2011 March Madness Free Picks: Clemson Tigers versus West Virginia Mountaineers on CBS – Odds and Predictions -NCAA Basketball Betting 3/17/11: Guard Demontez Stitt will lead the No. 12 seed Clemson Tigers to Tampa, Florida at the St. Pete Times Forum to take on forward Kevin Jones and the No. 5 seed West Virginia Mountaineers at 12:15 PM ET on CBS Sports. The Tigers had to play in to get to the first round of the tournament and beat UAB on Tuesday to get the No. 12 seed and enter the contest at 22-11 4th in the ACC. The Mountaineers enter the game winners of 3 of their last 4 and 20-11 – 6th place in the Big East -clearly the toughest deepest conference in the nation to get the No. 5 seed.

“We’re all probably a little sluggish,” Clemson head basketball coach Brad Brownell said. “We’d like more time to watch a little more film and feel like we could have a little better practice to get ready. But at this stage of the season, to be in this environment and to have this opportunity, you’ve got to go play and prepare your guys as well as you can. Then players have got to go make plays.” WVU coach Bob Huggins doesn’t think the timing will matter. “Kids today, they play at two, and they go get a hamburger and french fries and a chocolate shake and they come back and play at six,” Huggins said. “It’s kind of a different breed of athletes, I think. I think they’ll be fine.” The odds makers at BetUs Sportsbook have the West Virginia Mountaineers a -2 1/2 point favorite in the first round against the Clemson Tigers.

West Virginia is coming off a loss 67-61 to Marquette in the Big East Tournament moving them to just 11-16 ATS. Jones led the Mounties with 15 points and 5 rebounds while Flowers chipped in 11 points. “We’re definitely not looking at it like an advantage,” Jones said. “I mean, we’ve just got to take care of our end of the deal. We’ve got to come out with a lot of intensity, crash the boards hard like we normally do, and we’ve just got to play within ourselves, and I think we should be fine.” Vegas odds makers have the West Virginia Mountaineers +7500 to win the 2011 NCAA Championship.

The Tigers played in with a win over UAB 70-52 on Tuesday moving them to 14-13-2 ATS for the season. Grant finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Tiger attack. The total has gone UNDER in 6 of West Virginia’s last 7 games. Vegas odds makers have the over/under college basketball odds for the total score combined of the Clemson Tigers and West Virginia Mountaineers at 123.5 points.

I predict a WVU win and cover.

GAME: No. 12 Clemson (22-11) vs No. 5 West Virginia (20-11)
TIME: 12:15 PM EST
TELEVISION: CBS
VEGAS ODDS: Favorite: Clemson -2.5 Total: Over/Under 123.5
* Vegas Betting Lines at Ceasars Palace

FREE PICK: West Virginia -2

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