Musketeers on Eight-Game Winning Streak
The No. 18 Xavier Musketeers go for a ninth straight win when they take on the host Villanova Wildcats in a Big East showdown on Saturday. Xavier is coming off a win over previously undefeated Connecticut on Dec. 31 and is a half-game behind Providence for the top spot in the Big East standings.
Villanova snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over Georgetown on Wednesday and is in sixth place in the conference. Both teams need this win for their conference title hopes, so before you make any bet online on this contest, make sure you check out our in-depth preview of the game.
Let’s check the latest march madness odds, stats, injury reports, and march madness lines for Xavier vs Villanova.
Xavier Flying High after Upset Win
The Xavier Musketeers wanted to send a message when they met the then-No. 2 and undefeated Connecticut Huskies on Dec. 31, and they did just that, earning an 83-73 win to stay unbeaten in Big East play. Xavier is playing as well as anyone in the league right now, but they don’t want to have a letdown after coming up big against the Huskies.
“We beat one of the best teams in college basketball,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said after the upset win. “They are a very talented, well-oiled group. You have to beat them. They don’t beat themselves.”
Senior forward Zach Freemantle had a big game, finishing with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Freemantle is one of four players on the Musketeers averaging at least 14.3 points per game, ranking third on the team with 14.4 points while also leading the team with 7.8 rebounds per contest.
Senior guard Souley Boum paces the team with 16.9 points per game, though he’s averaging just 12.6 points over the last three games. He dishes out 4.6 assists per game, though he’s upped his output in that department of late, recording six or more in five of the last seven contests.
Villanova Hoping To Build on Victory
The Villanova Wildcats needed a win in the worst way, so beating Georgetown on Wednesday was big, even if it was the Hoyas’ 25th consecutive loss in conference play. Villanova has struggled to put together consistent runs, though part of that can be attributed to a young team that coach Kyle Neptune is hoping will be much better by season’s end.
Freshman guard Mark Armstrong scored a career-high 14 points in Wednesday’s win. He’s averaging just 5.3 points per game and went scoreless in two of the previous four games before Wednesday’s contest.
Senior guard Caleb Daniels has paced the Wildcats in scoring this season, averaging 16.3 points. He had 20 points, six rebounds and four steals on Wednesday and has scored 20 or more points in two of his last three outings.
Junior forward Eric Dixon is a presence in the paint for Villanova, scoring 15.6 points per game while leading the Wildcats with 6.4 rebounds per contest. Dixon scored just 10 points in Villanova’s victory on Wednesday, though he grabbed eight boards.
Xavier vs Villanova Game Injuries
Xavier vs Villanova Head-To-Head
The Villanova Wildcats have dominated their all-time series with the Xavier Musketeers, leading 16-3 heading into Saturday, including wins in the last six meetings. Villanova swept both matchups between the conference rivals a season ago.
Xavier’s last win against the Wildcats came in February 2019, and the Musketeers have never won when playing at Villanova. The college basketball lines for Saturday’s contest are favoring Xavier to end that losing streak with a win on the road.
Xavier vs Villanova Game Information
- Game: Xavier (12-3, 4-0 Big East) vs Villanova (8-7, 2-2 Big East)
- Location: Finneran Pavilion
- Day/Time: Saturday, Jan. 07th, 4:30 p.m. ET
- Xavier vs Villanova Live Stream: TBS.com
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Xavier vs Villanova Betting Lines
Xavier vs Villanova Picks & Prediction
The Xavier Musketeers have been playing very well as a team of late, but winning on the road against the Villanova Wildcats is hard for any team. We like this one to be close, with the Musketeers pulling out the victory on the road as a 1 1/2-point underdog.
When doing your college basketball betting, take Xavier to win as a small underdog.
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