This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

March Madness: Table's Set for the Sweet 16





With its share of buzzer-beaters and upsets, the NCAA basketball tournament is wending its way to another memorable year. The decision to continue the tournament during the war is providing a needed diversion for both sports fans in this country and the troops fighting in Iraq.

In the penultimate weekend of the tournament we have an interesting array of games, although the point spreads for the matchups are larger than would ordinarily be expected in the third round. Part of my goal during this round is to avoid being too impressed or disappointed with performances in the first two rounds.

Because we have a limited number of games to bet on, the "public" money will be coming in on the teams looking impressive in the first two rounds. As a bettor, my goal is to zag when everyone is zigging and zig when everyone is zagging. Below are the matchups for this week's games. I've incorporated my power ratings into the charts this week, and the power ratings can be used to project the lines for Saturday and Sunday's Elite 8 games.



Teams Official Line Power Ratings Lieberman Line Difference
Thursday's Games
Wisconsin 10 2
Kentucky 12 0 10
Marquette 8 2
Pittsburgh 5 5 3
Notre Dame 10
Arizona 8 1 9 1
Duke 6
Kansas 3 3 3
Friday's Games
Auburn 14
Syracuse 5 8 6 1
Butler 14
Oklahoma 7 1/2 6 8
Connecticut 8
Texas 3 5 3
Michigan State 10
Maryland 3 6 4 1

I always find it useful to see if there are any trends at work in a particular round of the tournament to see if the trend will provide a discernible edge. For the third and fourth rounds, here are the statistics for the last six years.


Favorites in Third and Fourth Round Against the Spread
Year Third Round Fourth Round
2002 3-5 2-1-1
2001 6-2 2-2
2000 3-5 2-2
1999 2-5 1-3
1998 2-5-1 1-3
1997 4-4 4-0
1996 5-3 2-2
Totals 20-26-1 12-11-1

With the exception of 2001, underdogs have fared well in the third round, and I think they'll fare well this year, too. I say that because I believe the lines have been inflated on teams that have gone through the first two rounds without any hiccups, such as Kentucky and Pittsburgh. But in sports betting, there will generally be a regression to the mean, because the point spread on a team playing well becomes more onerous as a team's success grows.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs