Villanova Wildcats Vs Xavier Musketeers: Game Info
With just two weeks left in the college basketball regular season, there is very little room left for error among all the teams still in with a shot at getting into the tournament. While much of the attention will now fall on the bubble teams, there is still some real interest in what is happening at the top of the national rankings. Seeding is absolutely crucial in March Madness, which is why the teams who are currently at or near the top want to stay there, as it could mean an easier passage through the tournament. Of all the games set to go this weekend, none come much bigger than the #3 Villanova Wildcats going on the road to face the #4 Xavier Musketeers. A win for either team here would not only keep them in prime position, it would also deliver a huge boost of confidence as we come down the stretch. To win a national championship, teams are going to need to face the best schools in the country, which is why getting a win over one of the favorites this close to the tournament would be huge.
— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 16, 2018
What: Villanova Wildcats Vs Xavier Musketeers
When: Saturday, 4:30 PM ET
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: 950 AM (Villanova) / 700 AM WLW (Xavier)
NCAA Basketball Betting Lines: TBA
Why bet on the Villanova Wildcats
The Villanova Wildcats spent a lot of time in the #1 spot this season before taking a hugely unexpected loss at the hands of the St. John’s Red Storm. They followed that up with a win over Butler, but the fell once again to Providence. If they want to stay up around the top 5, they are going to need to pull themselves together and get a win on the road on Saturday afternoon. On the bright side of things, all 3 losses that Villanova has taken this season have come against unranked teams, proving that they are more than capable of getting up for the big games. That said, they need to nip these bad losses in the bud if they don’t want to end up getting bounced early during March Madness. Villanova handled Xavier quite handily earlier this season, winning that one 89-65 on home court. The Wildcats are 17-9 ATS and O/U this season.
Why bet on the Xavier Musketeers
Ironically enough, it was an 89-65 loss to Villanova that sent the Xavier Musketeers on a run that has seen them quietly move their way up to the #4 spot in the country. That defeat was their second in a row, with some believing that it spelled the beginning of the end for this team. The response has been outstanding, though, with the Musketeers coming into this one on a 9-game win streak, a run that includes a pair of wins over ranked opponents. The offense has been on fire during this stretch, crossing the 90-point barrier 4 times, which has helped take their PPG average this season to 85.3, good enough to be in the top 10. The Musketeers have a game and a half lead over Villanova in the Big East and can all but clinch the regular season conference crown with a win here. Xavier is 19-8 ATS and 15-12 O/U this season.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Home court advantage and momentum both fall in favor of the Xavier Musketeers here, yet I still believe that the Villanova Wildcats are going to pull out a close one.
Predicted Score: Villanova Wildcats 82 Xavier Musketeers 79