NCAAB Expert Picks Tonight

NCAAB Expert Picks Tonight: Bet on Auburn to Win SEC Title

Selection Sunday is finally here folks. With college basketball conference tournaments coming to an end, we're crunching the numbers to find the value for the Sunday, March 17 tournament finals. Let's build up those bankrolls with March Madness right around the corner.

Here are my three college basketball expert picks of the day:

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Pick 1: Auburn -5.5 vs Florida

Matchup: Auburn vs Florida

Not much was expected of Florida, as the Gators entered the SEC Tournament at just 11-7 in conference play. Yet, they've have pulled off three straight victories, including a 102-88 pasting of Alabama to reach the SEC Tournament Finals. Florida plays with a ton of pace, and knocked down 14 three-pointers to oust Texas A&M in the semifinals. The Gators lively tempo and clutch three-point shooting has them looking like one of the most dangerous teams in college basketball.

The Tigers have been one of the most consistent squads in the country this season, racking up over 121 points per 100 possessions. But, they're swarming defense is even better, holding the average opponent to just 91 points per 100. Bruce Pearl's squad has held opponents to under 35% shooting in their two SEC Tournament games. Crucially, Auburn excels at limiting easy baskets, with opponents shooting under 46% from inside the paint this season.

While Florida came away with an 81-65 victory over Auburn earlier this season, don't expect the same result here. As we've seen throughout the tournament schedule, these games often turn into a slow-paced half court battle. Which favours the Tigers in every aspect. Look for Auburn to slow the pace in the first half, turn the game into a rock fight, and cover the spread.

Pick 2: UAB -7 vs Temple

Matchup: UAB vs Temple

Temple miraculously pulled off a 74-73 win over Florida Atlantic as 14.5-point underdogs to reach the American Athletic Conference Championship game. The Owls got hot from deep, knocking 12 of 24 three-pointers to advance.

Meanwhile, UAB shot over 53% from the field to take down No. 1 South Florida in their semifinal matchup. The Blazers have won four straight games, including a 100-72 victory over Temple on the road.

Outside of some hot shooting, it's tough to envision Temple keeping this one close. The Owls sit 332nd in the country with an effective field goal percentage of 46. They shoot just 32% from deep, and aren't particularly adept on the glass either. On the flip side, UAB are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country pulling in 11 per contest. while ranking 21st in second chance converstion opportunities. They also do an excellent job of defending the paint, averaging 4.7 blocks per game.

I like UAB to blow the doors off the Temple Owls and win the American Athletic Conference Championship.

Pick 3: Illinois -3 vs Wisconsin

Matchup: Illinois vs Wisconsin

Wisconsin pulled off a miraculous overtime victory over the heavily favored Purdue Boilermakers to reach the Big 10 Championship game. Max Klesmit hit the game-winning shot with five seconds remaining in overtime to give Wisconsin the win. Illinois had no such dramatics in their 98-87 win over Nebraska. Terrence Shannon Jr. poured in 40 points to lead the Illini to a resounding victory.

Both these teams possess outstanding offenses, however Illinois is blessed with incredible depth. Four Fighting Illini starters score in double figures, led by Shannon Jr's 22.6 points per game. The Illini sit 15th in field goal conversion rate, knocking down over 37% from three. Illinois also do an excellent job of cleaning up on the glass, ranking 15th with 11.3 offensive rebounds per game.

With Wisconsin bruised and battered from a matchup with National Player of the Year favorite Zach Edey, I like the fresher Illini to win and cover the spread. Our computer picks agree.

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