Road to March Madness: Providence Friars (18-11) Vs. #3 Xavier Musketeers (25-4) Game Information
The final week of the college basketball regular season is when bubble teams have one more shot to make a lasting final impression, while the teams at the top go out and try to clinch a conference crown. The Providence Friars may well have already done enough to get into the tournament, but there are some folks out there who consider them to still be a bit of a bubble team. They already have several big Q1 and Q2 wins under their belt this season on the road to March Madness, a win over Xavier on Wednesday night would cement their position. For Xavier, the final week of the regular season is clear in that they need to win their final two games to stay ranked #3 and to win the Big East Conference. They are a game up on Villanova at the top of the conference and a win here would almost certainly make them impossible to catch. There is a little bit of pressure on both teams, albeit for different reasons, heading into this one, and we should see a very entertaining game on Wednesday night.
Let’s get ready for Senior Night on Wednesday @CintasCenter for @BIGEASTMBB vs. Providence! One more home game for @TrevonBluiett, @KeremKanter, @jpmacura, @SeanOMara54 and Matt Singleton. Make it loud! https://t.co/qVx1YPkYT6 #LetsGoX
— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 27, 2018
What: Providence Friars (18-11) Vs. #3 Xavier Musketeers (25-4)
When: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at 5:30 PM CT
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH
The Line: TBA
Why bet on the Providence Friars
The Providence Friars head into the final week of the regular season boasting an 18-11 record and some key wins over very good teams. The biggest of those wins, a 76-71 win over Villanova, who was ranked #3 at the time, may have been the victory that propelled this team from the bubble into the tournament. That said, they could use a pair of good performances this week to ensure that Selection Sunday is a day that they can look forward to. Last week was a little disrupted, as they had to play a make-up game after their match-up with Seton Hall was suspended and moved to a different night. They lost that game but bounced back with a win over Georgetown on the weekend. The Friars are 4-6 SU on the road this season. They are also 10-17 ATS and 14-13 O/U.
Why bet on the Xavier Musketeers
Getting to #3 has been a big deal for this program, but it will all be for naught if they don’t turn that success into a deep run in the tournament. This is a team that has only had 4 losses this season, with two of those defeats coming against ranked opposition. It is one of the losses to unranked teams that looms large here, though, as they went down 81-72 to these very same Providence Friars earlier this season. Despite those losses, the Musketeers are still on the brink of winning the regular season Big East Conference championship. A win here would be perfect revenge for that earlier loss, whilst also helping them take one step closer to that title. Xavier is as close to perfect as it gets this season, going 16-1 in their own building. They have also been a very solid pick ATS, going 20-9, while also posting a 17-12 O/U record.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Providence Friars may have come away with the win the last time these two hooked up, but that one came on home court. This is a much tougher task against a team that is great in their own building, which is why I like Xavier to get the win.
Predicted Score: Providence Friars 69 Xavier Musketeers 79.