NCAA TOURNAMENT FANTASY CHALLENGE


Three 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: $1,912 Today: Betting $297

Today's plays

Bet 1: $220 on New Mexico State +13 over Michigan State Comment: The Aggies score far too easily to be getting this many points from an underachieving Big Ten team.

Bet 2: $77 on Texas A&M -3 over Utah State Comment: After a rugged Big 12 schedule, the Aggies are the more battle-tested team.

Mal Van Valkenburg, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $1,780 Today: Betting $440

Today's plays

Bet 1: $220 Texas A&M -2½ over Utah State

Comment: Texas A&M has better guard play and the athletic advantage. Texas A&M has the defense to fluster and knock Utah State off its game.

Bet 2: $220 Xavier pick over Minnesota Comment: Xavier should put up some offense here. Jordan Crawford leads the team in scoring and should be the offensive focal point.

Matt Youmans, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $2,040 Today: Betting $220

Today's plays

Bet 1: $110 on Gonzaga +1½ over Florida State

Comment: Four of the Zags' starters, including senior Matt Bouldin, played on the team that won two NCAA games last season. Gonzaga is tough enough inside and shoots better from the perimeter.

Bet 2: $110 on New Mexico State +13 over Michigan State Comment: The Aggies, who have won 19 of 23 games since a 3-7 start, are athletic and can score.

John Kelly, EOG.com

Bankroll: $1,975 Today: Betting $550

Today's plays

Bet 1: $275 on Wofford +10 over Wisconsin Comment: The Terriers have won 13 straight games and 19 of their past 20. Wisconsin deserves favoritism, but the line seems high.

Bet 2: $275 on Gonzaga +1½ over Florida State Comment: Mark Few against Leonard Hamilton is a coaching mismatch.

Bruce Marshall, The Gold Sheet

Bankroll: $1,980 Today: Betting $308

Today's plays

Bet 1: $154 on Utah State +3 over Texas A&M Comment: A&M's shortcomings at the free-throw line (65 percent) and with turnovers make it unreliable in the favorite's role.

Bet 2: $154 on New Mexico State +13 over Michigan State Comment: The Spartans don't look like some of Tom Izzo's past powerhouses. NMSU has a puncher's chance with its five double-digit scorers led by guards Jahmar Young and Jonathon Gibson.

Paul Stone, VegasSportsAuthority.com

Bankroll: $1,450 Today: Betting $440

Today's plays

Bet 1: $220 on Xavier pick over Minnesota

Comment: Jordan Crawford and the Musketeers prove too much for Minnesota, which struggled late in the regular season.

Bet 2: $220 on Cornell +4 over Temple Comment: The Big Red almost pulled off a monumental upset at Kansas in early January. Cornell is a veteran squad with the necessary ingredients to at least take it to the wire.

 

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