Sweet 16 Favorites
A team from Kansas has a great chance of making the Final Four, even if it’s not the one originally thought.
The Kansas State Wildcats are 4 ½-point ‘chalk’ over the Xavier Musketeers Thursday night at 9:37 pm ET. BroburySports.com has the preview.
Other Thursday game odds are as follows:
Butler (+6) vs. Syracuse – 7:07 pm ET
Washington (+4) vs. West Virginia – 7:27 pm ET
Cornell (+8 ½) vs. Kentucky – 9:57 pm ET
Kansas State (28-7 SU, 20-9-1 ATS) was 0-3 SU versus powerful Kansas this year and 28-4 versus everyone else. The Wildcats are the No. 2 seed in the West Region behind Syracuse, but many feel they’re the better team.
Any talk of K-State begins in the backcourt. Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente average over 35 PPG between them. Pullen had 34 points and Clemente 19 in the 84-72 win over BYU last game as four-point favorites.
This team is also strong up front with Curtis Kelly, Dominique Sutton, plus Jamar Samuels off the bench. If they need more bulk, starting center Luis Colon can play more minutes.
No. 6 Xavier (26-8 SU, 22-11 ATS) is a tough team out of the Atlantic 10 that went to the Sweet Sixteen last year. That squad was far different with leading scorers B.J. Raymond, C.J. Anderson and Derrick Brown all departed.
Senior big man Jason Love was the highest returning scorer at 6.7 PPG. He’s up his averages to 11.8 PPG and 8.5 RPG. Shooting guard Jordan Crawford has become a 20 PPG scorer after transferring from Indiana. Current point guard Terrell Holloway (11.7 PPG) signed a letter of intent at Indiana, before switching to Xavier.
It’s been a tough couple of games for the Musketeers, first having to get by Big Ten Minnesota, and then a tight one with Big East No. 3 Pittsburgh.
There is not a ton of scoring depth on Xavier, so their top-3 players must all play well. Crawford in particular must have a big game to have a chance.
KSU is 4-1 ATS in its last five games. Xavier is 18-3 SU (15-6 ATS) in its last 21 games. The only losses were to Temple, Richmond and Dayton (the first two gone from the NCAA tournament already).
This looks like a tough matchup for the Musketeers.
Bet on Thursday’s Sweet Sixteen at BroburySports.com!
Posted: 3/25/10 10:20AM ET