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Pittsburgh vs Xavier Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds & Picks

Pittsburgh Next Double-Digit Seed to Sweet 16?

The No. 11 Pittsburgh Panthers (24-11) are one of five double-digit seeds playing in the Round of 32. Following a dominant win over No. 6 Iowa State, the Panthers play a vulnerable No. 3 Xavier (26-9) on Sunday, which barely escaped a first-round upset.

A double-digit seed has made the Sweet 16 in 14 consecutive tournaments and an average of about two double-digit seeds have made the second weekend since 2016. Is Pittsburgh the next in line? College basketball odds favor the Musketeers by five points. Check out how each team is trending before making your March Madness picks.

Xavier: Survive and Advance

It was not pretty, but Xavier found a way to win against No. 14 Kennesaw State. The Musketeers trailed 61-48 with about 10 minutes to go. Xavier finally woke up, going on a 24-6 run to end the game. The Musketeers failed to cover NCAA basketball odds’ 12-point spread, but a win is a win at this stage.

Forward Jermone Hunter (7.7 points) kept Xavier in the game when it was trailing. He delivered from start to finish with 24 points and five rebounds. The Musketeers’ top scorers, like Souley Boum (16.5 points) and Colby Jones (15.1 points), had rough outings shooting a combined 9 of 26 (34.6%).

If you had Xavier as a dark horse Final Four team, don’t panic just yet. The sportsbook still has the Musketeers as the third choice to win the Midwest Region (+800). Xavier managed to win in the first round with poor play from its best players. This top-10 offense should be able to bounce back against Pittsburgh’s defense, which ranks outside the top 100 in Kenpom’s efficiency.

Panthers Seeking First Sweet 16 Since 2009

Unlike the thrilling 60-59 win in the First Four, Pittsburgh cruised against Iowa State with a 59-41 win. With the combination of solid defense and bad shooting, the Cyclones shot only 23.3% and 2 of 21 on 3-pointers. The Panthers took an early 22-2 lead and never looked back.

Some bettors could be on the verge of cashing in their March Madness predictions of Pittsburgh making the Sweet 16, which was +800 before the tournament tipped off. The Panthers’ defense rose to the occasion in the last two, holding its opponents to a combined 31.5% and 18% from three.

However, Xavier is a different animal. The Musketeers are eighth in offensive efficiency and Pittsburgh’s last two opponents ranked outside the top 100. We could get a high-scoring game, as the Panthers also feature a top-30 offense. Pittsburgh should look to slow the game and play a defensive game, which is something no one expected before the tournament.

Pittsburgh vs Xavier Game Injuries

Pittsburgh vs Xavier Head-to-Head

The head-to-head series is split at 3-3. The latest meetings were in 2009 and 2010, which were also split. However, Xavier covered both point spreads.

Pittsburgh vs Xavier Game Information

  • Game: Xavier (26-9) vs Pittsburgh (24-11)
  • Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
  • Day/Time: Sunday, March 19, 12:10 p.m. ET
  • Xavier vs Pittsburgh Live Stream:TBS.com

Pittsburgh vs Xavier Betting Lines

Pittsburgh vs Xavier Picks & Prediction

Pittsburgh’s run has been fun, but it ends here. Xavier’s offense will cause too many problems. The Panthers’ leading blocker Federiko Federiko is not fully healthy and played only 11 minutes in the last game. Pittsburgh could struggle to guard Xavier’s 7-foot center Jack Nunge (14 points). In addition, the Musketeers rank fourth in 3-point percentage while Pittsburgh is 231st with 7.6 allowed 3-pointers per game.

The Panthers’ defense has had the luxury of facing bad offenses. That’s no longer the case. Take Xavier to cover college basketball lines’ five-point spread.

Xavier is listed at -220 in our Las Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Musketeers, you have a chance to win $45. Pittsburgh is +180, offering a chance to win $180 on a $100 wager.

The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Xavier a 68.75% chance to win, with the Panthers at 35.71%.

Stay ahead of the game and increase your chances of winning your March Madness pool with our expert advice. Check out our march madness expert picks today!

Pittsburgh vs Xavier Edge

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