Thu, Mar 17, 3:46pm by Kevin Pitstock
Game: Xavier Musketteers vs. Marquette Eagles
Date/Time: Saturday March 19th, 2011 / 11:25pm AEST
In the 6/11 game out of the East region, the Xavier Musketeers will take on the Marquette Eagles. The winner of this game will take on either the Syracuse Orange or the Indiana State Sycamores. Xavier comes into the game as the Atlantic Ten regular season conference champions. Marquette finished 11th in the Big East, but was able to garner a seed, with enough quality wins.
The Xavier Musketeers have been to the Sweet 16 to previous three seasons. Along with Michigan State, they are the only program in the country to hold that claim. Xavier finished this season with a 24-7 record, and 15-1 in the Atlantic Ten. Their lone conference loss came at the hands of Charlotte, who finished near the bottom of the conference standings.
Tu Holloway once again led Xavier offensively this season. Halloway scored over 20 points per game, for a team that averaged 72.6. The Musketeers finished the regular season ranked as #20 in the Associated Press poll, after winning nine straight games. Xavier is playing in the NCAA tournament for the 22nd time. They currently hold a 19-21 record, and have never been to the Final Four.
The Eagles were on the bubble heading into the final weeks of the season. After playing a rugged Big East schedule, Marquette was able to beat West Virginia in their first conference tournament game, which many felt sealed the deal. The Eagles finished with a 20-14 record; 9-9 in conference play. Marquette has key wins over Syracuse, Connecticut, Notre Dame and West Virginia.
Jimmy Butler and Darious Johnson-Odom lead the charge for Marquette. Between the two, they are scoring nearly 32 points per game. The team put up 76.1 points per game, which ranked 32nd in the nation. The Eagles are playing in their 29th NCAA tournament, and are seeking their fourth trip to the Final Four. Overall, Marquette holds a tournament record of 34-29, with their one national title coming way back in 1977.
This has the potential for an instant classic. This game is going to come down to the final few possessions. The Musketeers play the game, without making too many mistakes. Marquette will want to push the ball and score alot of points. This game could even go overtime. If we were held hostage and HAD to make a pick; we would bet the Marquette Eagles to upset the Xavier Musketeers.
Our pick: Marquette Eagles +2.5 over Xavier Musketeers. Bet Marquette at Sportingbet!
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