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Tips on the Elite 8

   by Tom Stryker - 03/23/2007

On Saturday and Sunday, March Madness will be at its peak when eight of the
best college basketball teams in the land fight for a berth in the NCAA
Final Four.

This round of the Big Dance is probably the most difficult of them all. The
"promised land" is in sight and tension and nerves are at an all-time

When I handicap the tournament, I break down the rounds individually to try
and isolate profitable sets. The teams in the Elite Eight are usually the
best-of-the-best. The mismatches that occur in the early stages of the
tourney are much more difficult to uncover at this stage of the tournament.
Except for a few rare occurrences, these eight teams are all capable of
beating one another. Therefore, underdogs might be worth a look. With that
thinking in mind, I turned to my college basketball database to see what I
could find.

First, let's take a look at specific seed information.

These are overall records dating back to 1990.

No. 1 Seed - 26-18 SU and 17-26-1 ATS

No. 2 Seed - 13-16 SU and 13-15-1 ATS

No. 3 Seed - 9-8 SU and 9-8 ATS

No. 4 Seed - 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS

No. 5 Seed - 4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS

No. 6 Seed - 1-6 SU and 3-4 ATS

No. 7 Seed - 0-5 SU and 2-2-1 ATS

No. 8 Seed - 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS

No. 9 Seed - 0-1 SU and 0-1 ATS

No. 10 Seed - 0-4 SU and 2-2 ATS

No. 11 Seed - 1-1 SU and 1-0-1 ATS

No. 12 Seed - 0-1 SU and 0-0-1 ATS

No. 13 through No. 16 seeds - None.

It is important to note that No. 1 seeds have struggled posting a soft
17-26-1 ATS record. Also, No. 4 and No. 5 seeds combined have inked a solid
12-2 SU and 11-2-1 ATS record.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that this round of the tournament could
be dog-oriented. I was right on the money. Since 1998, favorites in the
Elite Eight are a dismal 10-23-3 ATS including a stunning 3-17-3 ATS
provided our "play against" piece of chalk owns a won/loss percentage of
.850 or better.

There are two other technical situations that are worth noting. Usually, in
the Big Dance, you want to play against a team coming off an upset victory.
That's not the case in the Elite Eight round. Teams coming off a straight
up dog win at this stage of the tourney have posted a sizzling 20-12-1 ATS
record including a sensational 14-3-1 ATS mark provided they are matched up
against a foe that carries a won/loss percentage of .838 or better.

This last situation is probably the best of the three. Technically
speaking, Elite Eight underdogs or favorites of -9 or less are a stiff
12-31-3 ATS provided they own a won/loss percentage of .845 or better. If
our "play against" side is battling an opponent that carries a won/loss
percentage of .850 or less, this angle dips to a shocking 5-25-3

Before you invest your hard earned dough on March Madness action this
weekend, be sure you run through the technical information I just provided.
It could either save you money or make you a bundle depending on how you use
it. Best of luck men, TS.

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