Handicapping the Hardwood: Final Four and National Championship

College basketball season will reach its exciting conclusion next Monday night when a national champion is crowned. Handicapping the Hardwood, BangTheBook.com’s groundbreaking and information-filled college basketball betting podcast, reached its exciting conclusion on Tuesday as Adam Burke and Kyle Hunter took to the airwaves for the final episode of the season. They covered the two Final Four matchups in deep detail and gave some general thoughts and possible lines for the four potential national championship game matchups.

Handicapping the Hardwood is designed to be an informational podcast that pays special attention to the betting aspect of college basketball. The whole point of the show is to make bettors aware of things that can help them make educated wagers. The oddsmakers are good and you need everything you can to get an edge. With schedule analysis, stats, trends, and coaching analysis, you can expect quality information from Handicapping the Hardwood, making it a must-listen every week for any serious college basketball bettor.

Opening remarks set the stage for the final show of the season. Adam extended his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everybody who made this season of Handicapping the Hardwood a possibility, from his good friend Kyle, to the listens, to Ryan, the creator of BangTheBook.com. Most importantly, a sincere thank you to the listeners. Because of their demand, Handicapping the Hardwood was a major success this season in a market with little supply. Adam and Kyle are committed to bring top-notch podcast coverage of college sports in the future.

Officiating has been a major concern during the tournament as fans have had to endure questionable calls and far too many video replay reviews. Have the officials changed how Kyle is setting the lines or totals on the games? This information is far too valuable to miss out on, so click ‘Play’ on the embedded player to find out!

After some discussion about how the teams got to the Final Four and the routes that led them there, the games took center stage. Connecticut and Florida was discussed in deep detail. The Gators are the last remaining #1 seed and have rolled right on through to this matchup. Connecticut struggled at various times throughout the season, but there may not be a team in the field playing better than the Huskies.

What will be the deciding factor in this game? How will UConn deal with playing the most balanced team in the country? How will Florida contain Shabazz Napier? All of that and more was discussed in the breakdown of this game. Kyle’s number was Florida -6, so he was right along the same lines as the oddsmakers.

UConn has some recency bias working in their favor, given how they’ve played lately. What would the line have been if Florida and UConn met in the Round of 32 if UConn was a #8 or #9 seed? Is that more of a true indicator of UConn’s talent level?

In the other semifinal, the Kentucky Wildcats are playing up to their lofty potential and the Wisconsin Badgers are the only team to come out of the nation’s best conference and make it to the Final Four. Can the Badgers handle Kentucky’s athleticism? Will Kentucky be able to stay patient with the game’s slow tempo?

Kentucky is a two-point favorite in this game. Does Kyle see value on either side? The Wildcats may not have been very battle-tested in the conference schedule, but has their March Madness run changed that, with wins over Wichita State, Louisville, and Michigan? Does that put them in a better position in this game? Will Wisconsin’s emphasis on structure and fundamentals overshadow Kentucky’s talent advantage?

A lot was discussed during the talk about this game and you’re only hurting yourself if you don’t take the time to listen before locking in your wagers.

Looking ahead to the potential title game matchups, Kyle gave out his lines for each of the games:

Florida -5 v Wisconsin, Total 128
Kentucky -5 v UConn, Total 133.5
For the other two matchups, listen to the podcast to find out!

Good points were made about all of the possible title games, but is this the best group of matchups from a fan perspective? Who will cut down the nets next Monday night? Is there futures value remaining on a team?

It has been a fun season on Handicapping the Hardwood. We hope that you were able to profit from the information presented or at least become a better handicapper because of the methods and topics covered on the shows.

Stay tuned for a possible return of the College Football Podcast (and we’ll come up with a more creative name!) in July or August. Until then, enjoy baseball season, everybody!

Adam Burke

Adam Burke

Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.