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Xavier Musketeers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/13/14

Marquette Golden Eagles (17-14) at Xavier Musketeers (20-11)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Xavier Musketeers 0 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports One

The Marquette Golden Eagles and the Xavier Musketeers face off in 3-6 action from the garden Thursday night at 9:30PM on Fox Sports One.

Marquette let an opportunity to finish as high as the 4 seed slip away this past weekend as they fell at home to St. John’s in a thriller, 91-90.  The Golden Eagles have had an up and down year and still have yet to find an offensive identity.  The Golden Eagles get their most consistent play from reserve Devante Gardner.  The big man averages 15 points and 5 boards per game and is one of the conference’s best free throw shooters, despite being a husky post player.  Jamil Wilson is second on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game and leads the team in rebounds with 5.9 per game.  After winning 4 of 5 to position themselves for a run at 3rd place in conference play, the Golden Eagles enter the post-season losers of 3 straight games.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/13/14

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier rolls into post season losers of two straight and find themselves at 10-8 in conference play.  The Musketeers are paced by the streaky scoring efforts of swingman Semaj Christon.  Christon averages 17 points per game and he is aided by the post play of Matt Stainbrook.  The big space eater is talented on the blocks and averages 10.6 points and a team high 7.8 rebounds per game.  Dee Davis leads the Musketeers in assists with 4.9 per game and the Musketeers rank 46th nationally with an average of 15 assists per game.  In addition to their solid ball-sharing, Xavier ranks 47th in the country in field goal percentage -- shooting it at a 47% clip on the year.

Much like many of the quarterfinal matchups, these two teams split during the regular season.  Marquette has been an enigma all year and the Musketeers at least have an consistency from game to game.  I think Christon will be the difference here as the guard pours in 20+ to push Xavier forward to Friday night play with a cover and win in the big apple.

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