When the final buzzer goes off for tonight’s NCAA Basketball Championship game between Michigan State and North Carolina, CBS will talk of Hansboro and Izzo, but there will be no mention of the true heroes of the NCAA Tournament. The people who actually put in hours of work and sacrifice throughout the entire season…..The Sports Bettors.
Without point spreads, over unders and bracket busters, there is no NCAA Tournament. Sure Hansboro stayed all Four Years for his one shinning moment, but did he spend four days observing line movement and money flow when the point spreads for the first round were put up on Selection Sunday?
With that in mind I would like to present to you the 2009 NCAA Tournament All-Point Shave Team, along with the Point Shave Final Four Teams. Recognizing both excellence and neglect when dealing with the hearts and wallets of sports bettors.
2009 NCAA Basketball All Point Shave Team
F - DeJuan Blair PITTSBURGH
Blair put up decent individual stats during the tournament but just seemed downright lazy on some key plays. Lack of effort when chasing loose balls (most notably against Xavier) combined with Pitt’s horrible 0-4 ATS record ensured a spot for the leader of the Tournament’s top underachievers.
F - Lazar Hayward MARQUETTE
G - Zaire Taylor MISSOURI
Down 7 points to UCONN and with the point spread at 6, the Junior from Staten Island missed an open layup at the buzzer that would have covered the game for Missouri.
G - Jermaine Dixon PITTSBURGH
0-3 vs #15 seed Eastern Tennessee, 1-4 vs Oklahoma State, 2-9 vs Xavier and 1-6 vs. Nova. These were the shooting numbers for Dixon, but what put him on the team was his lack of defense on Scottie Reynold’s game winning drive in the Nova game. If Reynolds had been stopped, the game would’ve gone into OT and Pitt could have won and possibly covered the 2 point spread.
G -Gerald Henderson DUKE
Duke’s leading scorer shot an amazing 1 for 14 against Villanova, a game in which the Blue Devils were 2 point favorites. Hmmmmmm? Even in his 24 point performance against Texas he only shot 33%, a game in which Duke failed to cover by three points. Gerald is projected to go in the Top 10 for the upcoming NBA Draft. Duke finished the season 3-5 ATS.
POINT SHAVE FINAL FOUR
Pittsburgh (NATIONAL CHAMPION)
#1 seed finished the season 3-7 ATS. They did not cover the spread once during the NCAA Tournament going 0-4 ATS.
0-3 against the Spread, two games in which they were 10 point favorites.
0-2 ATS in the Tournament, this perennial power was an eight point favorite against Virginia Commonwealth and they almost loss. As for round two the Bruins did not even come close to the +2.5 against Villanova. Score was 89-69.
Considered the top overall team, the Big East Champs came into the Tournament with a 21-12 ATS record. They finished the tournament 1-3 ATS failing to cover against such powers as Morgan State and Siena. As 6.5 point favorites against Michigan State, Louisville’s season ended with a 12 point loss.
All-Cover Team to be announced after National Championship game. As of 8:37 AM EST, spread is at -7.5 in favor of UNC with 57% of the money on UNC to cover.