College Basketball Preview
Xavier Musketeers (9-0) at Duke Blue Devils (9-1)
Saturday, 2:00PM Eastern
A pair of top ten teams meet center court in Durham, NC. The undefeated Xavier Musketeers will be trying to stay perfect in front of the Cameron Crazies at Duke. The Blue Devils were upset by Michigan two weeks ago 81-73 and they look to get back to their winning ways. The Blue Devils beat the Musketeers in their last meeting in the NCAA Tournament back in 2004. Xavier will look to make things result a little differently this time around. The winner of this game will likely make their claim as a legitimate front runner and quite possibly receive a top 5 ranking.
Xavier has played very well in the early part of the season. The Musketeers have controlled the boards averaging 41 rebounds per game this season. Xavier has three players averaging double digit point totals. Junior forward Derrick Brown leads the Musketeers with 14 points per game with nearly 6 rebounds. Xavier will try and work the paint against the Blue Devils considering they will have a size advantage. If Xavier can control the boards as they have in many games this season, Duke could have their hands full. The Musketeers rank as the 40th best defense in the country in terms of field goal percentage against. Xavier has held teams to only shoot 41% from the field this season and they will try to make that trend continue.
The Blue Devils have shot well from the floor this season knocking down 47% of their attempts. Duke has also faired well on the boards this season ranking 25th in the nation averaging 41.4 rebounds per game. Duke has 4 players that average 10 points or more led by the play of sophomore Kyle Singler. Singler is averaging 17 points per game this season along with 8 rebounds and 3 assist. The Blue Devils are averaging a fairly high 15 assist per game. The Blue Devils have averaged a 22 points margin of victory in their 8 wins this season and hope to have another big day against Xavier. Duke is in desperate need of a win after just falling to Michigan a little over a week ago and a victory could make the statement that Duke is a national power.
What to watch for…
Xavier’s inside presence should present problems for Duke. The Blue Devils are only shooting 30% from 3-pt range this season and they will take a lot of shots outside the arc. The game comes down to the Xavier game inside the paint vs. the outside shooting game of Duke
Duke has gone 5-4 ATS this season while going 4-2 ATS in their past 6 games. The Blue Devils have gone on the over total 5 out of 9 games this season as well. Xavier has gone on the over total in their past 3 games while splitting against the spread at a record of 4-4.
Pick – Xavier controls this one 2 out of 5 units
Xavier Musketeers at Duke Blue Devils Pick and Preview
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