Texas vs Xavier Predictions and Odds for Sweet 16 (March 24)
- No. 3 Xavier gets set to take on No. 2 Texas in the Sweet 16 of the Midwest Regional
- The Longhorns head into Friday night as the favorites at -184
- See the Texas vs Xavier odds ahead of tip-off from T-Mobile Center in Kansas City
There will be no Cinderella Story on the line in the final game of Sweet 16 action. The Midwest Regional semifinal pits the (3) Xavier Musketeers (25-9; 18-15-1 ATS) against the (2) Texas Longhorns (26-8; 17-17 ATS).
This is the only 3 vs 2 matchup left in the bracket. Of course that’s because 100% of March Madness brackets have been busted by one of the wilder tournaments in recent memory.
The tip is set for 9:45 pm ET in Kansas City on CBS.
Texas vs Xavier Odds
|Xavier Musketeers||+4.5 (-115)||+152||Ov 148.5 (-110)|
|Texas Longhorns||-4.5 (-105)||-184||Un 148.5 (-110)|
Texas is favored by 4.5 on Friday night with the total set at 148.5. The Longhorns won by 20 in the first round, then were able to sneak by Penn State 71-66 over the weekend. For Xavier, they had a squeaker of their own in the first round, 72-67 over Kennesaw State. The Musketeers downed Pittsburgh by 11 in round two.
Texas enters Friday with the sixth-best March Madness odds at +1000. Xavier is stuck with fourth-longest odds at +3500. The Longhorns are +190 to come out of the Midwest while Xavier sits at +650.
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Odds as of March 23 from FanDuel Sportsbook. See best available March Madness betting apps.
Musketeers Path to the Sweet 16
There are some mixed reviews on Xavier so far.
Andy Katz ranked the teams in the Sweet 16 and put Texas third and Xavier eighth. SI recently did the same, and aren’t nearly as confident in the Musketeers. The Longhorns are the third-best team remaining according to them. The Musketeers? 12th.
Part of that is who they played. A three seed just getting by a 14 doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, and then it depends on how you feel about Xavier getting past an exhausted Pittsburgh side.
That being said, they got an all-time block out of the deal from Jack Nunge.
Xavier’s Jack Nunge averages one block per game.
What a time for deflection.
Xavier survives Kennesaw State. #MarchMadness
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) March 17, 2023
Despite the detractors, the Musketeers are performing well. Their consistency from the regular season has carried over. They were the sixth-best shooting team in the nation at 49.32% and have shot 47% so far in the tourney. They need to figure out what’s going on from downtown though.
Xavier went 2-for-12 from three in the first round. Then they bounced back, converting at 33% against the Panthers.
Souley Boum and Colby Jones lead an offense that’s deep and efficient. With four healthy players averaging double figures this year, they’ll need all hands on deck on Friday.
Another big performance from Jerome Hunter wouldn’t hurt either.
Longhorns Eye Spot in Elite Eight
Texas cruised past Colgate, with Sir’Jabari Rice dropping a game-high 23 points. The Longhorns shot over 50% again against Penn State but were bad from beyond the arc. They went just 1-for-13. Rice scored 13 on Saturday, but it was the Dylan Disu show as he scored 28 and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Disu has been the definition of efficient lately. In the last six games he’s shot at least 57% from the floor. He’s averaging eight rebounds a game over that stretch and pulled 10 rebounds in each tournament game.
The last 3 meetings between Xavier and Texas
March 24, 2019 | Erwin Center | NIT 2nd round
March 26, 2004 | Georgia Dome | NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
March 22, 1990 | Reunion Arena | NCAA Tournament Sweet 16
— Retire FiftyTu (@RetireFiftyTu) March 21, 2023
When it comes to their overall rankings, Texas is 15th in the country offensively and 10th defensively. They’re also among the best teams in D1 at creating turnovers. Their 4.3 ratio is ninth in the country, and the Musketeers simply don’t force turnovers at the same clip.
Texas vs Xavier Pick
There are numbers that definitely play into Xavier’s favor. They move the ball well, averaging three more assists per game than Texas. The Musketeers also love to control the play. But if there’s a great equalizer, it’s the Longhorns’ defense. And you know what they say about defense.
Texas also has the grittiness that comes with playing in their third-straight tournament. They’ve also looked more convincing in their wins to this point. Xavier’s on-the-fly adjustments since Zach Freemantle went down should be applauded. But their tournament ends on Friday.
The Pick: Texas Longhorns (-184)
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