NCAA Basketball Picks For Tuesday: ACC Tournament Begins Today

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 1:23 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2016 1:23 PM UTC

It's Championship Week around college basketball and the first major tournament gets underway with the ACC tipping things off. Here are my top three NCAA basketball picks for Tuesday.

Wake Forest vs. NC State 
The winner of this NCAA Tournament game between the No. 13 Demon Deacons and No. 12  Wolfpack will face No. 5 Duke on Wednesday. Wake Forest (11-19, 2-16) closed the regular season with a competitive 79-71 loss at Duke last Tuesday. Deacons guard Bryant Crawford was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team. He led ACC freshmen in assists (127) and steals (46) while finishing fourth among rookies in scoring (13.6 ppg). Crawford and LSU superstar Ben Simmons are the only freshmen in the country to average at least 13.5 points and 4.4 assists per game. Wake's best player is senior forward Devin Thomas, who averages 15.7 points and 10.1 rebounds. He is the conference's active leader in career rebounds (1,048) and double-doubles (34). NC State (15-16, 5-13) has the ACC's leading scorer in Anthony "Cat" Barber, who averages 23.4 points per game. He was named to the All-ACC First Team. Barber also leads the conference in made free throws and minutes played. NC State lost 77-74 at Wake Forest on Jan. 10 but beat the visiting Demon Deacons 99-88 on Feb 13. Barber had a career-high 38 points in that win. Wake Forest is 1-5 ATS in its past six games vs. teams with a losing record. NC State is 20-8-1 ATS in its past 29 after a loss. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: NC State -4.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Boston College vs. Florida State
The winner of this ACC Tournament game between the No. 14 Eagles and No. 11 Seminoles will face No. 6 Virginia Tech on Wednesday. It has been a terrible sports year at Boston College. The football program finished 0-8 in ACC play and then the men's basketball program closed 0-18 in the conference with a 66-50 loss to Clemson on Saturday. A major conference program (current Power 5 conference) hadn't gone winless in conference play in both those sports in the same school year since 1943-44, when Georgia played only two SEC basketball games. Boston College is the only major conference team to go winless in league play this season after Rutgers won its regular-season finale on Saturday. The last ACC basketball team to go winless was Maryland in 1986-87. All but three of BC's losses in ACC play were by double digits, with seven by 22 points or more. How does BC athletic director Brad Bates still have a job? Two Eagles players are questionable for this game: guards Matt Milon (illness) and Sammy Barnes-Thompkins (concussion). Milon averages 5.2 points per game in 16.3 minutes and Barnes-Thompkins 5.5 points in 16.9 minutes. FSU (18-12, 8-10) will likely be headed to the NIT after this tournament unless the Seminoles manage to win it. The Noles placed Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon on the ACC's All-Freshman Team. Florida State closed the regular season with home wins over Notre Dame and Syracuse. The Seminoles visited Boston College on Jan. 26 and won 72-62. Beasley led with 22 points, while Bacon had 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Eagles are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven after a loss. FSU is 2-5 against the NCAA basketball odds in its past seven games.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Boston College +13
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Wagner 
It's the Northeast Conference Tournament title game at Wagner with an automatic NCAA Tournament bid on the line. Fairleigh Dickinson (17-14, 11-7) finished second to Wagner in the regular season and is looking for its first NCAA berth since 2005. The Knights advanced here with an 80-75 win over Mount St. Mary's on Saturday. It's their first tournament final since 2006. FDU was picked ninth in the NEC preseason poll.  The school was just 8-12 overall and 3-15 in NEC play last season. Wagner (22-9, 13-5) is looking for its first NCAA Tournament spot since 2003, which is the only time the school has made it. It hadn't made the finals of this tournament since 2005 when the Seahawks lost to Farleigh Dickinson. Wagner is led by Michael Carey, who averages 12.4 points and 9.3 rebounds. He has 14 double-doubles on the season. Wagner and Farleigh Dickinson have split 100 all-time meetings right down the middle. And they split this season too. Wagner lost at home 82-79 in overtime on Feb. 4. Earl Potts Jr. hit the winning 3-pointer for the Knights. Carey missed a 3-pointer the buzzer. On Feb. 18 at Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner won 94-74. The Seahawks were 34-for-37 from the free throw line. Carey had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Knights are 5-2 ATS in their past seven after a win. Wagner is 1-5 ATS in its past six games. Add FDU as your NCAA basketball pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: FDU +9
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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