SEC Basketball Tournament Matchups & Top Quarterfinal Free Picks

Doug Upstone

Friday, March 11, 2016 2:53 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 11, 2016 2:53 PM UTC

The SEC basketball tournament is down to eight teams and the conference elite join the fray for the first time. However, not one of the four seeds is a lock to advance. Free picks inside.

The real surprise thus far is Tennessee is still in the mix. After closing the season 0-4 SU and ATS with the loss of leading scorer Kevin Punter, others have stepped up and the Volunteers remain alive.

With Vanderbilt gone, that means more tickets for Vols fans and Big Blue Nation, which should help both those teams.

When studying NCAA basketball odds, with theses tournaments there are many factors to consider and thus far I missed the target repeated, I will look to close out the remaining seven games in this event on a roll.


1:00 ET - (1) Texas A&M vs. (8) Florida
Texas A&M (24-7, 13-11-2 ATS) wants to prove their midseason conference lull was nothing more than that. The Aggies were 8-1 in the SEC, highly ranked and were playing like an elite group when out of nowhere they lost their way and went 0-4 SU and ATS. Coach Bill Kennedy's crew got their act together and has rolled off six straight wins (5-1 ATS). Texas A&M reclaimed their identity by being explosive off the wings on offense and putting in the defensive effort outside the paint. In Florida's win over Arkansas, it came down to three-point shooting and the Gators (19-13, 15-14-1 ATS) made eight and held the Hogs to just two. The Aggies are a 3.5-point favorite and have the tools to salt this one away, but seeing this March Madness, we know anything is possible and I would take the points with the hook.

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NCAA Basketball Pick Florida +4.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


3:30 ET - (4) LSU vs. (12) Tennessee
Without question, the toughest game of the day to predict for NCAA basketball picks. We have LSU team (18-13, 10-19 ATS) that underachieved on many levels and whose path to NCAA tourney is winning three games in Nashville. It has been an inglorious season for first year coach Rick Barnes as he came to clean up yet another Volunteers mess in their sports program. Tennessee (15-18, 16-15 ATS) crushed LSU 81-65 in the latter stages of February, but that was when they still had Punter and while Amari Moore has really stepped up, we can see Ben Simmons and taking advantage of what has to now be tired team playing third game in three days.

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NCAA Basketball Pick LSU -4
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


7:00 ET - (2) Kentucky vs. (10) Alabama
Kentucky (23-8, 15-16 ATS) is the favorite to win this event, based in part on pedigree. As compared to more recent Wildcats teams, they are wholly dependent on their guards and while the bigs might someday be NBA players, they definitely not ready to step in now. Fortunately they have point guard Tyler Ulis and shooting guard Jamal Murray to lead the way. Since late December, arguably there is no better point guard than Ulis in the country, who has to find ways to feed the big fellas. Alabama upset Mississippi yesterday with one simple solution, scoring points. After averaging 60.6 PPG over their last five contests, they hung 81 on the Rebels. Having scored 53 and 61 on Kentucky in a pair of losses this season, we see a return to the norm.

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NCAA Basketball Pick Kentucky -12
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


9:30 ET - (3) South Carolina Georgia vs. (6) Georgia
The final game of the day features two offenses that are as inconsistent as it gets. Yes they have fine athletes that can run and are good defenders, but when it comes to creating off the bounce and showing imagination, these two come up short. In our original SEC tournament preview, we said Georgia (18-12, 16-13-1 ATS) could reach the final four in this tourney, because they are slightly more consistent on offense than South Carolina (24-7, 18-9-1 ATS) and play defense equally as well. While we will hear the familiar refrain the Bulldogs cannot win because they have already beaten South Carolina twice this season, today's players are wired differently and if anyone thinks the Gamecocks are lock to win for this reason, check out last night's Providence win over Butler and how their season series went.

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NCAA Basketball Pick Georgia +1.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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