Free College Basketball Picks For Thursday, March 8th, 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: Connecticut Huskies vs. Syracuse Orange
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 12:00 ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
College Basketball Odds: Syracuse -7
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

The Huskies are still going to need some help to get into the NCAA Tournament, but winning this game would remove all doubt whatsoever. Syracuse doesn’t need this one to be a No. 1 seed in all likelihood, but in the end, we just don’t know if the Huskies have the stamina to be able to win a third game in three days. This isn’t last year’s team, and Jeremy Lamb, as good as he is, isn’t Kemba Walker. Lay the touchdown with one of the grittier teams in the country.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Syracuse -7

College Basketball Matchup: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2:30 ET
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

We just aren’t all that sure how much the Jayhawks are going to be interested in this tournament. They’ll be able to beat A&M, but with no line on the board, we aren’t so sure that we wouldn’t just want to take the points with the Aggies, knowing that this is their version of the Super Bowl.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas A&M Aggies

College Basketball Matchup: Louisville Cardinals vs. Marquette Golden Eagles
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 7:00 ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

The Golden Eagles have a chance to really make some noise in the Big East Tournament, and we think that they are going to do just that. Louisville’s time at MSG is said and done with, as it should have problems dealing with all of the big time shooters that the Golden Eagles have at their disposal. Barring a barrage of three pointers by the Cards, they’ll be flying home on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Marquette Golden Eagles

College Basketball Matchup: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 12:30 ET
Location: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
College Basketball Odds: Baylor-2.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

The Wildcats have come on strong at the end of the year, and the sentiment might be there that they are really the better team in this game. We just don’t trust this Baylor squad, which really doesn’t have that many great wins this year. The Cats were able to win in Waco just a few weeks ago, and we think that they are going to do it again to once again remove any doubt that they are threats to win this conference title this year.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas State +2.5

College Basketball Matchup: Georgetown Hoyas vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 2:00 ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
College Basketball Odds: Georgetown -3
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

Is the wrong side favored in this one? We tend to think that that is the case. Georgetown had to play yesterday, and playing in back to back days is never an easy task. Cincinnati clearly needs this one a bit more than the Hoyas do, as there is at least a shadow of a doubt that UC is going to be in the field. The Bearcats earned the double bye in the Big East Tournament for a reason, and we think that they are going to come out on the right side of a very close encounter.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Cincinnati +3

College Basketball Matchup: South Florida Bulls vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 9:00 ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

Notre Dame and South Florida are clearly going to be playing in an ugly defensive game on Thursday night. The Bulls badly need this one, but we think that they are going to come up on the short end of the stick by a comfortable margin, knowing that they have already been smashed by the Irish once this year already. USF is going to be sweating bullets on Selection Sunday, as a loss in this one will clearly put it dab smack on the bubble.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

College Basketball Matchup: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 5:30 ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
College Basketball Odds: Northwestern -2.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

Northwestern and Minnesota both absolutely have to have this one on Thursday night, as the loser is almost certainly headed to the NIT. The difference is that the Cats have been winning some of the games that they need to win to go dancing, while Minnesota, a team that was on the bubble for most of the year before inconsistent ball down the stretch, has seemed to do everything to make sure that it won’t be dancing. Take John Shurna and the gang on Thursday to get a potential tournament-clinching win on their record.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Northwestern -2.5

College Basketball Matchup: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Date: Thursday, March 8th, 7:55 ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
College Basketball Odds: Purdue -10
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

There is definitely a degree of home court advantage that the Boilers are going to have in this one, especially against a Nebraska team playing in its first Big Ten Tournament. Though we know that Nebraska doesn’t have the offense to be able to stick around with the Boilermakers if they are hitting their shots, we do think that giving double digits to a team that plays fairly good defense against a team that tends to live and die by the long range shot isn’t the greatest of ideas. Take the points, though we do think that Purdue is going to advance.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Nebraska +10

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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