NCAA Tournament Free Picks: “First Four” Picks 3/15/11

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The NCAA Tournament finally gets underway after days and days of waiting on Tuesday night, and things get started with the First Four. Check out our free March Madness picks for this round of games!

Matchup: #16 UNC Asheville Bulldogs vs. #16 Arkansas Little Rock Trojans
Date: Tuesday, March 15th, 6:45 ET
Location: Southeast Region, Dayton, OH
NCAA Basketball Odds: UNC Asheville -4
Over/Under 129

The winner of this game will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers on Thursday, so in all likelihood, this is only a game for pride and the right to get into the main field, but isn’t really all that important. Still, the Bulldogs really do have the better team in this one, and unlike UALR, they really were expected to be here. Winning the Big South was an accomplishment, and was one that was built on defense for Asheville. Little Rock was a great story, but this was nothing but a team that really caught fire in a bad conference against other teams that were particularly bad. Solomon Bozeman might have been good for 22 points per game in the conference tournament, but this is a significantly different and significantly better team. Free March Madness Picks: UNC Asheville Bulldogs -4

Matchup: #12 UAB Blazers vs. #12 Clemson Tigers
Date: Tuesday, March 15th, 9:10 ET
Location: East Region, Dayton, OH
NCAA Basketball Odds: Clemson -4.5
Over/Under 121.5

This is the first ever play in game to the main field for teams that aren’t vying to just get their butts kicked by No. 1 seeds. Both the Tigers and Blazers really snuck into the field, and both really didn’t have the greatest arguments in the world to be here. However, both think that they can not only get the job done to move on to the main bracket, but to challenge the West Virginia Mountaineers in a few days as well. Clemson was one of the iffy teams in a down ACC this season, but thanks to a tremendous defense and some great play on the inside. Demontez Stitt is a fantastic big man in the blows, while Jerai Grant is often good for a lot of blocks and rebounds. UAB won the Conference USA regular season title this year, but no one really believed that this was going to be a two bid league, especially once the Blazers got bounced from the first round of the C-USA Tourney. Jamarr Sanders, Aaron Johnson, and company might not be the better team, but we tend to believe that it is going to be a heck of a lot harder for the Tigers to prepare for a team like the Blazers than vice versa. The extra time off has really helped this UAB team come together, and it might end with an upset. March Madness Free Picks: UAB Blazers +4.5

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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