Thursday First Round Predictions: ACC, Big Ten, SEC

    
March 8th, 2012

Our g guru has been on fire this year. He'll be picking (just about) every conference tournament game over the next week, including tonight's three key championship games. Games listed in order with later rounds on top and earlier rounds at the bottom. Read more about Championship Week at CollegeHoops.net.

 

 

ACC FIRST ROUND: AT ATLANTA

 

(8) Maryland (16-14, 6-10) vs. (9) Wake Forest (13-17, 4-12)

 

Tipoff: Noon. TV: ESPNU. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 11 – Maryland 70-64. RPI: Maryland 111, Wake Forest 169. Analysis: The ACC Tourney starts with an upset. Line: Maryland -3½. Pick: Wake Forest 60, Maryland 55.

 

(5) North Carolina State (20-11, 9-7) vs. (12) Boston College (9-21, 4-12)

 

Tipoff: 2 p.m. TV: ESPNU. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 19 – N.C. State 76-62; Feb. 1 – N.C. State 56-51. RPI: N.C. State 52, BC 236. Analysis: The Wolfpack will pull away early for an easy win. Line: N.C. State -12. Pick: North Carolina State 73, Boston College 52.

 

(7) Clemson (16-14, 8-8) vs. (10) Virginia Tech (15-16, 4-12)

 

Tipoff: 7 p.m. TV: ESPNU. Regular-season meetings: Feb. 4 – Virginia Tech 67-65; March 1 – Clemson 58-56. RPI: Clemson 138, Virginia Tech 119. Analysis: Remember when being .500 in the ACC meant a lock for the NCAA Tourney? Line: Clemson -2½. Pick: Clemson 64, Virginia Tech 62.

 

(6) Miami (18-11, 9-7) vs. (11) Georgia Tech (11-19, 4-12)

 

Tipoff: 9 p.m. TV: ESPNU. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 24 – Miami 64-49*. RPI: Miami 50, Georgia Tech 183. Analysis: Strange line. Makes me think Vegas knows something the rest of us don’t. Oh, well. The Hurricanes are significantly better. Line: Miami -4. Pick: Miami 67, Georgia Tech 57.

 

 

BIG TEN FIRST ROUND: AT INDIANAPOLIS

 

(8) Iowa (16-15, 8-10) vs. (9) Illinois (17-14, 6-12)

 

Tipoff: 11:30 a.m. TV: Big Ten Network. Regular-season meetings: Feb. 26 – Illinois 65-54. RPI: Iowa 131, Illinois 77. Analysis: Not sure the Illinois players are interested in playing another game. Line: Illinois -2½. Pick: Iowa 60, Illinois 55.

 

(5) Indiana (24-7, 11-7) vs. (12) Penn State (12-19, 4-14)

 

Tipoff: 2 p.m. TV: Big Ten Network. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 8 – Indiana 88-82*; Jan. 22 – Indiana 73-54. RPI: Indiana 11, Penn State 156. Analysis: The Hoosiers are playing as well as anyone in the Big Ten – if not the nation. Line: Indiana -11½. Pick: Indiana 81, Penn State 67.

 

(7) Northwestern (18-12, 8-10) vs. (10) Minnesota (18-13, 6-12)

 

Tipoff: 5:30 p.m. TV: ESPN2. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 22 – Minnesota 75-52; Feb. 18 – Northwestern 64-53. RPI: Northwestern 41, Minnesota 89. Analysis: John Shurna and Drew Crawford will not let the Wildcats lose this game. Line: Northwestern -2½. Pick: Northwestern 68, Minnesota 62.

 

(6) Purdue (20-11, 10-8) vs. (11) Nebraska (12-17, 4-14)

 

Tipoff: 8 p.m. TV: ESPN2. Regular-season meetings: Feb. 22 – Purdue 83-65. RPI: Purdue 41, Nebraska 140. Analysis: Purdue has won 3-of-4 and even in the loss at Indiana, the Boilermakers played pretty well for most of the game. Line: Purdue -8. Pick: Purdue 79, Nebraska 64.

 

 

SEC FIRST ROUND: AT NEW ORLEANS

 

(8) LSU (17-13, 7-9) vs. (9) Arkansas (18-13, 6-10)

 

Tipoff: 1 p.m. TV: SEC Network. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 14 – Arkansas 69-60; Feb. 4 – LSU 71-65. RPI: LSU 84, Arkansas 92. Analysis: A strange season comes to an Arkansas. Things should start to improve next season under Mike Anderson. Line: LSU -1. Pick: LSU 73, Arkansas 68.

 

(5) Alabama (20-10, 9-7) vs. (12) South Carolina (10-20, 2-14)

 

Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. TV: SEC Network. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 25 – South Carolina 56-54. RPI: Alabama 32, USC 185. Analysis: This game could just go a lot of different ways, depending on how interested the Tide are, but eight points is too big of a line for what should be a low-scoring game. Line: Alabama -8. Pick: Alabama 58, South Carolina 52.

 

(7) Mississippi (18-12, 8-8) vs. (10) Auburn (15-15, 5-11)

 

Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. TV: SEC Network. Regular-season meetings: Jan. 14 – Auburn 69-68 (2OT); Feb. 11 – Ole Miss 61-54. RPI: Ole Miss 51, Auburn 136. Analysis: The Rebels are back on the bubble after three straight wins, but Auburn will end the dream. Line: Ole Miss -2½. Pick: Auburn 66, Mississippi 63.

 

(6) Mississippi State (21-10, 8-8) vs. (11) Georgia (14-16, 5-11)

 

Tipoff: 10 p.m. TV: SEC Network. Regular-season meetings: Feb. 11 – Georgia 70-68 (OT)*. RPI: MSU 64, Georgia 107. Analysis: Both teams are so unpredictable that it’s hard to tell how this one’s going to go. The Bulldogs are physically superior, though. Line: MSU -5. Pick: Mississippi State 71, Georgia 65.

 

*Road win

 

Greg Against the Spread This Season: 143-108-3