Saturday Free College Basketball Picks (2/19/11)

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Matchup: St. John's Red Storm @ Pittsburgh Panthers
Date: Saturday, February 19th, 12:00 ET
Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Game Line: Pittsburgh -3.5
Over/Under 133

The Johnnies have had a history of slaying some real giants here at Madison Square Garden, and if they can pull this one off on Saturday afternoon, they'll surely be dancing regardless of what happens for the rest of the year. However, history really doesn't bode well in this one for the hosts. Pittsburgh has won and covered five in a row in this series. The two trips to MSG before that in 2005 and 2006 did end with St. John's upsets, but that doesn't mean that this is going to be the case again today. U-Pitt just doesn't have an immediate history of tripping up on the road, posting wins against the Villanova Wildcats and West Virginia Mountaineers there in recent weeks. Sure, St. John's now has two road wins after beating both the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Marquette Golden Eagles away from MSG over the course of the last few weeks, but that doesn't mean that Head Coach Steve Lavin's team is really ready for this challenge. You can bet that the Panthers have been watching intently as teams like the Duke Blue Devils and UConn Huskies have come in here and pulled off upsets. The oddsmakers are sure to not give us a break for backing the Red Storm, so we'll have no choice but to pull the trigger on the Panthers and hope that Brad Wanamaker can carry us to another victory since Ashton Gibbs is out of the lineup with an MCL sprain.

Free College Basketball Picks: Pittsburgh Panthers

Matchup: Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ West Virginia Mountaineers
Date: Saturday, February 19th, 1:00 ET
Location: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV
Game Line: West Virginia -4
Over/Under 130

Home teams have had a fantastic history in this series, winning seven straight outright and nine out of the last 10 meetings dating back to 2004. Notre Dame has had a bit of a history of falling flat in games like this one, getting dropped by the St. John's Red Storm and the Marquette Golden Eagles on the road. Of course, since that point, the Irish are 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS, and they are now in serious contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The 'Neers are coming off of a horrifying loss to the Syracuse Orange, their second straight road game in which they scored in the low 50s in points. However, one thing is for sure, and that's that Head Coach Bob Huggins isn't going to let Notre Dame drop three pointers all over the place on them, as demonstrated by last year's 53-51 win at Madison Square Garden in the Big East Tournament. WVU has a great team that matches up well with this Notre Dame squad, and the hosts badly need one more feather in their cap for the March Madness run. Don't be shocked if they get that feather on Saturday.

Free NCAA Basketball Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers

Matchup: Washington Huskies @ Arizona Wildcats
Date: Saturday, February 19th, 6:00 ET
Location: McKale Center, Tucson, AZ
Game Line: Arizona -2.5
Over/Under 157.5

If the Huskies are going to add a big time road win to their resume for the NCAA Tournament, this is where they're going to have to get it. Unfortunately, history really isn't on their side, as the home team is 6-2 ATS over the course of the last eight meetings, and the U of A will be a decided favorite on the college basketball odds. Washington was absolutely dreadful on the road on a trip that include a stop against the Washington State Cougars and two against the Oregon schools, going 0-3 SU and ATS even though it was a heavy favorite in all three games. Playing at home is just a different story. Arizona is playing significantly better ball right now, and it really should show up on the scoreboard on Saturday. The Cats would have no problem if they made it that they were the only Pac-10 team that got a bid to the NCAA Tournament, and if that happens to be the case, they could turn out to be a legitimate favorite to win the whole enchilada.

College Basketball Free Picks: Arizona Wildcats

Matchup: Utah State Aggies @ St. Mary's Gaels
Date: Saturday, February 19th, 9:00 ET
Location: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, CA
Game Line: St. Mary's -4
Over/Under 136

Believe it or not, this BracketBusters showdown is the only battle of the entire day that pits a pair of teams ranked in the Top 25 against each other. The winner of this game is likely to keep their spot in the Top 25, though if the winner is St. Mary's, both might fall out. The Gaels have had a miserable week leading up to this point, as they were beaten down by the San Diego Toreros on Wednesday night in one of the biggest upsets of the entire season. This was a team that really should have been manhandled, and in the long run, if the Gaels don't end up making the NCAA Tournament, they can look back and shake their head at that loss as 17 point favorites to a team that won't finish with a Top 200 RPI ranking. Utah State suffered a similar loss two weeks ago against the Idaho Vandals, and this is their only chance to pick up an RPI Top 100 victory this entire season. They know that they aren't likely to get accepted to the dance in spite of the fact that they would have 27 wins under their belt without this win, and even then, the only sure route is going to be winning the WAC Tournament. This game means worlds more to Utah State than it does to St. Mary's, and we tend to believe that that will show on Saturday night. Will the Aggies pull off the upset? Probably not. But that doesn't mean they won't stick inside the number.

NCAA Basketball Free Picks: Utah State Aggies

Matchup: Texas A&M Aggies @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
Date: Saturday, February 19th, 9:00 ET
Location: Gallagher IBA Arena, Stillwater, OK
Game Line: Oklahoma State -2
Over/Under 127

It's a big, big day for the Pokes, as they really need this one to at least feel like they're on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble at the moment. They've dropped five of their last seven and seven of their last 10, but the good news is that the only home loss in this run has come to one of the best teams in the country, the Texas Longhorns. However, there's a point that we have to wonder whether this team is any good or not. After all, the Aggies slammed Okie State 71-48 back on January 12th in one of the worst beat downs of the season. The Cowboys were held to just 16-of-46 shooting from the field, and no one scored more than 11 points. The bench was kept incredibly quiet as well, so there were just no sparks that were able to fly. The scarier part about that win? Khris Middleton only had nine points and only took eight shots. Don't be surprised if the second verse goes the same as the first in this one, as the superior Aggies should be able to come into Stillwater and walk out victorious.

College Basketball Expert Picks: Texas A&M Aggies

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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