NCAA Tournament Free Picks: “First Four” Picks 3/16/11

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The second day of the NCAA Tournament is on Wednesday, as four more teams vie for two spots in the main bracket for play on Friday. Check out our NCAA basketball picks for these two great clashes!

Matchup: #16 Alabama State Hornets vs. #16 Texas San Antonio Roadrunners
Date: Wednesday, March 16th, 6:45 ET
Location: East Region, Dayton, OH
NCAA Basketball Odds: Texas San Antonio -4
Over/Under 129

The Roadrunners have to wonder if they really deserved to be here in Dayton, as many in San Antonio probably felt that they should have been in the main field without playing this game. The winners of the Southland Conference are definitely the stronger team in this one, as they certainly came out of a sneakily good league. Jeromie Hill and company are able to score and score with the best and brightest. Here’s the problem: Alabama State is absolutely scorching hot. The Hornets have only lost one game over the course of the last month and a half, and that came against a team that was really just as hot in the Grambling State Tigers. That loss was avenged right at the end of the season in the conference finale, though there was never really a doubt that the winner of the SWAC title was going to end up in the play in game. If the Roadrunners can’t push the tempo of this game, we’re really not so sure that they’re going to survive. If this one stays in the high 50s or low 60s, there could be an upset on the horizon. Free March Madness Picks: Alabama State Hornets +4

Matchup: #11 USC Trojans vs. #11 VCU Rams
Date: Wednesday, March 16th, 9:10 ET
Location: Southwest Region, Dayton, OH
NCAA Basketball Odds: USC -4.5
Over/Under 127

Let the questioning begin… Did either the Trojans or the Rams really deserve to get into the field of 68? We know that the loser of this one will end up getting questioned quite a bit, especially if it is VCU. We’ll give Southern Cal a ton of credit for getting to this point, as the Trojans really played fantastic ball down the stretch of the season and certainly played their way into this position. A great defense and a strong inside game led by Nikola Vucevic are the keys for the Trojans. In certain matchups, there is no doubt that the Men of Troy would be in great shape. However, the inconsistencies of Head Coach Kevin O’Neill and the allure of the CAA really has us questioning whether this will be an upset or not. The Rams probably didn’t have one of the best 37 at large resumes in the nation, but they probably were amongst the best 37 at large teams in the country. Jamie Skeen is going to be able to body with Vucevic, and the rest of this offense is going ot be able to keep up with the Trojans. Sometimes, teams come out of nowhere and end up making great runs, especially out of these smaller conferences, and VCU really could be one of those teams to make some noise. March Madness Free Picks: VCU Rams +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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