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Mike Handzelek's First 2 Rounds Of March Madness Analysis/Review


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Mar 25, 2019
   
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Sunday, March 24, 2019 Buffalo vs. Texas Tech (NCAAB) - 6:10 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 4/-110 Buffalo Rating: 8* Mike's Sunday X's & O's Sweet 16 Qualifier (1st Loss) Here's your classic good defense (Texas Tech yields just 59.2 PPG) versus excellent offense (Buffalo averages 84.9) matchup. Buffalo's offensive average is 3rd in the nation behind Gonzaga (88.6) & North Carolina (86.1). Guys, the Bulls didn't win 32 games by accident. Their top 3 players are tough matchups. MAC Player of the Year & senior guard C.J. Massinburg (1,976 career points, needs 29 points to pass Javon McCrea as the #1 BU scorer all-time, 18.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG & 3 APG) leads the way along with senior forward Nick Perkins (1,757 career points, 14.6 PPG, 7.3 RPG) & senior guard Jeremy Harris (14.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG). They head into this fracas on a 13-game winning streak & have beaten Syracuse on their home floor by double-digits. They're seasoned carrying a 18-3 record away in contrast to 10-5 for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech can try to neutralize Buffalo's scoring to a point. Their erratic scoring bursts worked against Northern Kentucky @ this venue. However, these Bulls are an entirely different senior-laden animal. My bottom line says Buffalo has other important talents. They have an all-important +3.9 turnover margin & are 12th in the nation forcing 16 TO's per game. They now take on 2 sophomore guards in Jarrett Culver (18.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG & 3,8 APG) & Davide Moretti (11.5 PPG, leads nation in FT% @ 92.5) that are talented but have turned it over. HC Nate Oats' team has excellent ball movement on offense & can open the middle against the Red Raiders when hot shooting treys. Even though the Bulls won't see their traditional mid-80's production, they're very comfortable in a mid-tempo game that winds up in the high 60-low 70's type of game. These 2 teams are very tough to separate so here's our play & our line to MAX payout. Numbers support us all the way as Buffalo is a red-hot 20-6-2 ATS in neutral site games in contrast to Texas Tech being a ticket-ripping 11-24 versus the number in that same category. Let's go to the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK to play the BUFFALO BULLS (buying to +7) as my Sunday X's & O's Sweet 16 Qualifier! Saturday, March 23, 2019 Murray State vs. Florida State (NCAAB) - 6:10 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -200 Florida State Rating: 8* Mike's Saturday CBB Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) Kudos go out to HC Matt McMahon & his Ohio Valley Conference Champions Murray State Racers. This team played their "A" game Thursday against Marquette & SEEM to come in riding high with a 12-game winning streak mostly against smaller competition. Yes, 6'3" sophomore guard Ja Morant is likely a top three pick in the NBA draft & is the best player on the floor here. However, this is still a TEAM sport! The 19-point win on Thursday was a bit misleading since the Golden Eagles had NO depth literally playing the starting 5 with very, very little bench minutes from the second tier. The Racers also enjoyed a sizzling 54%-32% advantage from the field & hit 50% of their treys for the game. For this one, I don't expect freshman guard Tevin Brown to have his way again & tally 19 against a defense that may lull you to sleep in the first half & sink their teeth into you in the second. The ML has gone our way & value is considerably in our favor with Leonard Hamilton's squad (31st season as a HC) that should be able to man up the pressure against a 3-guard system that an exhausted Marquette team could not. Remember, Vermont shot an unreal 16 treys (50% from beyond the arc) to FSU's 3 & still lost by 7 points. Why? Because they can flex their muscles in the paint. My bottom line says this game can easily be decided @ the free throw line. Murray State shot 14-for-24 (58%) @ this venue Thursday while the Seminoles went a take-them-to-the-bank 31-for-37 (84%). FSU is the DEEPER team (play 10 guys while Murray State plays close to 8) & have that taste of how close they got to the Final 4 last year. This team has set a school record for most wins with 28 breaking the 27-6 mark of HC Hugh Durham in the 71-72 season when they lost the NCAA Final to Bill Walton & the U.C.L.A. Bruins 81-76 @ the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena. Regardless, this team can make it to the Elite 8 & more playing their brand of basketball (controlling tempo, dominating both boards & making shots in or around the paint). Let's go to the XL Center in Hartfor, CT to play the FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES as my Saturday CBB Public Missed Perception Play! Friday, March 22, 2019 Arizona State vs. Buffalo (NCAAB) - 4:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -215 Buffalo Rating: 8* Mike's Friday March Madness Prime Mover (WIN) Tricky Friday with not too many line mistakes will limit us to 1 play today. Forget all the mentor-protege talk about ASU 4th-year HC Bobby Hurley & Buffalo HC Nate Oats (also in his 4th season) while both were coaching the Bulls during the 2015 March Madness Tourney. Talent levels reign supreme where we find this Buffalo team to be deeper & more experienced than what the Sun Devils put on the court. What will go wrong for Arizona State? They'll struggle offensively overall versus a Bulls' defense that only allows an overall 41.8 