How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow
Game time: 2:00 PM (EST)
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Radio: 93.5 FM & 1070 AM in Indianapolis / 700 WLW & 550 WKRC in Cincinnati
Butler opened as 4.5 point favorites, but have since moved to five point favorites. The O/U opened at 142. Both numbers are per OddsShark.
Why Xavier Could Win
The Musketeers entered this week with one of the toughest slate of games: at #3 Villanova, then at #12 Butler...*gulp*. Sure, the Bulldogs had to go on the road to face #8 Creighton, but at least they got Xavier at home. I’m sure a 1-1 record for the week would be a delight for head coach Chris Mack, considering the difficult nature of the schedule. In some ways, their embarrassing 25-point loss to Nova on Tuesday might turn out to be a good thing.
Trevon Bluiett and company should come out hungry to prove they are still among not only the Big East’s elites, but the country’s elites as well. Speaking of Bluiett, he scored just 10 points on 20 percent shooting in the loss earlier in the week. If you think that’s going to happen again Saturday, you don’t watch enough Big East basketball.
Why Butler Could Win
Just like Xavier, Butler is coming off a rather embarrassing road loss. While they only ended up losing by 11, the lead was north of 20 for most of the game for Creighton. Put simply, the Bulldogs could not defend. Period. If Maurice Watson Jr. wasn’t driving into the lane, freshman sensation Justin Patton was getting an easy look at the rim. When Butler did score, they often traded buckets, leading to an inability to gain any sort of traction or momentum.
Unlike the Musketeers, the Bulldogs haven’t lost two games in a row all season. After both of their first losses of the season, Butler beat teams in the Top 70 of the RPI. Coach Chris Holtmann should have the Dawgs ready to roll in front of the home crowd inside Hinkle Fieldhouse once again on Saturday. Oh and Kelan Martin probably won’t shoot 3 of 14 again, I’m guessing.
The Morning After Headlines
If Xavier Wins: Musketeers prove they belong in Top-25 with huge win over ranked Butler.
If Xavier Loses: Musketeers scrambling for air after 0-2 week against some of the Big East’s best.
If Butler Wins: Bulldogs finish week strong after embarrassing loss to Creighton
If Butler Loses: Bulldogs fail to impress in two straight wins after upset of Villanova
Butler grinds it out late in a close matchup, 79-77.