The DePaul Blue Demons and the Xavier Musketeers meet Thursday in Big East Tournament college basketball action from Madison Square Garden. DePaul comes into this one at 10-22 on the season. The Demons beat Seton Hall in tournament activity on Wednesday. As for Xavier, they’re 23-8 overall following a win over Butler back on Saturday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
DePaul Blue Demons
The Blue Demons were sitting at a sketchy 9-15 through their first 24 games this year. DePaul finished out the year with losses to Villanova, St. John’s, Xavier, Butler, Marquette, UConn and Creighton in their final seven outings.
On Wednesday in the tournament game versus Seton Hall, DePaul was up 32-28 in the locker room. The Blue Demons scored another 34 points in the second half and ended the win on a last-second block in a 66-65 thriller. Leading the way was Javan Johnson with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Over on the Xavier side, they managed a solid 19-5 run over their first 24 games this year. The Musketeers finished things off on a 4-3 stretch, beating DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence and Butler with loss to Butler, Marquette and Villanova otherwise.
Back on Saturday versus Butler, Xavier hit a 37-27 run in the first half. The Musketeers posted a 41-39 advantage in the second and cruised to the win 78-66. Leading the way was Colby Jones on 20 points and eight rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably stay with Xavier. This should be a pretty interesting matchup, though. The Musketeers are on a three-game win streak right now, and their only blemish in the last five games was a one-point loss to Villanova back on February 21. Xavier has scored 78 or more points in all three of their current wins as well. As for DePaul, they get all the credit in the world for a gutsy win over Seton Hall on Wednesday. The Blue Demons have lost 12 of their last 13 games but the good news is that they’re generally still scoring pretty well in comparable matchups. DePaul managed a win over Xavier 73-72 back on January 18, but lost the February 18 game 82-68. I like the Blue Demons to hang around most of the way, but I don’t think they’ll end up too close.