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2014 College Basketball Betting – Four Final Four Sleepers

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/17/2014 8:57:21 PM

1 - East Region - Memphis 

The Tigers are loaded with talented guards, but also senior guards. They have plenty of experience and have spent years learning how to play tournament basketball. The seniors on this team know that this is their last big chance to make a deep run in March, something Memphis has not been able to do in the recent past. Memphis made the Final Four and the Elite Eight under former coach John Calipari, but current head coach Josh Pastner has not been able to go deep in the brackets since he took over for Calipari. This is an important moment for a group of players, but it's also an important moment for a coaching staff and a program in general. Memphis certainly will have enough talent to beat Virginia in a possible third round matchup on the weekend. There's every reason to give the Tigers a legitimate chance of winning that game and then going forward in the rest of the tournament. Memphis doesn't take a back seat to anyone in terms of talent alone. This is what a sleeper can look like. It's actually what a sleeper should look like, if you think about it.

2 - South Region - New Mexico

The Lobos are deep. They're tough and physical. They're experienced, loaded with upperclassmen who know how to play together and communicate on the court. They're excellent on defense and make great adjustments within the flow of a game. They execute various defensive maneuvers with great cleanness and efficiency. New Mexico has a great perimeter shooter in Kendall Williams, but it also has a big man, Alex Kirk, who can operate on the low blocks. Cameron Bairstow can play inside or outside. He can hit the mid-range jump shot but then bang away in the paint, getting rebounds and causing havoc. This is a balanced team with lots of options and the ability to play well on defense even when it isn't hitting shots on offense. With Kansas big man Joel Embiid out of the lineup this week, New Mexico could very realistically beat Kansas in the round of 32. 

3 - Midwest Region - Kentucky

The Wildcats have the talent. The question has always been their level of motivation. Kentucky just suffered a very tough loss to Florida in the SEC Tournament championship game, but the Wildcats had to be encouraged by the fact that they trailed by 16 points against the number one team in the country and were able to make a big comeback in the second half. This team will be optimistic and hungry, a great combination of attitudes to bring into the NCAA tournament. Head coach John Calipari might be getting the attention of his team just in the nick of time. Kentucky will have a very good chance of beating top-seeded Wichita State in the third round if it can win its second-round game against Kansas State.

4 - West Region - Oklahoma State

The Cowboys have NBA talent, especially with Marcus Smart in their lineup. If Smart is able to play his very best, Oklahoma State is not just a good team, but a great team. If Oklahoma State plays the way it can, it will be able to beat Arizona and Wisconsin and every other team in a stacked West Region. Talent is not in short supply on this team, and it has enough complementary parts around Smart to make the whole thing work.

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