NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Sunday's Trio Of Winners

Matthew Jordan

Saturday, March 5, 2016 9:58 PM GMT

It seems like just yesterday it was mid-November and the 2015-16 college hoops season tipped off. But the regular season comes end Sunday and then things get really interesting. Here are my top three Sunday picks on Heritage's NCAA Basketball odds.

Stetson vs. Florida Gulf Coast University (-6.5)
This is by far the most interesting game of the day and not just because it's the Atlantic Sun Tournament title game in Fort Myers. The Ivy League is the only conference that hands out its automatic NCAA Tournament bid to its regular-season champion. The Atlantic Sun could join the Ivy League in that regard if No. 7 seed Stetson (12-21) pulls the upset here. The Hatters have upset NJIT and Lipscomb to reach the final. But that's not the interesting part. The school is ineligible to play in the NCAA Tournament because of a low Academic Progress Rate. Every other league would make such a school ineligible for its conference tournament. This happened to UConn in 2012-13, and the Big East didn't let the Huskies play in the Big East Tournament. But for some reason, the Atlantic Sun did let Stetson. So if the Hatters pull another upset on the FGCU campus, regular-season champion North Florida would get the automatic bid. That's ridiculous. Especially when you consider that FGCU (19-13) destroyed North Florida 89-56 on Thursday in the semifinals. So shouldn't the Eagles get the bid then regardless? A Stetson victory essentially renders this tournament worthless. FGSU and Stetson split two regular-season meetings, with each winning at home. They closed the regular season against one another and Stetson won 80-73, rallying from a 15-point first-half deficit.

FGCU at -6.5 NCAA Basketball odds. It is 13-3 ATS in its past 16 games in the conference.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: FGCU -6.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

No. 24 SMU vs. Cincinnati (-2)
SMU (25-4, 13-4) is pretty clearly the American Athletic Conference's best team and has the talent to reach the second Final Four in school history. But of course the Mustangs are ineligible for postseason play so this is the finale, and one has to wonder if Coach Larry Brown will be back next season, although the school isn't going to fire him. But Brown, a Hall of Famer, is a nomad and tends to leave schools right after they get into trouble. This is his fourth season at the school. SMU still can accomplish one goal: winning the AAC regular-season title. The Mustangs are tied atop the conference with Temple; the Owls are at last-place Tulane on Sunday and are likely to win that -- I previewed that game here at SBR. Thus barring an upset by Tulane, SMU will have to share the  AAC title at best. Cincinnati (21-9, 11-6) would finish tied for third in the conference with a victory and the Bearcats really need one as they are very much on the NCAA Tournament bubble. ESPN has UC as its fifth-to-last team in the field. Cincinnati didn't help itself with a 69-56 loss at fellow bubble team Houston on Thursday, the Bearcats' largest loss of the season. UC played a second straight game without guard Farad Cobb (knee sprain) and forward Shaq Thomas (groin). Both are questionable here. Cobb averages 10.8 points and Thomas 6.4 points. Cincinnati is 0-3 vs. ranked teams this season and lost at No. 15 SMU 59-57 on Jan. 7. Jordan Tolbert had the go-ahead tip-in with 28 seconds left for the Mustangs. They were down seven points with 3:40 left.

SMU +2. UC is 1-4 ATS in its past five games.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: SMU +2
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

No. 14 Maryland vs. No. 12 Indiana (-4.5)
This game could have been huge and potentially affected multiple teams' chances of sharing the Big Ten regular-season title, but Indiana (24-6, 14-3) took all the air out of this with a win at Iowa on Tuesday to clinch the outright title. Thus the Hoosiers really have nothing to play for here other than momentum. That and it's Senior Day in Bloomington and IU can complete an unbeaten season at Assembly Hall. Guard Yogi Ferrell is the most prominent of seniors who will be honored before the game. He is only the second player in Big Ten history with 1,800 points, 400 rebounds and 600 assists in a career. Ferrell is the first Indiana player to win at least two Big Ten titles in more than two decades. Ferrell likely finishes second to Michigan State's Denzel Valentine for Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Maryland (24-6, 12-5) is playing to get the highest seed possible in next week's Big Ten Tournament but already has clinched no worse than the No. 4. The Terps crushed Illinois on Thursday in their home finale but have lost their past two road games.  This is the only scheduled meeting between these schools. They split last year, each winning at home.

Take Indiana -4.5 with your NCAA Basketball picks. The Terps have covered only one of their past six road games. IU is 5-2 ATS its past seven at home. 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Indiana -4.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline