I'm picking chalk for my Final Four except for one non-#1 seed: Ohio State.
Looking over the odds at two sport futures sites, Vegas Insider and Bovada, the first thing that pops out are the odds on Ohio State of not only winning the East Region, but winning the whole Tournament. Betting lines and futures are basically made to move money, not necessarily for picking winners, so proceed with caution. Nonetheless, I find it useful when making picks this time of year.
Syracuse and Ohio State are the #1 and #2 seeded teams, respectively, in the East Region. At this moment, Vegas has Ohio State at 7/1 odds to win the Tournament; coincidentally, these are the same odds Vegas has Syracuse winning the Tournament. However, Vegas has Ohio State at 3/2 odds to win the East Region and Syracuse at a slightly weaker 8/5 odds to win the East Region.
Bovada, at present, has Ohio State at 6/1 odds (it was 11/2 yesterday) to win the whole Tournament, which is only behind Kentucky at 5/2. On the other hand, Bovada has Syracuse at 10/1 odds to win the whole Tournament. These odds may fluctuate slightly in the hours leading up to the games.
I think these odds are a bit inflated for Ohio State but the money is moving while suggesting Ohio State may have an "easier" path to the Final Four. I personally think their path is moderate to difficult. I can see Ohio State easily losing to West Virginia (if WVU gets past Gonzaga), Cincinnati or Florida State. But there is something to be said for a #1 team like Syracuse to have relatively underwhelming odds to win its own region. I also view the teams at the top of Syracuse's bracket, like Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, as potentially giving them a battle.
Thus, at this point, I’m going with chalk: Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan State; plus, Ohio State as my Final Four. Eventually I see a Kentucky vs. North Carolina rematch with Kentucky winning it all.
One other point, this is also the month when dudes historically get laid the least.
I don't have any Vegas or Bovada odds on this, just a gut feeling. I'm putting my odds on getting laid more than once a day this month to be 300/1. The one outlier this month will be St. Patrick's Day where I'm putting my odds at 8/5.
Most other days in March will be empty, by choice. There is just way too much basketball going on this month. This is a dude month. I'll make it up to her in April.
March Madness has arrived and my time will be limited, woman!
UPDATE 1:17 pm 03/13/2012:
From Syracuse official website:
"Syracuse University sophomore men's basketball center Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh, and will not take part in the NCAA Tournament due to an eligibility issue. Given University policy and federal student privacy laws, no further details can be provided at this time."