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THE COLLEGE B-BALL ROUNDUP –
HOW WE SEE THE TOP 8 SEEDS IN EACH REGION OF NEXT MONTH’S NCAA TOURNAMENT MADNESS …

PLUS, THE UPCOMING NFL DRAFT: HERE’S OUR PROJECTED PICKS #11 THRU #20

We know, we know: It’s not yet mid-February and so, granted, the start of this year’s NCAA Tournament remains a few weeks away but thought you might like an update on the “win-it-all” odds for this year’s so-called “Big Dance”. See what you think (prices below all based on $100 play):

TEAM – ODDS
Gonzaga + 850
Kansas + 900
“The Field” + 950
Baylor + 1000
Duke + 1000
Louisville + 1100
Michigan State + 1200
Oregon + 1600
San Diego State + 1600
Butler + 2000
Florida State + 2000
Kentucky + 2000
Ohio State + 2000
Seton Hall + 2500
Villanova + 2500

COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT

Let’s expand our NCAA Tournament look now that we’re digging deeper into the month of February – we’re getting you our top eight (8) seeds in each of the NCAA Tournament’s four regions (all subject to change, of course) –

EAST – Louisville, Maryland, Villanova, West Virginia, Butler, Penn State, Northern Iowa and Texas Tech
MIDWEST – Baylor, Duke, Auburn, Oregon, Iowa, Houston, Arizona and Ohio State
SOUTH – Kansas, Florida State, Dayton, Michigan State, Creighton, LSU, Marquette and Stanford
WEST – Gonzaga, San Diego State, Seton Hall, Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado, Wichita State and Oklahoma


If you’re trying to slip onto the #1 or #2 NCAA Tournament seeds, then we’d say a West Virginia title in the upcoming Big 12 Conference mini-tourney could get the Mountaineers there and ditto for a potential Big East regular season / conference mini-tourney one-two punch for Seton Hall or Villanova …

And – we know you’re wondering – our aforementioned “First Four” games in Dayton that annually tipoff the NCAA Tournament could include tilts such as VCU vs. Western Kentucky and Wisconsin vs Texas …

Finally, from the pointspread files we’ll let you know that Arkansas State (17-7 against the spread), Hofstra (17-7 ATS), North Texas (16-6-1 ATS), South Dakota State (17-7 ATS) and Yale (15-5 ATS) are the only Division 1 teams that are playing 10 (or more) games above the .500 mark versus the vig.

NFL DRAFT TALK 2020

Okay, so we’re just a little bit more than a full week removed from the conclusion of the NFL season but already there’s plenty of bubbling talk about the upcoming NFL Draft. Here’s some of what may happen as we head towards April 23rd as we deliver our projected picks #11 thru #20, but first we repeat our top 10 selections:

1. CINCINNATI – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. WASHINGTON – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
3. DETROIT – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
4. NY GIANTS – Andrew Thomas, OL, Georgia
5. MIAMI – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
6. LA CHARGERS -Jedrick Willis, OL, Alabama
7. CAROLINA – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
8. ARIZONA – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
9. JACKSONVILLE, Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
10.CLEVELAND – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

11. NEW YORK JETS (7-9) – Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville: Let’s get this straight … The J-E-T-S will be snagging an offensive lineman with this first-round pick though insiders say they like Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs better than this ‘Ville blocker. Tough luck!

12. LAS VEGAS (7-9) — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: Now that Raiders Nation is moving out of the Bay Area, this Jon Gruden-coached squad will emphasize more deep shots downfield (no matter who’s the quarterback).

13. INDIANAPOLIS (7-9) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina: The Colts’ faithful will be screaming for a quarterback but gotta believe Indy will sign someone in free agency and possibly make QB Jacoby Brissett a second-stringer that way once again.

14. TAMPA BAY (7-9) – A.J. Epenesa, Edge Rusher, Iowa: Whether or not QB Jameis Winston comes back to the Bucs, gotta say T-Bay won’t grab at a quarterback here. Just watch.

15. DENVER (7-9) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: Truth is we don’t believe Broncos’ boss John Elway is looking for a wide-out here with this draft choice but this explosive pass-catcher fell in his lap and so a top 10 talent gives WR Courtland Sutton major help for QB Drew Lock.

16. ATLANTA (7-9) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU: Pass-happy NFC South means the Falcons better shore up the back end on “D” and here’s a start.

17. DALLAS (8-8) – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado: Why do we get a feeling that the Cowboys would like to make a big splash here? This Buff speed-burner – if he can just stay healthy – could be a Pro Bowl-type in his second or third year on the job.

18. MIAMI (5-11) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: Remember the Dolphins have the fifth overall pick (we say they go with QB Tua Tagovailoa) and so they’ll go defense here and grab Tua’s teammate from Tuscaloosa.

19. LAS VEGAS (7-9) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama: Most draft boards believe he’s a legit top 15 talent and so Mr. Gruden won’t pass up this stud who will hit anything that moves. P.S., this would make six Alabama Crimson Tide selections before we even get to pick #20.

20. JACKSONVILLE (6-10) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: Is the Nick Foles Experiment already doomed? And what about Gardner Minshew? Now, Jaguars take another bite out of the QB apple and take best available slinger here after we say AFC South squad nabs an offensive lineman (see Iowa’s Wirfs) with #9 overall pick.

NOTE: Catch our College Hoop updates plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez. And this weekend it’s our annual NBA Report Card Grades.