It's been a fantastic start to the season for Chris Mack and the Xavier Musketeers so far. Xavier is currently 14-1 with their lone defeat coming at the hands of the first-place Villanova Wildcats at The Pavilion back in late December.
But they have rebounded with two BIG EAST wins over both Butler and St. John's. This leaves Xavier fourth in the BIG EAST standings, and they still remain a Top 10 team in the rankings. Don't let their place in the BIG EAST standings fool you: Xavier is one of the top teams in the country and they can get even better.
While Xavier has had a great start to the season, the same can't be said about the DePaul Blue Demons. They have won only one out of their last eight games, the one win being a shocking victory over George Washington.
They are currently 0-4 in conference play and find themselves at the bottom of the standings. But they have had close losses to Butler and Seton Hall and the win over George Washington gives some hope for DePaul.
How to watch, listen, or stream
Game Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Stream: Streaming is available for this telecast via FOX Sports GO (Where available).
Odds: Xavier enters this game as an 18.5-point favorite (via OddsShark). Others have X as a 19-point favorite.
Record ATS: 6-9 (DePaul) || 10-5 (Xavier)
3 Things to Watch
1. Xavier dominating on the boards: Xavier is one of the top teams in the country at rebounding, as the Musketeers grab around 41.5 rebounds per game. That average is good enough for 27th in the country and on the team it's James Farr who leads the way with 8.5 per game. DePaul is quite behind as they average only 35.8 per game and they will struggle against Xavier's length. More rebounds means a tighter grip on the game for Xavier. If DePaul doesn't shoot a great percentage, it will be a long night as they might not get many second chances.
2. Can anyone stop Billy Garrett Jr.?: Although he only scored nine points against Butler, DePaul guard Billy Garrett Jr. rebounded back with another good performance against Georgetown. He has scored over double digits in four of the last five games and is averaging around 14.7 points per game. But he will have a tough time in this game as Xavier has one of the top defenses in the country. Garrett Jr. will get his points but he will need a lot of help from his teammates. They haven't stepped up as of late so it looks like it's just Billy Garrett Jr. on offense for DePaul.
3. Will Xavier overlook this game?: It's easy to see why Xavier would overlook this game. DePaul is at the bottom of the standings are on a four game losing streak. It's possible that they could be looking towards bigger games down the road. Chris Mack has to make sure that his team is ready to face DePaul. The Blue Demons showed that they can stun good teams when they beat George Washington and they could do it to Xavier.