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Las Vegas oddsmakers call Midwest Region ‘insane’, selection committee ‘frauds’

Mar 18, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

Selection Committee AP

Selection Sunday offered several questionable moments.

Virginia scored the last No. 1 seed. Wichita State was placed in one of the most difficult regions ever assembled. Michigan State — the Big Ten Tournament champion — and Louisville, currently top-five nationally, were both slotted as No. 4 seeds. Then there is UMass, which earned a No. 6 seed after finishing sixth in its own conference.

The newly-formed American Athletic Conference was not looked favorably upon as SMU was left out while the ACC Tournament carried a lot of weight with UVA earning a top seed and NC State landed one of the last four bids.

The laundry list of confusing decisions has plenty of Las Vegas oddsmakers upset at the selection committee’s seedings.

“That’s probably the hardest bracket I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” LVH Superbook assistant sports book director Ed Salmons told the Las Vegas Sun. “… It was over-the-top insane.”

From the Sun:

Four of the top 10 teams the Superbook listed in odds to win the title at the beginning of the week — Wichita State, No. 2 seed Michigan, No. 3 seed Duke and No. 4 seed Louisville — were stuffed into the region. Add No. 5 seed Saint Louis and No. 8 seed Kentucky to the mix, and Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello said the Midwest could have six of the top 20 power-rated teams.

Later in the article Salmons called the committee, “a bunch of frauds.”

Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello was so displeased with the field, he wants to take away the process from the NCAA.

“I don’t think the committee should be doing it,” he said. “I think they should hand it over to the bookmakers.”

  1. Professor Fate - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Salmons and Avello are right. The field looks like the selection committee didn’t watch any games during the season. Some teams got very favorable treatment and several teams got screwed.

  2. mrlaloosh - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    The bookmakers would do a much better job.

  3. jrocknstuff - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    First thing I said when I saw the bracket was that it looked like they had it out for Wichita State. The brackets are badly uneven in talent level. This is the worst I can remember.

    • chumthumper - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Agree. The selection committee can’t have an uppity mid-major crashing the big boys party. Last year, the committee didn’t see them coming and the Shockers snuck up on’em all the way to the Final Four. They just had to put a stop to that.

    • shockertalk - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Its all good. WSU has no problem with playing the best. Wouldn’t it be a blast if they made it to the finals against Michigan St., just like 35 years ago when another undefeated Missouri Valley team faced Michigan state in the finals.

      K-State has been disrespected. Half the sportscasters think Kentucky will beat WSU and none of them even mention K-State as a possible contender.
      K-State will have a monster chip on their shoulder when they play Kentucky and K-State can play well in “grudge matches”. They beat Kansas, remember.
      I feel sorry for Kentucky and the sportscasters who, after a K-State win, will have so much egg on their faces they can make omelets for the entire selection committee!!

  4. sdchargerdeserter420 - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Not only should this event be done by people in Vegas… but even the upcoming 4 team playoff in college football. It’s impossible to have representatives from schools with unbiased opinions.. whether the individuals on the committee acknowledge it. Put it in the hands of Vegas and the book makers would get it correct, no question. The problem is the can of worms that opens with fixing conspiracies once Vegas can be directly linked to a line on a game.

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