College Basketball Picks and Predictions for March 8th

The Big East gauntlet begins today with what might very well be the most difficult tournament to win in all of college basketball; and yes, that includes the NCAA Tournament. Consider this; in order for anyone other than the top four seeds to win the Big East Tournament, they’d have to win four games in as many days against at least three teams, and likely four, who rank among the top 30 or 40 teams in the nation. No days off, no rest for weary legs, no time to catch your breath.

It’s “survive and advance” in it’s most primitive format. It is a grueling test sure to sap even the most formidable teams of their strength. Which invites an interesting question; is it better to actually LOSE in the Big East tournament than to win it?

If recent history is any indication, a prolonged run in the Big East finale certainly doesn’t translate to Big Dance success. Pitt has long overachieved in Madison Square Garden, only to underplay to their seed and bow out earlier than hoped in the Tourney.

Who can forget Syracuse and Gerry McNamara’s thrilling run to the crown five years ago. The weekend catapulted the Orange all the way from “bubble team” to a #6 seed. Unfortunately, it also took them from tired to exhausted, and eventually to ‘first round upset victim.

Enjoy the conference tournaments for what they are; five of the most packed and thrilling days of the college basketball season. But don’t read to much into an early exit for your team – it might actually be a blessing in disguise.

Crazy sports betting system is 13-4-1 in last 18 picks!!  Includes NCAAB picks… click here to learn more

Today’s Free College Basketball Picks:

Butler Bulldogs -3 @ Milwaukee Panthers (Horizon League Final)

The Butler Bulldogs began the season ranked in the Top 10 for the first time in school history. A flurry of early season losses that look a lot better in retrospect; at Louisville, at Xavier, at Duke, wiped the Bulldogs off the national consciousness. Five losses n the Horizon League wiped them off the map.

However, much like Kansas State, North Carolina and Florida, this highly regarded team from the preseason gelled and found their bearings and closed the season playing their best basketball of the year. Tonight Butler gets a chance to put a nice bow on the season and claim yet another conference championship.

That said, Butler has been completely humiliated by the Panthers twice this season. The first, a 76-52 pasting that sent shockwaves through the league. The second, and equally surprising 86-80 loss inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. It certainly gives me a moment’s pause, and cause to hesitate on buying into the Butler name.

Since their second loss to UWM and subsequent two game losing streak, Butler has been unbeatable. Literally. They closed the season on an eight game winning streak. As impressive as that is, Milwaukee closed the season winning 10 of 11, their lone loss being the odd 80-65 no-show in Bracket Busters against Buffalo.

Milwaukee matches up well against Butler, and has frankly been the better team since conference play began. It is going to be a better game than many are projecting. I’ll take the upset-minded Panthers in a game in which they certainly wouldn’t consider themselves the underdogs.

PICK: Milwaukee +3 – Click here to bet it at BetED and get a $250 Bonus!!

Dayton Flyers -1.5 @ UMass Minutemen (Atlantic-10 Opening Round)

The Dayton Flyers were one of the most disappointing teams in the country this season. Returning their two leading scorers and four starters off last year’s NIT Champs, 2010-2011 was supposed to be a breakthrough season for the Flyers. Instead, it turned out to just be broken.

However, conference tournaments are a second lease on life; a fresh slate to lay it all on the line and erase all the frustrations of a long season. Dayton, on paper, has the talent to challenge in the A-10 Tournament and make some real trouble for conference standard bearers Xavier and Temple.

Both teams closed the season miserably, losing five of their final seven and seven of nine respectively. UMass won the lone matchup of the season, an ugly 55-50 win in Amherst.

Both teams average around 66 points per game, both rebound adequately, and both turn the ball over slightly more than average. In most every statistical category the teams are very evenly matched. In cases of nearly identical momentum and nearly mirrored statistics, I default to athletes and talent. In the last category Chris Wright and the Flyers have a clear advantage.

I like Dayton taking out some long festering frustration on the less-talented Minutemen and advancing to the second round in the A-10 Tourney.

PICK: Dayton Flyers -1.5 – Click here to bet it at BetED and get a $250 Bonus!!

Crazy sports betting system is 13-4-1 in last 18 picks!!  Includes NCAAB picks… click here to learn more

Chris Scheeren / Author

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