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Marquette vs. Xavier 3-point preview

The Golden Eagles fly down to Cincinnati to try to avenge the last meeting between the teams, a 68-65 Xavier win in the first round of the Big East tournament last season.

Show him how you do it down low Jalen.
Show him how you do it down low Jalen.
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

1. Can Xavier keep up their winning ways at home?

The X-Men are a perfect 9-0 in the comfy confines of the Cintas Center. No signs point to them falling to an up and down Marquette team Saturday, but anything is possible. A Marquette win is highly unlikely given the fact that Xavier's last two home games were wins over a then No. 25 Georgetown team and then No. 19 Seton Hall. Marquette is not as talented as those two teams and not as deep. What worries me is the tip-off time of Noon, the same tip-off time in Xavier's loss at home last year to Seton Hall. A Pirates team who was similar to this Marquette team, in that the Golden Eagle should finish around eighth in the conference come seasons end like Seton Hall did last year. Xavier should be fine, but I hope they got some much needed sleep last night for the early tip.

2. Who on Marquette will give them the needed boost to steal a win at Xavier?

We know Carlino is the main man on Marquette who will be there game in and game out for the Golden Eagles. However, in order for Marquette to steal a win today at Xavier, they need someone else to come up big. Luke Fischer has been a great mid-season addition to a team which was and still is lacking in height. He has played great in the several games he has played and should continue to do so. For Marquette, they need guard Duane Wilson to play at his finest and Juan Anderson to go for double digits. Wilson needs to be able to hit some timely shots for Marquette and the 6-foot-6 forward Anderson to be able to rebound the basketball and beat Xavier defenders off the dribble. If these two guys can play well, and provide the points and punch the Golden Eagles need, they can be sneaking out of Cintas with a win in hand.

3. Does Chris Mack stay with last game's lineup or mix up the pieces again?

Most Xavier fans were caught off guard when the starting lineup was announced prior to Wednesday’s game against Villanova. Forward James Farr and guard Remy Abel could not be found, instead their names were replaced by two freshmen. Those being guard Larry Austin Jr. and forward JP Macura. The lineup failed to provide much hope against the No. 5 hoop team in the land when the X-Men found themselves down 11-2 four minutes into the game. Although, Chris Mack did it to send a message: The five hardest players in practice will get the starting gig. Will Mack keep this new, sort of bizarre, youthful (three freshmen) starting lineup? Or will he go back to the usual lineup of Farr, Abel, Dee Davis, Matt Stainbrook, and Trevon Bluiett? Nothing is for certain, and no one knows for sure. Keep an eye on who starts for the Musketeers today, because it is something to be noted as the season continues to roll along.