NCAA Tournament Free Picks: Evening Second Round Picks 3/18

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The nightcap of the first full day of NCAA Tournament betting action will get underway just before 7:00 ET, and in this session, there will be some of the best and brightest teams in the land kicking off what they hope will be deep runs into this tourney. But which ones will get the axe with premature exits from the dance? Check out our March Madness picks for Friday evening.

Matchup: #16 Boston Terriers vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Friday, March 18th, 6:50 ET
Location: Southwest Region, Tulsa, OK
NCAA Basketball Odds: Kansas -22.5
Over/Under 137

The Terriers have to have some confidence coming into this one, as they won the America East Tournament in fine fashion after coming from behind to beat the Stony Brook Seawolves. However, this is a totally different situation, as Kansas has to be one of the angriest teams in the country after getting embarrassed last year by the Northern Iowa Panthers in the second round of the dance. Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, and a bunch of the other leaders of this team remember that pain, and you can bet that they aren’t going to want to repeat that. Bringing Tyshawn Taylor and Josh Selby off of the bench really almost makes this unfair. KU certainly has the depth to be able to win this one and win it going away by a huge margin. Free March Madness Picks: Kansas Jayhawks -22.5

Matchup: #15 Long Island Blackbirds vs. #2 North Carolina Tar Heels
Date: Friday, March 18th, 7:15 ET
Location: East Region, Charlotte, NC
NCAA Basketball Odds: North Carolina -17.5
Over/Under 158.5

We’re going to give the Blackbirds a heck of a lot of credit if they try to run with the Tar Heels, but it’s just not that good of an idea. Sure, UNC no longer has Larry Drew II at its disposal, but when push comes to shove, men like Harrison Barnes, John Henson, and company are just too good to be stopped. However, LIU didn’t win a ton of games this season on accident. The Blackbirds won’t be able to win this game, but this is a hefty, hefty pointspread to be giving us. We’ll take the points and hope we can get into the win column at the end. March Madness Free Picks: Long Island Blackbirds +17.5

Matchup: #14 St. Peter’s Peacocks vs. #3 Purdue Boilermakers
Date: Friday, March 18th, 7:20 ET
Location: Southwest Region, Chicago, IL
NCAA Basketball Odds: Purdue -14.5
Over/Under 120.5

Normally speaking, the big time teams in this tournament just don’t want to see the Metro Atlantic on their schedule. Plenty of teams have earned upsets, and most of these stingy clubs just find ways to stay in games, mostly through great defense and three point shooting. We know that the Boilermakers just have too many stars to be topped, though. Even without Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore are absolutely studs and will not have their talent matched on the court by the Peacocks. Give St. Peter’s the nod to be able to score 55 points or so on the Boilermakers, as that should be enough to beat the college basketball odds. Free March Madness Picks: St. Peter’s Peacocks +14.5

Matchup: #11 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. #6 Xavier Musketeers
Date: Friday, March 18th, 7:25 ET
Location: East Region, Cleveland, OH
NCAA Basketball Odds: Xavier -2.5
Over/Under 140.5

The terms “Xavier” and “NCAA Tournament” just go together like “Fish and Chips” or “Arts and Crafts.” Yes, the Musketeers know what they are doing when they get here, and it feels like they have more consistent runs through the first weekend of the dance than any other mid major program. This year, Tu Holloway is the one to watch, as he is not just one of the best scorers in the conference, but in the entire country as well. We give Head Coach Buzz Williams and the Golden Eagles a lot of credit for winning just enough games to get into the NCAA Tournament, but when push comes to shove, they just don’t have enough to be able to stick around in this bracket unless the three pointers really end up starting to fall in a huge way. Free March Madness Picks: Xavier Musketeers -2.5

Matchup: #9 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. #8 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
Date: Friday, March 18th, 9:20 ET
Location: Southwest Region, Tulsa, OK
NCAA Basketball Odds: UNLV -2
Over/Under 133.5

This is one of the most intriguing games in the entire tournament this year. Head Coach Lon Kruger will take on his old team in Tulsa, which should be a perfect neutral site basically halfway between both schools. The Illini have some great athletes, but it really seems like this team underachieved all season long. Tre’Von Willis is one of the most underappreciated players in the MWC, and he has the ability to really light it up even though he had a down season. This one could come down to the wire, and if it does, we know that we want those points on our side. March Madness Free Picks: Illinois Fighting Illini +2

Matchup: #10 Georgia Bulldogs vs. #7 Washington Huskies
Date: Friday, March 18th, 9:45 ET
Location: East Region, Charlotte, NC
NCAA Basketball Odds: Washington -5.5
Over/Under 140.5

The Huskies are red hot right now for the straight season heading into the NCAA Tournament. Last year, that hot run in the Pac-10 Tournament was enough to surge them into the Sweet 16. This is a very high octane team with a ton of potential. Isaiah Thomas will get up and run, and he’ll do all of the dirty work as well. Matthew Bryan-Amaning has really come on strong in the second half of the year, and the Dawgs are going to be very hard pressed to try to stop him in the paint. Georgia lost those two games against the Alabama Crimson Tide to end their season, and it really has to prove that it belongs here. Don’t figure upon that happening, though. Free March Madness Picks: Washington Huskies -5.5

Matchup: #11 VCU Rams vs. #6 Georgetown Hoyas
Date: Friday, March 18th, 9:50 ET
Location: Southwest Region, Chicago, IL
NCAA Basketball Odds: Georgetown -5.5
Over/Under 133

Many are pointing the finger at the Big East teams like Villanova, which slumped into the NCAA Tournament, but maybe we should be pointing the finger at Georgetown as well. The Hoyas have lost four in a row, but they have to be happy about having this game relatively close to home. Chris Wright should be back in the fold, and his absence has been key for this team’s losing streak. In terms of talent, this is one of the best teams in the nation, and it could be in for a great run through the dance. As we saw with Clemson on Thursday, we know that this play in game kept it off balance for a game just two days later. VCU could be in the same type of boat. Don’t be shocked if the defense for the Rams just gets broken down. March Madness Free Picks: Georgetown Hoyas -5.5

Matchup: #14 Indiana State Sycamores vs. #3 Purdue Boilermakers
Date: Friday, March 18th, 9:55 ET
Location: Southwest Region, Chicago, IL
NCAA Basketball Odds: Indiana State -14.5
Over/Under 120.5

The Boilermakers probably don’t have the depth to get through this tournament, but they certainly do have enough to take care of the Sycamores. However, what we have to remember is that the Missouri Valley Conference almost always produced an interesting game or two in the dance; just ask the Kansas Jayhawks how they feel about this conference… Purdue won’t end up out of the tourney in this one, but it will struggle just a tad. Ultimately, a very stingy ISU team will figure out how to stick inside of this number. Free March Madness Picks: Indiana State Sycamores +14.5

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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