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Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/6/14

Villanova Wildcats (26-3) at Xavier Musketeers (20-10)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Cintas Center)

The Line: Xavier Musketeers +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports 1

The Villanova Wildcats look to lock up the top seed and regular season title with a visit to face the Xavier Musketeers Thursday night at 7PM on Fox Sports One.

Villanova controls their own destiny with Creighton’s loss at Georgetown Tuesday and the 26-3 Wildcats face a tough test in Xavier.  Villanova was treated to the poor shooting Marquette squad that rears their head every few games Sunday night.  The Wildcats were paced by Darrun Hilliard’s 26 points and 5 three balls and Nova also got 13 from Josh Hart off the bench.  After opening the game on a run and building an 11 point halftime lead, the Wildcats never looked back.  Villanova hit 12 three’s, forced 9 steals and held Marquette to just 4 threes and 40% shooting overall.  The win marked four in a row for Villanova and moved them to 14-2 in Big East play.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/6/14

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier let an opportunity to move to 11-6 in conference slip up with a tough road trip to Seton Hall this past weekend.  The Musketeers struggled from the field and the Pirates took advantage on their way to the 71-62 win.  Xavier shot the ball very poorly from three (3-22) and dug themselves a deep hole in the first half as they fell behind by 12.  Semaj Christon was the lone bright spot -- the high scoring guard poured in 28 points but no other Musketeer had more than 11 and the Xavier bench registered just 11 points total.  The loss puts Xavier in a tie with Providence for third place -- both squads have identical records with just a game left to play.

Xavier needs a big win at home but they have been inconsistent against the upper tier teams in the conference this season. Villanova will be locked in with something to prove and a regular season title on the line.  I expect a close contest with Villanova’s depth being the difference late as the Wildcats escape Cinnci with a narrow cover and the road win.

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