Masochistic basketball punters have the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament in their crosshairs, as the only sport where a minute can feel like an hour, because it can actually take an hour given the ridiculous tactics NCAA rules facilitate, along with a seemingly endless supply of timeouts, gets underway at various venues across the U.S. beginning on Friday.
Teams of talented, tall young men will crisscross the country from coast to coast, north to south and east to west, with visits to the centre as well.
The University of Kansas Jayhawks is the overall top seed. Sportsbet has them priced at $6 to go all the way and $2.40 to win the South Region, although anyone with even the slightest inkling of U.S. geography cannot help but wonder what mind places Kansas in the south.
Perennial powerhouse North Carolina heads the East Region. The Tarheels are priced at $3.
Virginia is favoured in the Midwest at $3 and Oregon heads the West at $3.50.
There is usually at least one upset in the first round, as the occasional 16th seeded team pulls a shocking upset, but the more probable scenario involves a mid- or lower seed upsetting a third or fourth seed.