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NCAA TOURNAMENT FANTASY CHALLENGE

Three Las Vegas Review-Journal sports department members and three professional handicappers have been given $1,000 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: $1,454 Sunday: Lost $92

Today’s plays — Betting $242

Bet 1: $132 on Connecticut -4 over Michigan State Comment: Tom Izzo outcoached Louisville’s Rick Pitino on Sunday, but Jim Calhoun won’t let that happen.

Bet 2: $110 on Villanova-North Carolina under -1591/2 Comment: Both teams like to run, but this total is too high. Defense gets more intense when so much is at stake.

Mal Van Valkenburg, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $1,295 Sunday: Lost $20

Today’s plays — Betting $330

Bet 1: $165 on Connecticut -4 over Michigan State

Comment: UConn will control the boards and the game.

Bet 2: $165 on Michigan State-Connecticut under 134 Comment: This is going to be a hard-fought, physical game with both teams stressing defense.

Matt Youmans, Review-Journal

Bankroll: $1,122 Sunday: Lost $5

Today’s plays — Betting $220

Bet 1: $110 on Connecticut -4 over Michigan State

Comment: I’m 0-3 betting against MSU in the contest, but Tom Izzo’s overachievers finally will exit here.

Bet 2: $110 on Villanova +71/2 over North Carolina Comment: The Wildcats crushed Duke and UCLA, so they should hang close to Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough.

Jim Kruger, VegasSportsAuthority.com

Bankroll: $1,023 Sunday: Lost $1

Today’s plays — Betting $451

Bet 1: $242 on Michigan State-Connecticut under 134 Comment: The third- and ninth-best defensive teams meet. They will limit offensive rebounds.

Bet 2: $209 on Villanova +71/2 over North Carolina Comment: ‘Nova is playing with determination and toughness. It is 11-2 ATS against teams that average 77-plus points.

Bruce Marshall, The Gold Sheet

Bankroll: $1,065 Sunday: Lost $15

Today’s plays — Betting $330

Bet 1: $220 on North Carolina -71/2 over Villanova Comment: UNC is hitting on all cylinders, and the Wildcats will succumb to the Tar Heels’ torrid pace.

Bet 2: $110 on Michigan State-Connecticut under 134 Comment: The Spartans’ only chance is to slow the tempo and try to keep the score in the high 50s or low 60s.

Erin Rynning, SportsMemo.com

Bankroll: $550 Sunday: Won $150

Today’s plays — Betting $220

Bet 1: $110 on Michigan State +4 over Connecticut

Comment: The tough Spartans showed by beating Louisville that they can hang in their own state.

Bet 2: $110 on Villanova +71/2 over North Carolina Comment: The Wildcats match up well with the Tar Heels athletically and inside.

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