackers

Blowout City. I haven't see anything that ugly since I watched a guy blow another guy in front of my rented apartment in the Soho section of London last October.

Both Uconn and Memphis are up by 20 in an fugly afternoon. Uconn is on pace for 100 points.

Last night's games were exciting and too bad they all conflicted with one another. They should have saved some of that nail biting excitement until now.

Am I the only one who is not missing Billy Fudge Packer? Well, I know this guy is not...

I miss Al McGuire. He was one of my favorites when he and Dick Enberg used to do ACC games back in the day on NBC.
Pauly's Top 5 College Announcers (Off the Top of My Head with Zero Research):
1. Al McGuire
2. Bill Raftery
3. Gus Johnson
4. Len Elmore
5. Keith Jackson*
*I know Keith does college football, but he has such an old school outstanding voice that I wished he did March Madness games.

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5:00pm....Easy Company

CBS Tilt: Boring games. Too many commercials. I decided to watch a Band of Brothers Marathon on the History Channel until the next batch of games start.

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5:40pm.... Trio

Finally. Some action. Three games. UW/Purdue. OK/Michigan. UNC/LSU. I have bets on all three in some way or another. We get the UW game on the west coast so I'm gonna be sweating the other two games online.

The first three games are over and all three favorites won. Easily. There's 5 minutes left in the UConn game and it's garbage time with the Huskies up 21. Weirder things have happened, so I that winning bet isn't 100% confirmed yet. Still keeping an eye on that clock. If they cover, I'll be half-way to winning the parlay.

Commercial Non-Tilt: e-Trade baby golfer commercial made me laugh. Shankapotomous.

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6:33pm.... Swollen Heels

Ty Lawson played and then sat. They should have benched him and saved him another five days to let his turf toe heel. UNC is gonna need him next weekend in matchups against Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 and potentially Oklahoma in the Elite 8.

Championship teams close out the half strong. That's what UNC did with a 17-7 surge at the end of half. They're up, while Oklahoma struggled with Michigan. Purdue is dominating UW and my parlay ain't looking too good.

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7:04pm... Micro-Wright

Oklahoma can figure out how to handle Michigan's Anthony Wright. He came off the bench and dropped 12 on them. Oklahoma went into the locker room up by one.

LSU came out all fired up in the second half and seized the lead. Ty Lawson is keeping UNC in the game. He scored 8 points in the second half and provided a much needed boost.

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7:27pm... Isiah Who?

Oklahoma must have gotten a verbal whipping by their coaches at halftime because they opened up a double digit lead and shut down Michigan from the offensive end. Blake Griffin has been scoring at will for the Sooners.

Just when it look like Purdue was about to pull away, UW made a run and cut Purdue's lead to two with 7 minutes to go. Isiah Thomas (yeah, that's his name from UW) dropped 20 points (most of them in the second half) and took over the game like Zeke used to back in the day.

Wayne Ellington stepped it up with ten minutes to go to help thwart a run by LSU. The game was tied and at that point, I didn't care about the bet. That was not a important as UNC winning straight up which had been in jeopardy. I had them to go all the way in more than one pool. But after that scare, the Heels elevated their game and extended the lead to 11 with 4:20 to go.

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7:55pm... Jesus Weeps

UNC? Wow. I "almost tore up the ticket" on that game. Typical story. They stormed back. Lawson dropped 23. Ellington hit some big shots. Hansborough was smacked in the face. No bad garbage time buckets and they covered.

G-Rob went to the game in Greeensboro specifically to root against UNC and Duke. Anyway, when UNC won, he sent me a text... "Was tied. UNC wins. Jesus weeps."

Purdue led the entire game, but the second half was exciting. Back and forth with UW inching closer and closer, as that game came down to the wire. UW lost by two and Purdue advanced to the Sweet 16. I put UW in a parlay ticket and that's now toast.

Oklahoma's Blake... 28 and 15 at one point. Big numbers. A team like Oklahoma could ride his back to the final four. Oklahoma led all the way in the second half but hovered around the 7 point range. I needed 7.5 and felt more comfortable when they held a double digit lead. FT's down the stretch would determine the outcome in that game.

* * * * *

8:08pm... 4-0

Oklahoma covered and a smile unfurled on my face. First four bets? 4-0 on Saturday. All of them were winners I whiffed on a $50 parlay.

Outstanding bets? A small bet on Western Kentucky tonight. No action on Duke aside from my normal air of contempt that I have for the BlueDevils.

Wow, I'm surprised at my half-baked results. On Thursday I felt so out of touch with my bets all day until everything clicked late on Thursday night with the VCU game. Been on a mini-rush since then. I'd love to close out the day... perfecto.

Time to step outside for a victory smoke.

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9:09pm... Sexy Grilled Cheese

CBS Tilt: Without fail, the suits decide to ruin my night and air the Duke game, instead of the other game which I had wagered on. I think that's what they call Murphy's Law or just "shit outta luck." Oh, and we got a JJ Reddick highlight. Awesome. Pure joy. I'm gonna shave my nuts now with a carrot slicer.

WKY took an early lead over Gonzaga. They're +11, so I'm more than ecstatic. Hopefully they can keep up that pace ad stay a couple of buckets ahead of the Zags for the rest of the half.

I whipped up some munchie food before the start of the last batch of games...

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9:51pm... Finally Clark

I can't gush/jizz/fawn over how much I'm digging Clark Kellog (Fudge Packer's replacement) doing the game with Jim Stiffpants Nantz. His voice of reason almost makes the Duke game watchable. A Texas upset would make a lot of fuckin' people happy right now.

And.... Western Kentucky coughed up the lead but are still within striking distance.

My boy Kid Dynamite keeps texting me saying that Phish will definitely play Fenway Park on June 1st according to someone that he knows who knows Trey well.

Showcase Bud Light Commercial Count: 3

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10:30pm... All Smiles

Texas tied Duke with less than two minutes to go and I got a hard on. Wow! It was on-the-edge-of-your-seat action that was dragged out over 15 minutes of commercials, commercials, and more commercials. Sadly, Texas could not defeat Duke. They choked and Duke advanced to the Sweet 16.

At the same time, WKY/Gonzaga game was also in the middle of crunch time, but the final of that game ran out much smoother. The winner would go on to play UNC. Amazing finish with both teams scoring with less than 10 seconds to go. Down by two, WYU gard AJ Slaughter bricked a trey and Steffphon Pettigrew got the rebound and tipped it in to tie the game at 79. Gonzaga quickly inbounded the ball, despite the WKY's coach's please for a TO. With seven seconds to go, Gonzaga's Demetri Goodson went coast to coast for the winning bucket with 0.9 seconds left on the clock. That winning moment will be enshrined on plenty of highlight reels. That kid just made his mark on history. One of those amazing things about March Madness.

Western Kentucky lost by and I was getting 11. That put me at 5-0 for the day. +950 overall. My only bad bet? $50 parlay.

Saturday: +950
Overall: +1555

I got an email from MiamiDon... "Well done bro. 5-0 rocks. You can appreciate how hard it is to pick four games and get your ass waxed in everyone! I feel like fucking Waffles today. Oh well, tomorrow I double down until I'm even."

He had a tough day. I've definitely been there. The fog of war in sports betting makes it difficult to consistently pick winners. Looks like MD will win his Texas bet though.

I'm definitely a little Giddy. Time to some a victory doobie, then I'll do some homework for tomorrow games,and squeeze in work on the next issue of Truckin'.

Oh and in case you missed it... here's the last 24.8 seconds of the Gonzaga/WKU game...

See ya tomorrow...

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