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Xavier vs Kansas State Picks – Wildcats Will Slow Crawford, Xavier

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/22/2010 2:10:21 PM
NCAA Basketball Odds: Kansas State -4.5

The Xavier Musketeers are back in familiar territory in the Sweet Sixteen as it is their third berth in three years. But this could be the end of the road for Xavier as the No. 2 seed Kansas State Wildcats are a complete Big 12 team. Kansas State is just a bit better in almost all facets of their game, which should lead them to a win and a spot in the Elite Eight.

Xavier vs Kansas State betting odds: Kansas State -4.5
  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Thursday, March 25th – 9:35 PM ET
  • Where: Energy Solutions – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Key Stat: Kansas State is 18-6 ATS as a favorite this year

The Xavier-Kansas State Storyline

The Musketeers topped Minnesota in the first-round and edge out Pittsburgh 71-68 in the second-round, but beating Kansas State might be another story. The Musketeers are with first year coach Chris Mack at the head, which could play a factor.

For Kansas State, they are in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 22 years and they don’t look like they are going to stop here. They are dangerous on the perimeter with Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente, along with some tough inside presence. They don’t look phased by making it this far either.

Offensive Matchups

Xavier could have a really tough time with Kansas State’s defense. The Musketeers have a special guard in Jordan Crawford and he’s racked up 55 points in the first two rounds. They have a decent center in Jason Love, who provides 11.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game, but he is good and not great. Another weakness is depth as this Musketeers team doesn’t have a lot of pop off the bench.

Meanwhile, sportsbook odds makers know that the Wildcats are well-built. With Pullen and Clemente, they are dangerous from the perimeter. They combined for 32 in the first round and 53 in the second round along with Pullen’s seven three-pointers. On the inside, they aren’t great as well but they usually get a big night from Curtis Kelly, Jamar Samuels or Dominique Sutton.

Betting Edge: Kansas State

Defensive Matchups

Xavier isn’t bad on defense but they do more with what moxie they have opposed to being a shutdown team. They don’t overwhelm in any particular area on defense. They’ve had some trouble covering the perimeter, which would be a nightmare for them in this game.

But Kansas State does have a shutdown man Dominique Sutton, but it was actually Pullen who shutdown BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in the second round. Fredette had 34 in the opening round against Florida but was held to just four field goals. If the Wildcats slow Crawford, they will win rather easily.

Betting Edge: Kansas State

Injuries

Both teams are healthy for this contest.

Betting Edge:

Betting Prediction: Xavier vs Kansas State Picks

Sports betting fans know that defense usually keys wins and it will again in this contest. The Wildcats will stymie Crawford just as they did Fredette and wreak havoc on the perimeter once again.

The Wildcats will win and cover, and advance to the Elite Eight.

Washington’s Pick: Kansas State -4.5

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