Broadsword calling Danny Boy: March Madness futures -- A Hurricane of Aztecs, Bears and State College as the Duke looks on. | Eastern North Carolina Now

    If there's something strange
    In your neighborhood

    Who you gonna call?

    If there's something weird
    And it don't look good
    Who you gonna call?

    I ain't 'fraid of no ghost
    I ain't 'fraid of no ghost

    If you're seeing things
    Running through your head
    Who can you call?

    An invisible man

    Sleepin' in your bed
    Ow, who you gonna call?

    I ain't 'fraid of no ghost
    I ain't 'fraid of no ghost

    Who you gonna call?
   - Ray Parker, Jr.

The Correspondent and the Old Trench Fighter retrace Princip's journey through the back streets of Sarajevo on that fateful June day in 1914 - nineteen-ninety something: Above.     Click image to enlarge.

    As liberal elements attempted to rename State College to the University of North Carolina at Raleigh in 19 and 63, landed freemen of the Old North State did the Quantrill and revolted against the woke order of the day. You will still find some old-timers referring to the Wolfpack as State College, but if you want them at 180-1 to make like it is 1983, you gotta mark 'em as North Carolina State University via the smoke-filled window or your friendly mobile app.

    March Madness futures are rolling and in play early as (not surprisingly) Farnell's quadratic equation calculations were incorrect in terms of gauging the possible utility attenuation by moving early. Sharp plungers advising this more a differential equation dilemma and too much value lost in waiting versus the concerns of possible long-shot pre-Final Four match-ups. This dynamic is not surprising as Kuykendall-algebra disrupted the higher mathematical capacity of an entire River Town sub-generation back in the day.

    However, we digress as a true craftsman never blames his tools but, instead, rides to the sound of the guns like Quantrill hell-bent for leather toward Lawrence. With this in mind we surround DUKE (+6000) with a revised quadratic equation -- four sets of veteran gun-slinging guard tandems with high-odds payoffs and fire in their bellies. We acquire these tickets before the last two weekends of the regular season and commencement of the conference tournaments -- thus taking our chances on injuries (bad) and strong tourney runs that lower the odds payoffs, but improve seeding to set up early round middles (bleepin' good).

    (Hey Man, how about less art and more meat? None of us getting any younger and reports indicate FSB elements have succeeded in smuggling those tritium triggers across the northern border -- so, for real, who else we be taking?)


    MARCH MADNESS - The Benoni Counter-Gambit; Duke and the Quad

    We were fortunate to snag DUKE (+6000) for two units early as the price is now dropping a bit with their improved play. This is a cornerstone call and an exception to the seminal premise of finding strong, veteran guard tandems factored by defensive scheming that keeps the opposition points allowed low. We take Duke because the programme is built to become stronger as the season goes on and this price is too high. We also like they are currently projected as a seven seed, which would likely set up a middle opportunity in the first round; at this price we can do some aggressive hedging when that scenario unfolds.

    If you like Duke, do not wait to establish a position. All tickets at these prices are to win the National Title.

    Our next call is SAN DIEGO STATE (+8000) for two units -- yes, peeps, that means 80-1. The Aztecs are a virtual certainty to win the Mountain West Conference tournament and draw a pretty nice seed. They have a veteran upper-class four-guard rotation that scores and generates stifling defence. With the 13th toughest schedule in the country this is the sleeper team you have never heard of. As a projected five seed they fall into the classic 5-12> match-up which is a sub-genre in itself; that game can be hedged to the max from 80-1.

    We are surprised the price is this high on this very competitive and underrated squad. They won't win the national title or a beauty contest with their style of play, but they are a legit shot to make the Elite 8 if they play their game; the price likely to be half this by the time the draw is set.

    Our next call is STATE COLLEGE (+18,000) for two units -- uh huh, that means 180-1, pilgrim. The Wolfpack is picking up steam and will look to end a little thirty-six year drought in the ACC Tourney before drawing an eight seed in the Big Dance. Only reaching the finals or winning it all keeps them out of the 8-9 game where a money-line hedge may be required and a victory means facing a one seed in the next round. The State wing play, combined with an aggressive new attitude in Raleigh, is an excellent example of how quickly a programme can turn around; a rematch with Kansas in such a scenario likely to send State College to the Sweet 16 with a monster payout looming.

    A one-in-four chance State College gets that rematch and a very favourable set-up; with 180-1 odds there is a lot of incentive to realise the ACC bucks 3-1 scenarios all the time. Like Duke, this strike is about a tough ACC team that can play and is getting better each week. There was a reason last year two ACC teams met in the semis -- the league is still the premier basketball conference in the country.

    After the long-shots are established it is time to take our criteria up a notch in terms of quality, established programmes. These teams will enjoy better chances to advance during the first few rounds, but ticket payoffs come in at much reduced prices.

    Our next call is BAYLOR (+2000) for two units. They are an experienced and established Big 12 team that can play and -- if hot -- can beat any team in the country. Their seeding range is still one of many variables. They have the guard play we are looking for but also know a propensity for getting streaky; hot shooting teams on a roll can carry you runner-runner for three weekends to snag the biscuit.

    If Baylor plays Houston in the tourney then Phi Slamma Jamma will go down. Baylor should catch about five points in that contest and will win outright.

    Finally, our strongest call for the futures element of the gambit is MIAMI (+4000) for four units. They are by far the best team in the ACC right now and will win the ACC Tourney if State College doesn't. The strong run in the ACC tourney will bump their seeding higher and this price will drop. In terms of pure value this is the absolute strongest futures position on the board if the punter is willing to go to the effort to hedge the position toward middles.

    They have all the basketball components we want and a price that reflects a belief that Virginia and Pitt are still somebody in the league. If you only take one futures position for the Hail Mary monster payoff of all time, then this is your team.

    This price will drop precipitously from the time you read this until the tournament tips off in a couple weeks. Most of them probably will drop; if you can treat this like trading options in the bond market versus gambling in the stock market, you can do quite well.

    Trade like Livermore -- see the middle, be the middle!
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