2011 NCAA Tournament: Connor's First Round (Thursday) Picks

The NCAA Tournament continues tomorrow morning across the nation, where the first round will begin. After eliminating four teams in the play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday, we are down to 64 teams left in the field.

This year, I will be picking every NCAA Tournament game. If you want to join me in the comments section, I'll keep everyone's records as well. And of course, don't forget to join the Building the Dam Bracket Challenge, which you can do so by clicking here. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17th (All Times Pacific)

Clemson vs West Virginia, 9:15 AM, CBS

Clemson impressed the nation last night with their thrashing of UAB in the "First Four" round, but the Mountaineers will be a whole new challenge. I think this one will be close, but West Virginia is too talented to go out now. Prediction: West Virginia

Old Dominion vs Butler, 9:40 AM, Tru-TV

This one should be one of those opening day classics. Both teams are talented and experienced and this one could go either way. I'm going with the Bulldogs because of last year's great tournament run, but don't forget that ODU beat Notre Dame in the first round last season. Prediction: Butler

More picks after the break

Morehead State vs Louisville, 10:40 AM, TBS

No doubt about this one. Louisville is super deep and talented and could make a run to the Final Four. Prediction: Louisville

Penn State vs Temple, 11:10 AM, TNT

Upset time! Penn State's season was up and down all year long, but they have proven that they can beat big teams and that's all that matters come March. Temple, on the other hand, has one big win all season. Prediction: Penn State

Princeton vs Kentucky, 11:45 AM, CBS

I'm super, super tempted to call upset alert on this one, but I can't. I think the Wildcats will be able to hold off Princeton, but just barely. The funny thing is, if Kentucky can get past this one, then I could ee them making a run to the Final Four. They're just that kind of team. Prediction: Kentucky

UNC-Asheville vs Pittsburgh, 12:10 PM, Tru-TV

The Bulldogs are here after their Overtime win last night against Arkansas-Little Rock, but they won't have the same magic today against the top seeded Panthers. Prediction: Pittsburgh

Richmond vs Vanderbilt, 1:10 PM, TBS

This one will be close is one of the toughest games to pick so far. But when in doubt, go with the more talented team. Vanderbilt it is. Prediction: Vanderbilt

Northern Colorado vs San Diego State, 1:40 PM, TNT

No doubt on this one. The Aztecs keep their cinderella season alive with a blowout victory against the Bears. Prediction: San Diego State

UC Santa Barbara vs Florida, 2:50 PM, TBS

Another 2 vs 15 game, same result. Although, the Gauchos could hang around for a while. Prediction: Florida

Wofford vs BYU, 4:15 PM, CBS

I find it funny that this one is on CBS just so the nation can see more Jimmer. Prediction: BYU

Bucknell vs Connecticut, 4:20 PM, TNT

The boringest (Yeah, that's a word) afternoon slate ever continues with UCONN and Bucknell. Kemba drops 81 en route to a 70 point Husky victory. Prediction: Connecticut

Belmont vs Wisconsin, 4:25 PM, Tru-TV

Finally, something to save us from blowout after blowout. Don't be surprised if the Bruins hang around in this one, they might even pull the upset. I like Wisconsin though because of Jordan Taylor. Prediction: Wisconsin

Michigan State vs UCLA, 6:20 PM, TBS

Finally, the night comes and we get to watch some real basketball. The evening slate tips off with the Bruins and Spartans, two teams that struggled early on in the season but have turned it on as of late. This one should be close and go right down to the wire, but when in doubt, go Pac-10. Prediction: UCLA

Gonzaga vs St. John's, 6:45 PM, CBS

In my opinion, this will be the best game of the first round. Both teams are very similar and are playing well as of late. This one is a complete toss up, but I think that the Red Storm have some magic in them this year. Prediction: St. John's

Missouri vs Cincinnati, 6:50 PM, TNT

Both teams look about even in every category, yet the Bearcats are a six seed. No idea, so Cincy it is. Prediction: Cincinnati

Utah State vs Kansas State, 6:55 PM, Tru-TV

Upset Alert! I LOVE the Aggies in this one. I know they play in the WAC and all, but a 30-3 record against any type of schedule is good. The Wildcats have had an up and down season, something that will hurt them in the tournament. Prediction: Utah State

Record: 3-1, Prediction: 37-30

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