#3 Xavier Musketeers vs. #2 Texas Longhorns Betting Preview
The nightcap of the Midwest Region Sweet Sixteen double-header features the three-seed Xavier Musketeers (27-9) matched up against the two-seed Texas Longhorns (28-8) with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line.
Whoever comes out victorious will face either the Miami Hurricanes or Houston Cougars on Sunday.
Friday’s tilt tips off at 9:45 p.m. EST inside the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Longhorns are a four-point favorite and the over/under total is 149.5 points.
What to Know – #3 Xavier Musketeers
Xavier played second fiddle to Marquette in conference play this season, finishing second in the Big East regular season standings and falling to the Golden Eagles in the conference tournament championship. The Musketeers are playing in their ninth Sweet 16 appearance and first since 2017.
On offense, Xavier led the conference scoring 81.2 points per game behind 49.3% shooting from the field and a 38.9% clip from beyond the arc. The Musketeers defense was eighth in the Big East, holding opponents to 73.8 ppg, 44.1% shooting from the floor, and 35.5% from three.
The Musketeers led the conference in scoring thanks to a balanced attack with five players averaging in double figures. Xavier won’t use many players off the bench, showcasing only a seven-man rotation over the first two games of the tournament.
This year Xavier is 19-16-1 against the spread and 4-4 ATS in eight games played on a neutral floor. Over the last seven games, Xavier is 6-1 ATS against an opponent from the Big 12 conference.
What to Know – #2 Texas Longhorns
The Big 12 Conference Tournament champions kept it rolling over the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, disposing of Colgate and Penn State to return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. Texas finished a game back of the Kansas Jayhawks in the conference standings.
Like Xavier, the Longhorns finished atop the conference in scoring, averaging 77.8 ppg thanks to a 47.1% success rate from the floor and a 34.1% shooting effort from the 3-point line. Defensively, Texas was third in the league, surrendering 67.2 ppg, 42.1% shooting from the field and 32.3% from deep.
Guards Marcus Carr (15.8 ppg) and Sir’Jabari Rice (12.9 ppg) dominated the scoring through the regular season, but it was Dylan Disu who pushed the Longhorns past Penn State in the Round of 32. Disu tallied a season-high 28 points and has been averaging 17.8 ppg over the last five games, nearly double his season average.
The Longhorns feature an 18-17-1 record ATS and a 4-3-1 mark ATS in contests at a neutral site. Texas is trending well ATS with a 6-0-1 record over its previous seven games.
The Pick is In
Friday’s slate of games is highlighted by this matchup in America’s heartland. Both teams are playing at a high level and can score in bunches. Diving into the metrics, it is tough to pick against the Longhorns here and we agree with what the analytics are telling us.
The Pick: #2 Texas Longhorns -4