FG% as well as a low 30.2% from beyond the arc. My bottom line says Buffalo's been here before upsetting Arizona 89-68 in the first round last year. I feel the best player on the floor is UB's Mid-American Conference Player of the Year & 1,000-pt. scorer C.J. Massinburg (currently @ 1,957). Expect Massinburg to be the catalyst down the stretch as he's an excellent free throw shooter making 16-of-19 over the past 2 contests. Some may prefer taking the Bulls down to -5 or so. However, the MAC versus a Pac-12 dog is usually not a good percentage play ATS. Playing the ML does have merit here since Buffalo has been a MONSTER SU against sub .700 opponents the past 3 years going an off-the-charts 45-6! With Hurley 0-2 SU in this tourney, let's make way the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK to play the seasoned BUFFALO BULLS for the "W" as my Friday March Madness Prime Mover! Thursday, March 21, 2019 Minnesota vs. Louisville (NCAAB) - 12:15 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 5.5/-115 Minnesota Rating: 9* Mike's March Madness Wise Owl Sweet Revenger (WIN) Remember, this is HC Chris Mack's FIRST year with the Louisville program. Time = Consistency applies here. Another BIGGER story that cannot be ignored is Minnesota HC Richard Pitino's dad, Rick Pitino was HC @ Louisville for 16 years before getting fired just 2 seasons ago. Don't think for a minute he & his son won't be spending ample time on talking about Louisville's strengths & weaknesses that will lead to some sweet daddy revenge. Another storyline has to be Golden Gophers' senior power forward Jordan Murphy. Besides averaging 14.8 PPG, he's 5th in the country in rebounding with 11.5 per game including 22 double-doubles (2nd in Division I). My bottom line points out that Minny-ha-ha has done excellent in neutral-site contests thus far going 6-1 SU. Let's solidify this Big Ten call further. Guess whose waiting for the Golden Gophers after their "W"? It'll be a revenger with Michigan State. Both of teams come in with near identical records. However, the Cardinals have gone 4-10 SU against tournament teams this season trumps over being tourney-tested. Here's where we'll go with this one. Hopping over to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, we're grabbing the more-motivated MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (buying to +8) as my March Madness Wise Owl Sweet Revenger! Vermont vs. Florida State (NCAAB) - 2:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -8.5/-112 Florida State Rating: 8* Mike's CBB Public Missed Perception Play (WIN OFF BUY) There's some pretty heavy HEAT plopping down on those Catamounts by the public AND mushes here! The problem exists where the slack will be picked up when FSU clamps down defensively on Vermont standout Anthony Lamb (21.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG). With Vermont holding 7 American East Tournament championships, that fails largely to the talent of the ACC. Remember, the Seminoles have beaten SEC regular season champ L.S.U., Big Ten champ Purdue & were the ONLY Division I team to beat 29-3 SU & #1 seed Virginia (69-59) besides Duke who did it twice. My bottom line says HC Leonard Hamilton knows how close they got tothe Final Four last year. This team got that TASTE & want to go back. The depth & athleticism of FSU trumps over venue & any run the Catamounts make. Look for this ACC entry to overwhelm their opponent with SIZE which 6'10" forward Mfiondu Kagengele (12.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 50 blocked shots) being a prime example. Let's make way to the XL Center in Hartford, CT to play the FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (buying to -6) as my CBB Public Missed Perception Play! Saint Mary's Ca vs. Villanova (NCAAB) - 7:20 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 4.5/-102 Saint Mary's Ca Rating: 9* Mike's March Madness Ugly Pig Game Of The Night (WIN) Can ANYONE really say that this season's Nova' team is remotely close to last year's winner of March Madness? Why do I say that? Well, losing FOUR players Which represented 70% of their scoring) to the NBA is a pretty deciding factor. Now these same Cats' have to take on a dangerous Gaels' squad that's fresh off frustrating #1 seed Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Tournament decider. Getting points here with HC Randy Bennett is the way to go since St. Mary's holds a big 3 PT% edge being ranked 32nd while Villanova comes in a distant 119th. In addition, the Gaels' 29th-ranked defense combined with their deliberate slow-tempo offense has frustrated teams in & out of the WCC. Plus-40% 3-pt shooters Jordan Ford (21.3 PPG) & Malik Fitts (15.3 PPG) gives them an equally-dangerous tandem as the Wildcats' duo of Phil Booth (18.6 PPG) & Eric Paschall (16.5 PPG). My bottom line says they've taken care of business against sub .750 opposition this season. Their 18-5 SU record speaks louder than words since their few losses have averaged out to a mere 5 PPG. Other numbers speaking loudly have to be Villanova's 1-6 ATS mark in opening round games when favored by 13 points or less. It's hard to ignore their ice-cold 37.8% shooting from 2-point range (lowest in the nation). With the Big East weaker overall this season, Nova's title isn't that impressive. Remember, this team lost to Furman, lost to Big 5 rival Pennsylvania & were embarrassed by Michigan 73-46 @ home. Let's go one more time to the XL Center in Hartford, CT to play the ST. MARY'S GAELS (buying to +6) as my March Madness Ugly Pig Play Of The Night! Mike Handzelek's 2019 CBB March Madness Overall Record: 5-1 for 83% Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 CBB Overall Seasonal Record: 8-2 for 80%
 


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