March Madness: Arizona Wildcats vs. Xavier Musketeers Sweet 16 Prediction

Arizona Xavier sweet 16The No.2-seeded Arizona Wildcats (31-3) and No.6-seeded Xavier Musketeers (21-12) meet in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament at the Staples Center. Action begins at 10:17 pm ET on Thursday, Mar. 26.

The Wildcats played well in their last game, topping Ohio State 73-58 in the third round. T.J. McConnell was a key piece, recording his second double-double of the season with 10 points and six rebounds. The Musketeers, meanwhile, are coming off a 75-67 win against Georgia State in the third round. Matt Stainbrook led the game in scoring by registering 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting.

This one isn’t expected to be close when Arizona, a big 10-point favorite, takes on Xavier. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at 135 points for this matchup. The Wildcats come into this game 33-3 Straight Up (SU) and 23-13 Against The Spread (ATS). Over their last 10 games, they have had success covering the spread (8-2). The Wildcats are one of the best in Division I in terms of field-goal percentage, shooting an impressive .489 from the field. The rebounding edge goes to the Wildcats in this matchup, who are one of the top rebounding teams in the nation with an average of 37.2 boards per game. Arizona is one of the most disciplined teams in the nation with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.27.

As for their opponent, the Musketeers have a record of 17-17-1 ATS and 23-13 SU. The Musketeers get to the line and convert their free throws at a high volume, ranking 31st in the nation with 511 made (15.5 per game). The Musketeers are the better of the two teams when it comes to assist-to-turnover ratio, ranking 26th in Division I at 1.36.

This game will be the first meeting for Arizona and Xavier in recent seasons.

Predictions: SU Winner – Arizona, ATS Winner – Arizona, O/U – Over

Notes

In its last game, Arizona won by a margin of 22 points. Xavier is 6-0 in games decided by a margin of 18 points or more. Arizona has a 19-0 record in blowouts.

Ranked 17th, the Arizona Wildcats have an offensive rating of 114.0. The Xavier Musketeers rank 138th with a defensive rating of just 184.3.

The Xavier Musketeers average 67.4 possessions per game and 1.101 points per possession. The Arizona Wildcats earn fewer possessions with 67.1, but they score more points with 1.140.

Xavier has an average effective field goal percentage of 53.5%. Arizona is a losing 1-2 when opponents have a similar or higher effective field goal percentage.

On average, the Arizona Wildcats attempt 14.1 three point field goals per game and the Xavier Musketeers attempt 18.1. In games where they attempt at least 20 threes, Arizona is perfect (1-0), while Xavier has a record of 6-5.

Arizona ranks 44th in the nation with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.27, while Xavier ranks 26th with an A/TO of 1.36.

Arizona ranks 160th in offensive rebounds, while Xavier ranks 65th in defensive rebounds.

On average, Arizona makes 7.2 steals per game. Xavier has a winning 8-4 record when it gives up at least 7 steals.

Aaron Ryan

Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.