NCAA Tournament Picks: Friday, March 16th Early Afternoon Picks

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The first Friday of the NCAA Tournament is sure to have a heck of a lot of upsets, and today we are continuing our March Madness picks with our Friday freebees for the NCAA Tournament!

NCAA Tournament Matchup: #11 Texas Longhorns vs. #6 Cincinnati Bearcats
Date: Friday, March 16th, 12:15 ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
March Madness Odds: Cincinnati -2
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS

There is a real question here about both of these teams. Yancy Gates is a monster for the Bearcats, and they play absolutely outstanding defense and can shut down anyone in the nation. That’s a good thing, knowing that UT has one of the most potentially explosive players in this tourney in J’Covan Brown. The big problem that we have with Texas is that it just never finds a way to beat the best teams in American. In fact, the Horns are still winless against the best teams in the game this year. That being said, Cincy might be good enough to beat anyone in the land, but it definitely isn’t one of the best teams in the country. Brown and the Longhorns should move on with the mild upset.

NCAA Tournament Free Pick: Texas +2

NCAA Tournament Matchup: #11 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. #6 San Diego State Aztecs
Date: Friday, March 16th, 12:40 ET
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
March Madness Odds: North Carolina State -2
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: truTV

There is no doubt that the oddsmakers are trying to give us a clue as to who is really going to win this game. San Diego State is a good outfit for sure, but this is clearly a team that is living on its name from last year and not what its accomplishments truly were this year. If you take out that great win in New Mexico, there really isn’t a heck of a lot to love about the Aztecs, and though there isn’t a lot to love about NC State either, at least there are some players and a style of play that we can latch onto at this type of level. Scott Wood is an assassin, and there are a heck of a lot of shooters for the Wolfpack that can do some damage. They’re going to get through on Friday, and we think that they are going to get through with relative ease.

NCAA Tournament Free Pick: North Carolina State -2

NCAA Tournament Matchup: #9 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #8 Creighton Blue Jays
Date: Friday, March 16th, 1:40 ET
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
March Madness Odds: Alabama -1.5
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: TBS

Once again, we are going to listen to what the oddsmakers are telling us in this game by making the Crimson Tide favored in spite of the fact that they are the worse seed in this duel. Creighton is a great team, but there is a reason that the tourney put it on the No. 9 line in all likelihood. Save for Doug McDermott, there aren’t a lot of great players on this team, and though we know that McDermott can take over, we think that the frustration is going to be there for him and for the Blue Jays against an Alabama defense that is tremendously stout. The Crimson Tide are back at full strength, and they have proven this year to be able to play against some of the best teams that the SEC has to offer. This team from the Valley, though is very good, just doesn’t see what it has coming its way on Friday.

NCAA Tournament Free Pick: Alabama -1.5

NCAA Tournament Matchup: #10 Virginia Cavaliers vs. #7 Florida Gators
Date: Friday, March 16th, 2:10 ET
Location: Century Link Center, Omaha, NE
March Madness Odds: Florida-3.5
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: TNT

The Cavaliers have just a miserable draw in front of them in this tournament. They know that they are going to have to beat two teams that run and gun all over the court if they are going to make it to the Sweet 16, and we just don’t see them getting the job done. Meanwhile, Florida might be vastly underseeded here as a No. 7, but in the end, this is a very favorable draw. Shutting down Mike Scott is really the only thing that the Gators have to do, and in the end, a very talented team that has all of the guards in the world should be able to run circles around a Virginia outfit that will just look like that it is sitting absolutely still when UF gets running.

NCAA Tournament Free Pick: Florida -3.5

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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