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Butler vs. Xavier - Big East Tournament - 3/12/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Xavier Musketeers (19-12) at Butler Bulldogs (22-9)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Butler Bulldogs -1 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports 1

The Xavier Musketeers and Butler Bulldogs will face off at Madison Square Garden in the quarterfinals of the Big East Championship on Thursday night.

The Xavier Musketeers finished the regular season with a 19-12 record and earned the 6th seed in the Big East Tournament with a 9-9 conference record. Xavier has a great offensive that can really put up points however, have had issues on the defensive end that has cost them many games this year. The Musketeers are ranked 37th in the RPI Standings and has played the 20th ranked SOS. Xavier’s biggest wins of the season have come against Georgetown (twice), Butler, and Cincinnati.

Butler vs. Xavier - Big East Tournament - 3/12/15  Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

Xavier averages 74.7 ppg (ranked 28th) on 47.8% shooting (ranked 24th). The Musketeers average 6.5 three-pointers per game (ranked 158th) on 35.4% three-point shooting (ranked 120th). Xavier averages 16.9 apg (ranked 5th) and is shooting 73.5% from the free-throw line (ranked 34th). Defensively, Xavier is allowing their opponents to average 68.0 ppg (ranked 221st) on 43.8% shooting (ranked 214th). The Musketeers pull down 34.97 total rpg (ranked 140th) and have a rebound margin of 4.1 (ranked 53rd). Leading the way for the Musketeers on the season have been Trevon Bluiett (12.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 apg) and Matt Stainbrook (12.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.5 apg).

The 22nd ranked Butler Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 22-9 record and earned the 3rd seed in the Big East Tournament with a 12-6 conference record. Butler wasn’t projected to be much of a factor in the Big East this year, but ended as one of the best teams with a solid defensive that really can control the boards. Butler is ranked 25th in the RPI Standings and has played the 42nd ranked SOS. Butler’s biggest wins were against North Carolina, St. John’s (twice) and Providence.

Butler averages 69.8 ppg (ranked 104th) on 44.0% shooting (ranked 139th). The Bulldogs average 5.7 three-pointers per game (ranked 235th) on 36.1% shooting (ranked 94th). Butler commits 11.3 turnovers per game (ranked 58th) and is shooting 68.4% from the free-throw line (ranked 203rd). Defensively, Butler is holding their opponents to 61.0 ppg (ranked 45th) on 41.6% shooting (ranked 106th). The Bulldogs pull down 36.58 total rpg (ranked 64th) and have a rebound margin of 6.6 (ranked 19th). Butler is holding their opponents to 30.6% shooting from beyond the arc (ranked 27th). Leading the way for the Bulldogs on the season have been Kellen Dunham (16.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Roosevelt Jones (12.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 apg).

The Musketeers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games. The Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games and 37-14-1 ATS in their last 52 neutral site games.

Butler and Xavier split their regular season series as Butler picked up a 88-76 win at home and lost a 73-56 game at Xavier. Butler used a well-balanced offensive attack while holding Xavier to just 27.8% from beyond the arc. Xavier was able to limit Butler to just 35.1% shooting from the field while shooting 43.8% from beyond the arc. Xavier has had success on the offensive end in both of their matchups this season however, I feel that Butler will have a better game plan to slow down the Musketeer offensive and that they come out with a win on the big stage at MSG. Take Butler to cover. 

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Butler Bulldogs -1

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