March 22nd 2013 - Updated 7:30 PM Eastern Time

Pick #3 added at the bottom

It seems we are destined to lose every close game in March! Those watching the Cincinnati game must have been left fuming because two days after the Memphis game, we have AGAIN lost yet ANOTHER game by half a point! There was also Houston Rockets and another example earlier in the month.

The difference maker in this case was the free-throws. Cincinnati missed 3 critical freebies in the final minute and shot an embarrassing 44% from the Free-throw line! While Creighton made 22 out of 25 and 88%! That was the difference between not only losing the game but more importantly for us, not covering the spread.

The company hosting our website has had server issues all day and this means some people were unable to get into the members area and place the early bets today and are better off for it. Clients are encouraged to clear cookies/cache after today's server problems and press refresh to ensure they are seeing the latest version of the website. It seems some were temporarily seeing an old version from March 7th and March 19th.

All server issues seem to have now been resolved and will revert back to normal. And with a bit more luck, we should have a good Saturday & Sunday ahead.

#1: Take Cincinatti Bearcats at +3.5 spread against Creighton Blue Jays risking 3 Units (2:45 PM)

What this game is going to come right down to is if Cincinnati will have an answer for slowing down Doug McDermott. McDermott was a first-team All-American last year and is likely to repeat again this year. He's the nation's second-leading scorer and gets his points in every way imaginable, making him extremely fun to watch.

Cincinnati is a tough, defensive-minded team from the rugged Big East conference, they rely heavily on their defense to keep them in games and an offense that can push the ball inside or shoot from the perimeter. When Cincinnati is hitting their shots, they are an extremely tough team to beat.

The issue that I have with this game and Creighton in general is that teams are figuring out the Blue Jays and how to stop them. You will not stop McDermott completely but if you can limit him or slow him down just a bit, then you have a chance to win. No other Creighton player besides McDermott is scoring in double figures this season.

I have Cincinnati pulling off the upset today in my brackets and expect this to be a close game this afternoon that could come down to the final shot. Take the points.

#2: Take Colorado Buffalos at +1.5 spread against Illinois Fighting Illini risking 3 Units (4:40 PM)

Just like the Oregon Vs Oklahoma State last night, this is a game where I feel that the odds makers simply missed the mark and favored the wrong team. Plain and simple I believe that the Illini are truly overrated as a No. 7 seed in this tournament. Yes, they have some scrappy guards in Brandon Paul, Tracy Abrams, and DJ Richardson but when you really look at it, none of them are great shooters. They are like the Rajon Rondo of the college world. They can pass the ball real well but they are not the players that you want to have the ball when the game is on the line. Not only are they not great shooters but they are not particularly capable three-point shooters. So basically the Illini have 3 guards who are not great shooters yet they expect to win this game?

As a team, the Illini are shooting just 41.6 percent from the floor and 32.5 percent from downtown. In Big Ten play this year, Illinois were out-rebounded on a pretty consistent basis. Colorado has four players that average double digits in scoring and the majority of the teams that were able to capiltilize on the rebounding advantage against Illinois were teams like Colorado.

A player who I feel is really going to dominate in this game is Andre Roberson who happens to be Colorado's leading rebounder. An interesting statistic is that Roberson is putting up more than double the boards than anyone on the Illinois team! Roberson should actually be in for a huge day. In the end, I think that the odds-makers and the Selection Committee got this one wrong. Colorado should be the No. 7 seed, not the No. 10 seed and Colorado should be the one laying a couple of points and not getting them.

A few extra trends to consider:

- Illinois are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games following a loss.

- Illinois are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

- Colorado are 15-8 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

- Colorado are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss.

#3: Take Iowa State at +1 spread against Notre Dame risking 3 units. (9:45 PM)

This game is going to come down to which team can make their shots when it counts. Notre Dame is a team that will need to go inside to veteran Jack Cooley and attack the paint, a place where the Cyclones are the most vulnerable. The problem for Notre Dame is while they their defense in good in the interior, Iowa State is not a team who penetrates into the lane very often. State is an outside shooting team. In fact, no team in the country takes and makes more three-pointers than Iowa State and I fully expect them to be firing away from downtown at all angles today.

Notre Dame has also not fared well in recent NCAA tournaments. They are typically a team who does not get past the first round. Notre Dame's only victory in the past three years came against 15th-seeded Akron and it lost to two teams seeded 10th and one seeded 11th in that span.

Iowa State are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games following a loss while Notre Dame are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 NCAA tournament games! For all of coach Mike Brey's experience, he has rarely taken his Notre Dame team more forward at this stage.

Iowa State is the type of team that can get plenty of scoring help from just about every starter and I personally have them moving on in my bracket and feel that their ability to shoot and make 3 pointers when needed is going to be the difference maker in this game.


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