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: $1,979 Saturday: Lost $190 Today: Betting $825

Today's plays

Bet 1: $440 on Butler-Duke under 129

Comment: Butler's offense has struggled throughout the tournament and likely will again, but the defense has been a constant.

Bet 2: $385 on Duke -7 over Butler Comment: The NCAA got its wish and will work together with its evil stepsisters in Durham to shatter Cinderella's glass slipper.

Mal Van Valkenburg, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $1,400 Saturday: Won $440 Today: Betting $704

Today's plays

Bet 1: $352 on Duke -7 over Butler

Comment: For Butler to win, everything has to go its way. Barring a poor shooting night, Duke should pull away in the second half.

Bet 2: $352 on Butler-Duke under 129 Comment: Both teams are tough defensively, so unless several fouls are called at the end, this should stay under the total.

Matt Youmans, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $2,352 Saturday: Won $400 Today: Betting $330

Today's plays

Bet 1: $220 on Butler +7 over Duke

Comment: The betting public is all over the favorite, but Gordon Hayward and the underdog Bulldogs should hang tough.

Bet 2: $110 on Butler-Duke under 129

Comment: Let's hope the officials allow the teams to play physical and don't turn it into a free-throw shooting contest.

John Kelly, EOG.com

Bankroll: $5,038 Saturday: Won $1,200 Today: Betting $1,320

Today's plays

Bet 1: $880 on Butler +7 over Duke

Comment: Winners of 25 straight games, the Bulldogs will not be intimidated by Duke's size or status.

Bet 2: $440 on Butler-Duke over 129

Comment: Butler should rebound with a better offensive effort after shooting 30 percent from the field in the semifinals.

Bruce Marshall, The Gold Sheet

Bankroll: $3,217 Saturday: Won $800 Today: Betting $880

Today's plays

Bet 1: $440 on Butler +7 over Duke

Comment: Butler is good enough to limit Duke's second-chance points, and it has a chance for the upset if it can control tempo.

Bet 2: $440 on Butler-Duke under 129

Comment: An expected half-court game should limit possessions. The Bulldogs held Syracuse and Kansas State to fewer than 60 points.

Paul Stone, VegasSportsAuthority.com

Bankroll: $510 Saturday: Won $0 Today: Betting $242

Today's plays

Bet 1: $121 on Butler +7 over Duke

Comment: Expect Matt Howard to play for Butler after suffering a mild concussion Saturday. The Bulldogs should keep it close.

Bet 2: $121 on Butler-Duke under 129

Comment: Butler's best chance is to turn this one ugly, similar to its 52-50 semifinal victory over Michigan State.