Free NIT Picks & NIT Bracket Schedule For March 14th, 2012

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The first round of the NIT continues on Wednesday night, and here at Cappers Info, we are making our NIT picks for the games that are at hand on the NIT schedule.

NIT First Round Matchup: Minnesota Golden Gophers @ La Salle Explorers
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 7:00 ET
Location: Tom Gola Arena, Philadelphia, PA
NIT Live Odds: La Salle -3
NIT TV Schedule: ESPN2

Minnesota wasn’t exactly on fire at the end of the season, though it was able to make sure that Northwestern was kept out of the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Gophers have a heck of a lot of work to do to be able to come on the road and win in the NIT, and as we proved last night when eight of the nine home teams proved to be victorious, it just isn’t all that easy in this tournament. We do think that there are going to be some road teams that make a case to get into the second round of the NIT today, but Minnesota isn’t one of them.

NIT Free Pick: La Salle -3

NIT First Round Matchup: UCF Knights @ Drexel Dragons
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 7:15 ET
Location: Daskalakis Athletic Center, Philadelphia, PA
NIT Live Odds: Drexel -7
NIT TV Schedule:

Right up the road from La Salle, Drexel is going to have a big time game against UCF. Conference USA isn’t looking all that great right now after Marshall got toasted yesterday, and all of a sudden, the Knights don’t look all that hot either. The Dragons have won 25 out of 27, and though they were beaten in the CAA Final and everyone seems to be down on this conference this year, we think that this is going to be an easy ride over a team that just hasn’t been all that good away from the Sunshine State this year.

NIT Free Pick: Drexel -7

NIT First Round Matchup: Northern Iowa Panthers @ St. Joseph’s Hawks
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 7:15 ET
Location: Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena, Philadelphia, PA
NIT Live Odds: St. Joseph’s -6.5
NIT TV Schedule:

More Big 5 action. It’s amazing to think that there are three games going on in the NIT in Philly at the same exact time tonight. Anyway, the Panthers are a gritty MVC team, and we think what we are going to see over the course of this tournament is that the Valley was for real this year. This is a lot of points to be giving a team that has a heck of a lot of talent, and in the end, we think that UNI is one of the road teams that is going to be able to get out of this round.

NIT Free Pick: Northern Iowa +6.5

NIT First Round Matchup: Valparaiso Crusaders @ Miami Hurricanes
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 7:30 ET
Location: Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, FL
NIT Live Odds: Miami -11
NIT TV Schedule: ESPNU

We saw Mississippi State fall last night at home, and we are still waiting for one of these totally uninspired performances by a team barely missed the NCAA Tournament. This is one of the ones that we think that we see coming. Valpo is a good enough team to get the job done, and we think that the Canes were massive overrated all season long. Don’t be shocked if the Crusaders come down to South Beach full of sound and fury and leave with a ‘W’.

NIT Free Pick: Valparaiso +11

NIT First Round Matchup: Bucknell Bison @ Arizona Wildcats
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 9:00 ET
Location: McKale Center, Tucson, AZ
NIT Live Odds: Arizona -8.5
NIT TV Schedule: ESPN2

The Wildcats are a good enough team to win this whole tournament, but they are also a team that is inconsistent enough to get bounced in the first round. In the end, we do think that Arizona is going to survive, but we definitely want the points on our side, as we know that the Bison have a lot of proving to do, and they don’t get a heck of a lot of chances like this on the average year.

NIT Free Pick: Bucknell +8.5

NIT First Round Matchup: Nevada Wolf Pack @ Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 9:15 ET
Location: Mabee Center, Tulsa, OK
NIT Live Odds: Oral Roberts -5.5
NIT TV Schedule:

Earlier this year, we saw the Wolf Pack go on the road in BracketBusters and get absolutely trashed by Iona. Granted, Oral Roberts isn’t better than that Iona team was this year, but the Golden Eagles still have a heck of a lot of talent. Nevada didn’t win the WAC for a reason, and it didn’t win BracketBusters for a reason, and now, it is going to get bounced out of the first round of the NIT for a reason as well.

NIT Free Pick: Oral Roberts -5.5

NIT First Round Matchup: Illinois State Redbirds @ Ole Miss Rebels
Date: Wednesday, March 14th, 9:30 ET
Location: CM Tad Smith Coliseum, Oxford, MS
NIT Live Odds: Ole Miss -6
NIT TV Schedule: ESPNU

Ole Miss was an overrated team out of the SEC for most of the year. We saw Tennessee trash Savannah State last night, but this is a very different matchup. Illinois State was the last team that got into this field, and we think that it has a lot to prove. Remember that the Redbirds nearly made it to the dance by beating a great Creighton team in the finals of the MVC Tournament. They can surely get the job done here in Oxford on Wednesday night.

NIT Free Pick: Illinois State +6

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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