College Basketball Picks and Predictions for March 12th

Here’s my new favorite stat of the season: Last night, Jimmer Fredettescored the same number of points in the first half against New Mexico as the Wisconsin Badgers scored in their ENTIRE GAME in the 36-33 loss to Penn State.

College basketball truly does run the gammut, sometimes in the exact same night. From exhiliarating and breath-taking to simply vominously terrible. Hopefully Wisconsin fans were able to at least follow scores from better games on their iPhones while suffering through the unwatchable basketball at Conseco.

Expect more of the same today; from fantastic to heartbreaking, no sport provides a better vehicle than college hoops and March Madness.

Today’s Free College Basketball Picks:

Texas Longhorns @ Kansas Jayhawks -4.5

Texas ran the Jayhawks off their own home court in their only meeting this season, a win that snapped Kansas’s incredible 68-game home winning streak. Following that game, the Longhorns vaulted into the Top 5, and remained there for most of the season until a late-season swoon took them back down to the #2-#3 seed range.

Kansas struggled in the opener of the Big 12 Tourney, escaping Oklahoma State when the Cowboys failed to get a shot off at the buzzer. However, yesterday they looked more like the potential #1 overall seed in the Tourney, hammering Colorado.

Texas, for all their many detractors, still might be the best team in the country. Other than Ohio State, no one else has the same mixture of offensive talent, athleticism, balanced scoring and tenacious, stifling defense. Their first two Big 12 Tournament games barely broke a sweat, and today they get their chance to once again topple the Jawhawks and capture the conference crown.

Texas is better in the backcourt, and the ball pressure of Dogus Balbay should wreck havoc for freshman standout Josh Selby and his initiation of the Kansas offense. Texas also has a stable of athletic wings and bigs – more than just the two Morris twins can handle on their own. I like Texas straight-up in this game, but am happy to get 4.5 points.

PICK: Texas Longhorns +4.5 – Click here to bet it at BetED and get a $250 Bonus!!

UConn Huskies @ Louisville Cardinals -2.5

There is something about the Huskies and overtimes in the Big East Tournament. They’ve avoided another six-OT drainer, but needed overtime once again to get through Syracuse. If you are keeping score at home, that is four games in four days, tow of them going to overtime, and another being settled at the buzzer.

This reminds me a TON of the fantastic run the Syracuse Orange put on two seasons ago, after being on the other suide of the UConn overtime classic. In the final, they ran out of steam.

This year? it’s UConn who will run out of gas; and the benefactor will be the same Rick Pitino-led Cardinals who won the Tourney in 2009.

Louisville is clicking at the right time, playing incredible basketball over the last month and a half. Tonight, they get a chance to move all the way up to a presumptive #2 seed in the Big Dance. Pretty impressive for a team who was thought to have “upset” Butler back in the regular season opener.

Louisivlle is getting great perimeter shooting from Mara, Kuric and Knowles, and Peyton Siva has, for the most part, played under control and been a solid distributor of the ball. Lousiville’s edge tonight, aside from the Huskies’ fatigue, is the atleticism and length they can throw at Kemba Walker.

Walker has been on fire the entire tournament, but will have to muster up a fifth straight explosive effort in as many days if the Huskies have any chance tonight.

I think it’s too much to ask. Two and a half is a pretty small price to pay if you like the Cards tonight. I sure do.

PICK: Louisville Cardinals -2.5 – Click here to bet it at BetED and get a $250 Bonus!!

Chris Scheeren / Author

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