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Search Our Archive of Gaming Articles Ready for March Madness

16 March 2006

(PRESS RELEASE) -- March Madness has arrived, and the 65-team, single-elimination college basketball tournament is under way. bookmakers anticipate record betting action as bettors gear up for three weekends of excitement.

"It is easy to see why the festival of hoops is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year," says Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of "College basketball fans will have the opportunity to experience game after game of intense competition and unpredictable finishes. With a combination of tournament games to wager on and brackets to fill out, you can bet that March Madness fans around the country will be on the edge of their seats for the next three weeks."

The opening round of the NCAA Tournament tips off Thursday with 16 games, including the first test for top-ranked Duke. The Blue Devils, who are listed at 4/1 odds to w ín their first national championship since 2001, are overwhelming 24.5-point favorites against No. 16 Southern in the Atlanta Region. The other three No. 1 seeds - Connecticut (Washington, D.C. Region), Villanova (Minneapolis Region) and Memphis (Oakland Region) - play their first games on Friday. Not surprisingly, all three are strong favorites to reach the second round.

Key first-round games include No. 5 Syracuse, which captured the tough Big East championship, facing No. 12 Texas A&M, which has won eight of its past nine games. The Orange are favored by a mere one point for that Atlanta Region cont est on Thursday.

In the Oakland Region, star forward Adam Morrison powers No. 3 Gonzaga against No. 14 Xavier. Gonzaga, which is 4-10 against the spread since January 16, is a six-point favorite. Defending national champion North Carolina, the third seed in the Washington, D.C. Region, opens as an 11.5-point favorite over No. 14 Murray State, and Big Ten regular-season champion Ohio State is the second seed in the Minneapolis Region and a 10-point favorite against No. 15 Davidson.

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