The Butler Bulldogs and the Xavier Musketeers will both be gunning for a victory on 2/26/2017 at 3:30 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Butler Bulldogs vs Xavier Musketeers
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
|835||Butler Bulldogs||1.5 (-110)||144.5 (-110)||-120
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
PREDICTION: Butler 79, Xavier 72
Oddsmakers currently have the Butler Bulldogs listed as 1.5 point favorites versus the Xavier Musketeers, while the game’s total is sitting at 144.5.
Xavier is in the midst of its toughest stretch of the season in terms of competition, and it is not going well. The Musketeers hope to snap a four-game losing streak Sunday when they face another strong opponent, No. 22 Butler, in their penultimate home game.
Xavier is creeping dangerously close to the NCAA Tournament bubble and a fifth consecutive loss certainly wouldn’t look good, particularly as the selection committee considers the Musketeers’ roster without Edmond Sumner. The talented guard suffered a torn ACL earlier this month and that has to be part of the reason why the Musketeers haven’t scored more than 64 points during their current skid. “We have to get better,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “We can pinpoint why, but I am more worried about what we have to do to get better. It seems like it has been a long time since we won a game. Our job is not going to get any easier Sunday, but we have to do what we can and fight back and get in the win column.” The Bulldogs have won three in a row, capped by “a significant regular-season win for our program” at No. 2 Villanova, according to coach Chris Holtmann.
ABOUT BUTLER (22-6, 11-5 Big East): The Bulldogs have handed Villanova two of its three losses this season and topped the Wildcats on Wednesday behind Kelan Martin’s 22 points and eight rebounds. Kamar Baldwin chipped in 15 points after scoring in single digits each of the previous four games, and the freshman’s career high of 21 points came in the first meeting with Xavier. Butler won that contest 83-78 despite missing 15 of its 19 3-pointers and assisting on only six of its 23 baskets.
ABOUT XAVIER (18-10, 8-7): The scuffling Musketeers lost at home to Villanova before getting swept in their three-game road trip through Providence, Marquette and Seton Hall. J.P. Macura and Trevon Bluiett combined for 36 points against Seton Hall, but the other two starting guards for Xavier (freshman Quentin Goodin and Malcolm Bernard) shot a collective 2-of-7 for five points. Macura is shooting 33.3 percent over the last five games, although his 22-point effort against Seton Hall marked his highest-scoring game since New Year’s Eve.
1. Macura is 5-of-23 from 3-point range over the last three games.
2. Freshman F Tyrique Jones (four points per game) has given Xavier a lift with 21 points off the bench on 10-of-14 shooting over the last two games.
3. Butler’s top five and seven of its top eight scorers shoot at least 72 percent from the foul line.