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THE COLLEGE B-BALL CONFERENCE TOURNIES

ARE FULL SPEED AHEAD – TODAY WE PREVIEW

THE MID-AMERICAN, ACC & METRO ATLANTIC

PLUS, WE FORECAST THE WHOLE NCAA TOURNAMENT

FIELD LESS THAN ONE WEEK BEFORE IT’S ANNOUNCED

Tell us the honest-to-goodness truth:

Aren’t you in the mood for some real-live March Madness?

Great, because between right now (Monday, March 9th) and this coming Sunday (that’s March 15th) – a/k/a Selection Sunday – there are a whopping total of 171 on-the-board College Basketball Conference Tournament games on tap and they include everything from the ACC to the Big 12 to the Western Athletic Conference … and everything else in between.

Hey, there’s gonna be a whole of movin’ and shakin’ when it comes to next week’s NCAA Tournament bids based on these aforementioned 171 games and we’ve already had a dose of that this past weekend when 4th-seed Bradley copped the Missouri Valley Conference (and covered two-of-three mini tourney games along the way) and hats off to Utah State for shocking the hoops world with a Mountain West Conference Championship Game upset win against 5-point fav San Diego last Saturday, thus likely KO’ing SDSU from an all-important No.1 seed in next week’s NCAA’s.

In laymen’s terms, it’s a case of massive mayhem on the hard courts of America and there’s plenty on tap all this week as we work our way towards Selection Sunday where even a couple of projected #1 seeds are far from a veritable slam dunk – right Baylor and Dayton?

So, without further ado we’ll continue to examine /analyze this week’s mini-tournies as we check out all the leagues – both big and small – that are on-the-Las Vegas-board items.

But first this key reminder that Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will keep beating the books with more College Basketball and NBA winners, so let’s cash in big all this week right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Keep in mind when there’s day-time hoops, we’ll have our selections bright and early! Hey, we’ve been hot-hot-hot lately, so make sure you’re all aboard for a bust-out March!

In College Basketball action beginning today and tomorrow, it’s …

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT – Mon. (four home games), Thurs-thru-Sat

at Cleveland, OH

The Mid-American Conference folks can stop dreaming: This – as usual – is gonna be a one-bid league and something tells us it will be a wild scramble come the semis and finals with Akron, Bowling Green and Ball State in the major hunt for the crown. Watch for Northern Illinois G Eugene German whose 20.5 ppg average leads the league.

The Favorite: Akron

The Dark Horse: Northern Illinois

Pointspread Note: Akron may be the top seed here in the MAC but the Zips have failed to cover five of their last six outings heading into Thursday’s tilt

ACC TOURNAMENT – Tues-thru-Sat

At Greensboro, NC

Talk about taking the long way home! Here’s Virginia (a #2 seed here) listed as our Jim Sez “favorite” to win this ACC Tournament and a month ago the Cavaliers were thinking they’d have to play in the first round of mini-tourney action (that’s being a double-digit seed). Dick Bennett’s club is riding a real wave but defensive-minded Florida State and always-tough Duke could be cuttin’ down the nets this weekend if they are able to hit their fair share of threes. It could be time to worry about Syracuse’s 2-3 zone and / or Notre Dame board-banger John Mooney (league-best 12.8 rebs per game). Gut feeling is the dogs will beat out the chalk sides in the final won / loss column.

The Favorite: Virginia

The Dark Horse: Notre Dame

Pointspread Note: Here’s an oddity: The league’s top spread side – Georgia Tech (19-11 against the spread) won’t even partake in this mini-tourney as it serves an NCAA sentence but note defending national champ Virginia rides a dandy 5-1-1 ATS mark into this mini-tourney

METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT – Tues-thru-Sun

at Atlantic City, NJ

Siena charges into this tourney riding a nine-game SU (straight-up) winning streak with three starters averaging between 13.6 and 15.3 ppg but maybe you think Saint Peter’s is gonna win after nabbing 7-of-8 SU wins down the stretch.

The Favorite: Siena

The Dark Horse: Monmouth

Pointspread Note: Hate to accentuate the negative but Iona is 9-16 ATS and rival Manhattan is 12-17 versus the vig

COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT

Let’s go ahead and expand our weekly NCAA Tournament look even more now … we’re getting you our entire 68-team projected field and take note we have the “First Four” games to be played in Dayton (March 17 & 18) too:

EAST –

(1)         Dayton vs (16) N.C. Central / Colgate

(2)         Kentucky vs (15) Robert Morris

(3)         Seton Hall vs (14) Winthrop

(4)         Michigan State vs (13) Hofstra

(5)          Penn State vs (12) Rhode Island

(6)         LSU vs (11) Liberty

(7)         Utah State vs (10) Texas

(8)         UCLA vs (9) West Virginia

MIDWEST –

(1)         Kansas vs (16) New Mexico State

(2)         Duke vs (15) Yale

(3)         Creighton vs (14) Vermont

(4)         Virginia vs (13) Wright State

(5)         Butler vs (12) Belmont

(6)         Illinois vs (11) Cincinnati / N.C. State

(7)         Providence vs. (10) Rutgers

(8)         Arizona vs (9) Miss State

SOUTH –

(1)         San Diego State vs (16) Prairie View / Siena

(2)         Baylor vs. (15) Little Rock

(3)         Florida State vs (14) North Texas

(4)         Villanova vs (13) Akron

(5)         Auburn vs (12) East Tennessee State

(6)         Houston vs (11) Northern Iowa

(7)         Oklahoma vs (10) Saint Mary’s

(8)         Arizona State vs (9) Wisconsin

WEST –

(1)         Gonzaga vs (16) North Dakota State

(2)          San Diego State vs (15) Eastern Washington

(3)         Maryland vs (14) UC-Irvine

(4)         Oregon vs (13) Stephen F. Austin

(5)         BYU vs (12) Tulsa / Richmond

(6)         Florida vs (11) Bradley

(7)         Ohio State vs (10) USC

(8)         Iowa vs (9) Texas Tech

Last Four In – Cincinnati, Tulsa, N.C. State, Richmond

NOTE: We’ve got NBA and NCAA Basketball coverage later this week right here at Jim Sez — so don’t miss out and make sure you’re rollin’ up all the winners at 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com

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