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Your guide to Selection Sunday: A look at the power ratings

By Vinny Magliulo  (VSiN oddsmaker) 

UNC forward Theo Pinson finds little room vs. Duke in the ACC tournament.

LAS VEGAS — Here at VSiN and the South Point Hotel and Casino, we’re very much looking forward to our “Selection Sunday Special" event.

As soon as CBS announces the matchups in each section of the brackets in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, we’ll immediately post the betting lines. You’ll be able to watch this fascinating process happen live for the first time ever at a Nevada sports book.

Our full coverage runs from noon-5 p.m. PT. Our intense “Selection Sunday Special” point-spread unveiling will coincide with CBS’s presentation of the brackets. The CBS show begins at 2:30 Pacific time, 5:30 on the East Coast.

If you’re going to come see us in person — bring your wallet and be ready to bet. If you’re listening on Sirius or viewing the live streaming webcast, be sure you’re on time after setting your clocks forward for daylight savings.

To help get you ready, we’re posting college basketball power ratings heading into Selection Sunday. The opening point spreads won’t be based exclusively on these, of course. We’ll use these ratings as part of the analytical mix. Oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro is a legend in our industry because he has a gut feel for how to adjust a price to best position the house. South Point sports book director Chris Andrews will evaluate all the input before any number goes on the board.

If you’re not familiar with power ratings, this is one factor used by oddsmakers and bettors to project a point spread for any possible matchup. Having the full scale at your fingertips is vital during an event like Selection Sunday because you want to know at a glance approximately where the number should be if North Carolina is matched up against Jacksonville State, if Florida State is facing UNC-Wilmington, or whoever.

Let’s start by looking at the elite teams who will be getting most of the media hype entering the tournament. I encourage you to print these out so you can have them handy as you watch our live coverage Sunday afternoon. (Note: these are pre-conference tournament week.)

84: North Carolina

83: Villanova, Kansas

82: Gonzaga

81: Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA, Duke, West Virginia, Baylor, Louisville

80: Iowa State, Virginia, Florida State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Wichita State, SMU

79: Arizona, Michigan, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Butler, Florida

This is such a loaded tournament. That’s already 25 teams, none of whom would be a surprise to reach the Sweet 16. Any of those teams could beat any other on any given day. Obviously, we’re going to see some very tight spreads in the later rounds when these programs start to pair up.

I’m showing a drop-off before the next grouping of potential spoilers:

76: Miami, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina

75: Northwestern, Michigan State, Kansas State, Syracuse, Wake Forest

74: Virginia Tech, Creighton, Marquette, Utah, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Dayton

73: California, VCU, NC Wilmington, Middle Tennessee

72: USC, Arkansas, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Illinois State, Rhode Island, Nevada, Vermont

Anyone in that group could pull off a shocker vs. a national power if they get hot, but will really need to stay hot to go deep into the brackets. Note that I’ve included a few bubble teams who may not get in. I wanted to cover all the bases for you. We won’t know for sure who is in or out until the unveiling is complete

Finally, the lesser known teams who only qualified because they won their conference tournaments.

69: East Tennessee State

67: Bucknell, Iona, New Mexico State

66: Winthrop, Florida Gulf Coast,

65: Northern Kentucky

64: New Orleans, North Dakota, South Dakota State, NC Central

62: Kent State

61: Jacksonville State

60: Cal-Davis

57: Mt. St. Mary’s, Texas Southern

(Princeton-70 will play Yale-63 in the Ivy League Finals Sunday)

(Troy-63 will play Texas State 62 in the Sun Belt Finals Sunday)

Enjoy our "Selection Sunday Special." We hope to see you out here at the South Point. If not today, please come by and say hello sometime during the month. I’ve said for years that March Madness is something that all sports fans should experience in Las Vegas at least once in their lives. I feel very lucky that I get to experience it every year. Imagine a Super Bowl that lasted a month. That’s the vibe you get throughout the NCAA Tournament.

For those of you staying at home. Put your TV on CBS … but put your radio on Sirius channel 215 or XM channel 204, or your laptop or portable device on so you can listen to sports betting history being made throughout Selection Sunday.

Follow Vinny Magliulo at @VSiNVinny


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