Free College Basketball Picks For Thursday, March 1st, 2012

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Thursday night’s college hoops schedule is posted at Cappers Info, and we are taking a close look at some of the best games on the slate and making our NCAA basketball picks for the duels ahead.

College Basketball Matchup: Georgia Bulldogs @ Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Thursday, March 1st, 9:00 ET
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
College Basketball Odds: Kentucky -19.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

Senior Night in Lexington is probably not very aptly named, knowing that there are plenty of freshmen and sophomores that are going to be highlighted for the last time on the Rupp Arena court instead of men who spent their full four years in college. Anthony Davis, who is one of the many likely playing in his last home game on Thursday night, is coming off of a big time 28 point effort against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats are just two steps away from a perfect SEC season, and there is nothing that is going to get in their way. Florida might have just fallen to these Bulldogs, but there is a big time difference between knocking off the Gators at home and the Wildcats on the road.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kentucky -19.5

College Basketball Matchup: Michigan Wolverines @ Illinois Fighting Illini
Date: Thursday, March 1st, 7:00 ET
Location: Assembly Hall, Champaign, IL
College Basketball Odds: Illinois -1
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

It’s Senior Night in Champaign, and in all likelihood, it is going to be the last time that Head Coach Bruce Weber steps foot on this court unless he’s got a great run in the Big Ten Tournament in him (save for potentially the NIT). The Illini at least kept their season alive with a 65-54 win over Iowa over the weekend, but they still need this game, this weekend’s game, and one or two in the Big Ten Tournament to get back into bubble consideration. The Wolverines might have just been shocked at home against Purdue, but this is a team that is in fine form aside from that and should be up for this game. The Illini are likely finished on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan +1

College Basketball Matchup: Florida State Seminoles @ Virginia Cavaliers
Date: Thursday, March 1st, 7:00 ET
Location: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
College Basketball Odds: Virginia -4
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

If you like seeing up and down basketball with a ton of points being scored, perhaps you should change the channel. These two teams are defensive juggernauts, and there are going to be a lot of possessions that end after 35 seconds and an ugly shot that barely grazes the rim. Florida State isn’t in the best form right now, and it seems like the team has basically shot its wad already before the ACC Tournament. UVA needs a victory in this one to remove any doubt whatsoever about going dancing, and that is likely what it is going to do. The Cavvies had Florida State dead to rights in Tallahassee before choking the game away, a mistake that they aren’t going to make on Thursday.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia -4

College Basketball Matchup: Villanova Wildcats @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Date: Thursday, March 1st, 9:00 ET
Location: Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ
College Basketball Odds: Rutgers -4
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

Can someone explain to us why this game is going to be on TV tonight? It seems like a brutal game to be watching in the Big East, as these two teams are clearly two of the worst that the conference has to offer. Villanova just hasn’t been able to get out of its own way all season long, and marks of 4-12 in conference play and 6-18-1 ATS show just that. At least Rutgers has been able to show a pulse against some teams this year, and this is the type of game that Head Coach Mike Rice and the gang really should be winning as the Scarlet Knights try to turn themselves into a competent program once again in this powerful conference.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Rutgers -4

College Basketball Matchup: New Mexico State Aggies @ Nevada Wolf Pack
Date: Thursday, March 1st, 11:00 ET
Location: Lawler Events Center, Reno, NV
College Basketball Odds: Nevada -4
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

The Aggies have all of a sudden at least put themselves in the running for an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament, and they have probably locked up a bid to the NIT after their five-game winning streak. Of course, the last four of these games have come at home, not on the road, and earlier this year, the Wolf Pack were able to win in Las Cruces. Still, we aren’t so sure about the form that Nevada is in right now after a BracketBusters loss to Iona and an overtime escape of Fresno State. Could the Aggies be set for an upset? It could make for some very interesting basketball going into the WAC Tournament in which these two teams seem to be on a beeline for each other in the finale for a spot in the dance.

NCAA Basketball Pick: New Mexico State +4

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com 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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