2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament – #11 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. #6 Xavier Musketeers NCAAB Lines
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NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET – EAST REGION
Date/Time: Friday March 18, 7:27
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Xavier Musketeers Betting Lines from Justbet.com
Money Line: Marquette +120 / Xavier -140
Spread: Xavier -2.5
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Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Xavier Musketeers Preview
This East Region match up between 11th seed Marquette (20-14) and Xavier (24-7) is one between teams that play a very different style with the Musketeers using an up-tempo style and jacking up the 3’s while the Golden Eagles are a scrappy squad that likes to slow the pace. NCAAB lines have Xavier as 2.5-point favorites in this game with a total of 140.
In their last games Xavier was upset losing to Dayton 68-67 in their first round game in the Atlantic 10 conference tournament and Marquette getting killed by Louisville 81-56 in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
Marquette was a better wagering team on the season going 16-12 ATS while Xavier was only 14-15-1 ATS. Marquette is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and Xavier is 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games.
The Musketeers lost their only game against a ranked team this season and while the Golden Eagles were only 3-9 against ranked teams they played in the toughest conference in the nation in the Big East, which has an amazing 11 teams playing in the NCAA Tournament.
Xavier is led by their backcourt guard duo of Tu Holloway (20.2 ppg) and Mark Lyons (13.8 ppg), who are both shooting over 34% from beyond the 3-pt line and Holloway jacked up 160 3’s on the season. The Musketeers are not one dimensional, as they have a good frontcourt with Jamel McLean (10.8 ppg 8.4 rpg) and 7’ C Kenny Freas (11.7 ppg 7.1 rpg).
G/F Jimmy Butler (16 ppg 6.1 rpg) and G Darius Johnson-Odom (15.9 ppg) are the leading scorers for Marquette and each is a solid 3-pt shooter. F Jae Crowder (6.8 rpg) is the leading rebounder and he and Butler (6.1 rpg) will be counted on to man the boards. The Golden Eagles will be facing a solid Xavier defense that ranks 70th in the nation in opponents’ points per game and in their last 3 games gave up 7 fewer points than their season average.
Xavier did not play the schedule that Marquette did, but I think they will bounce back from their last loss and win this game and cover the 2.5-point spread.
In an interesting little tid-bit Xavier and Michigan State are the only 2 teams that have made the Sweet 16 in the Big Dance in each of the last 3 seasons.
Xavier is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite and Marquette is 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games as an underdog.
Pick: Xavier -2.5
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