NCAA Basketball Odds: Saturday College Basketball Picks 3/3/12

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On Saturday, there are a handful of games on the college basketball television schedule that we have circled that should be good ones. Check out our NCAA basketball picks for Saturday!

College Basketball Matchup: Louisville Cardinals @ Syracuse Orange
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 4:00 ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
College Basketball Odds: Syracuse +8.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: CBS

Louisville was able to put up a brutal fight against the ‘Cuse when these two teams met in the ‘Ville earlier this year, and we tend to think that we can count of the Birds once again. Syracuse is probably going to win this game, but especially after losing to South Florida, the Cardinals are going to really want to make sure that they aren’t going to end up in some hot water going into the Big East Tournament.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Louisville +8.5

College Basketball Matchup: North Carolina Tar Heels @ Duke Blue Devils
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 7:00 ET
Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
College Basketball Odds: North Carolina -1.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

You’re not going to find a heck of a lot more of a rivalry than this one. North Carolina and Duke hate each other. The Tar Heels were beaten in Chapel Hill thanks to a furious rally by the Dookies at the gun, and you know that they are seething for revenge. It’s not going to be easy, though. Sure, Duke was beaten by Florida State and Miami here at Cameron Indoor Stadium and was challenged by several other teams, but in the end, home court advantage in this series is always crucial. Asking the Tar Heels to lay points at Cameron is just too much in a primetime game with the potential right to be a No. 1 seed on the line in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Duke +1.5

College Basketball Matchup: Texas Longhorns @ Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 9:00 ET
Location: Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS
College Basketball Odds: Kansas -12
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

Whether you think the Longhorns are on the right side of the bubble right now or not, it is clear that if they can pull the upset in the Phog that they are going to be dancing in all likelihood. Kansas isn’t a team that is relenting though, and in the end, the Horns still just don’t have a signature victory. Unless J’Covan Brown goes completely crazy in this one, a significantly more talented Kansas squad, which might have a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament wrapped up with a win on Saturday, should prevail with ease.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas -12

College Basketball Matchup: Tennessee State Tigers vs. Murray State Racers
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 2:00 ET
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

The second bid to the NCAA Tournament will be punched in the 2:00 hour on Saturday, and in all likelihood, it is Murray State that is going to get the job done. Still, this is inevitably going to be a big, big line to put on a game between two teams that have had two very interesting meetings this year. Remember that the Racers probably already know that they are in the field of 68. Tennessee State is still trying to get the job done, and in all likelihood, winning this game is the only way that its season is extending. Take the points in the end in the OVC Final, as the Tigers are going to be the team that you want to back in this one.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Tennessee State Tigers

College Basketball Matchup: San Francisco Dons vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 9:00 ET
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

St. Mary’s can put a stingy San Francisco’s season to rest in the WCC Tournament on Saturday in what amounts to be quite the important game for both sides. The Dons know that they need to run through the rest of this tournament to make the dance, and though the Gaels are in regardless, they really need to get some confidence going again after a shaky end to the regular season. In the end, the fact that St. Mary’s has a tremendous offense and a well-balanced attacked should get the job done, as this is a team that really has the potential to make a deep run, not just here in this tournament, but in the NCAAs as well.

NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Mary’s Gaels

College Basketball Matchup: VMI Keydets @ UNC Asheville Bulldogs
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 12:00 ET
Location: Kimmel Arena, Asheville, NC
College Basketball Odds: UNC Asheville -14
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

If you like points, this is the game for you, because both of these teams have some tremendous offenses that run up and down the court. Asheville is clearly the better of these two sides, but there is something about the magic of March that makes this one intriguing. VMI was able to hang around with the Bulldogs in both high flying meetings this year, and we tend to think that the No. 7 seed in this tournament is going to be able to at least keep this one relatively close. There is no way that we lay two touchdowns in a tournament finale, even if this UNC Asheville team is clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field in the Big South. The Bulldogs might go dancing, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a team like VMI came out of the No. 7 hole in a conference tournament to dust off some dancing shoes either.

NCAA Basketball Pick: VMI +14

College Basketball Matchup: BYU Cougars vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 11:00 ET
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

The time might be here for the Cougars. Though the weakening bubble probably will still hold for BYU whether it wins or loses this game, there is no doubt in our mind that it is gunning for blood against a Gonzaga team that would represent the win that sent it dancing. The Bulldogs have nothing to really lose and only good things to gain by advancing deeper into this tournament, but in the end, BYU is the team that really truly needs this one. Don’t be surprised if the Cougars pull off the upset in a game between two great teams that you aren’t going to want to miss at the end of the night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: BYU Cougars

College Basketball Matchup: Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. Belmont Bruins
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 7:00 ET
Location: University Center, Macon, GA
College Basketball Odds: No Line
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

Florida Gulf Coast has never been dancing before, but all of a sudden, its win over Mercer in the A-Sun semis has really brought to light the possibility for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Belmont has a team that is very talented, and that has been on display all season long against some of the top teams in the country. We just don’t know, though. This feels like another one of these games where “March Madness” gets its name. If the Eagles were to pull off this upset, it would truly be something special. Don’t be all that shocked if they do get the job done when push comes to shove to go dancing in a huge shock in the A-Sun finale.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

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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