I was reading Barry's piece about Vegas thinking the NCAA Tournament seedings are insane, and it made me think about something I read a while back.
I'm SURE it doesn't have anything to do with the strange seeds and Wichita State's brutal Midwest region in particular, but there is something that my gambling addiction took note of yesterday: a few weeks ago I read that at least one sports book in Vegas is worried about WSU because they started the season at 75-1, and apparently a lot of money came in early. This book-maker quoted in the article said it was the only team that his book was worried about, because they would take a real beating if WSU won it all. The article was dated February 27. So, for any conspiracy theorists out there, what better way to protect Vegas's money than to make WSU run the gauntlet in order to make the bet pay off. A gauntlet that includes 3 of the Final Four from last year, and the two teams from the Finals, along with Duke and UK thrown in for good measure.
If you read through the article linked by Barry, it mentions that today, after the bracket was announced, the WSU line is now back up to 100-1. I was there 10 days ago and it was 6-1. Again, for you conspiracy theorists, the 6-1 would be a reflection by book-makers that a lot of wagers had been made in favor of WSU, and based on the potential exposure the book-makers were nervous. A 100-1 line would seem to reflect that the book-makers are no longer all that nervous.
In all seriousness, I'm sure this is all coincidence and that there is no actual connection. After all, that would mean that there is a link between Las Vegas and the NCAA, and all we know the NCAA would never do anything untoward. But it is interesting to me.