NCAA TOURNAMENT FANTASY CHALLENGE


Three Las Vegas Review-Journal sports department members and three professional handicappers have been given $2,000 fantasy bankrolls to bet during the NCAA Tournament -- two picks per day of either sides, totals or one of each. Below are their bets for today, with a brief explanation of their picks:

Adam Hill, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $2,719 Saturday: Lost $20 Today: Betting $550

Today's plays

Bet 1: $275 on Michigan State-Tennessee under 136

Comment: Without his star player against a more athletic opponent, Spartans coach Tom Izzo will not let his team get into an up-and-down game.

Bet 2: $275 on Baylor +5 over Duke Comment: The Bears are on a roll. They will be by far the stiffest test of the tournament for the Blue Devils.

Mal Van Valkenburg, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $980 Saturday: Lost $880 Today: Betting $440

Today's plays

Bet 1: $220 on Tennessee -1½ over Michigan State

Comment: The Vols are deeper and have more athletes, so they should get by an injury-depleted Spartans team.

Bet 2: $220 on Michigan State-Tennessee over 136 Comment: A steady pace to the game should help push the score over this modest number.

Matt Youmans, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $2,216 Saturday: Lost $440 Today: Betting $264

Today's plays

Bet 1: $132 on Tennessee -1½ over Michigan State

Comment: It's always tough to bet against Tom Izzo, but the Vols are more talented and they just knocked out a better Ohio State team.

Bet 2: $132 on Baylor +5 over Duke

Comment: The Bears' inside strength and guards LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter should pose problems for the Blue Devils.

John Kelly, EOG.com

Bankroll: $3,888 Saturday: Lost $37 Today: Betting $1,100

Today's plays

Bet 1: $550 on Tennessee -1½ over Michigan State

Comment: The duo of J.P. Prince and Wayne Chism is the best combination left in the tournament. The Spartans are without floor leader Kalin Lucas.

Bet 2: $550 on Michigan State-Tennessee over 136

Comment: The Volunteers are at their best playing at a fast pace. The Spartans were the highest-scoring team in the Big Ten.

Bruce Marshall, The Gold Sheet

Bankroll: $2,342 Saturday: Lost $770 Today: Betting $660

Today's plays

Bet 1: $385 on Duke -5 over Baylor

Comment: Duke will not allow Baylor to get into its transition game, and Coach K's big men have the size to match Baylor on the blocks.

Bet 2: $275 on Michigan State-Tennessee under 136

Comment: It's doubtful Tom Izzo will allow the Vols to speed up the tempo. Solid defense both ways equals a game in the 60s.

Paul Stone, VegasSportsAuthority.com

Bankroll: $950 Saturday: Lost $15 Today: Betting $440

Today's plays

Bet 1: $220 on Tennessee -1½ over Michigan State

Comment: Spartans coach Tom Izzo certainly has proven his worth during the tournament, but the Vols have more horses.

Bet 2: $220 on Baylor +5 over Duke

Comment: The Bears are more athletic at virtually every position and have a good chance to winning this game outright.