Pittsburgh vs Xavier Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/19/23

Xavier Musketeers (26-9) vs Pittsburgh Panthers (24-11)

Game Info: Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 12:10 pm (Greensboro Coliseum)

Betting Odds: Xavier Musketeers -5.5 -- Over/Under: 151.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Pittsburgh Panthers and the Xavier Musketeers will meet in the second round of the Midwest Region in Greensboro at the Greensboro Coliseum on CBS. Pittsburgh and Xavier were nearly foes in the Big East, with the Musketeers subsequently replacing the Panthers when they moved to the ACC in 2013. The two schools ironically faced off in consecutive round of 32 bouts in 2009 and 2010, with each squad picking up a narrow victory over the other along with a trip to the Sweet 16.

Pittsburgh Betting Preview

Pittsburgh moved to 24-11 after defeating Iowa State in the round of 64. The Pirates capitalized on a slow start from the Cyclones, and they’d win by eighteen, 59-41. Pitt is scoring 75.2 points per game, while allowing 69.0 ppg, and shooting 44.9% from the floor.

Pitt took advantage of a poor shooting performance from Iowa State, but they’ll need to rev things up with a battle-tested Xavier team.  Junior swingman Blake Hinson scored 24 points in the season finale against Miami, and he leads Pitt in scoring (15.2), while grabbing 6.1 rpg. Senior guard Jamarius Burton led the team with 21 points in the ACC tourney win over GT, and he’s posting a nice line of 15.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 4.1 apg. Colgate transfer Nelly Cummings led the team with 13 points in the scrappy first round win over ISU, and he’s up to 11.2 ppg and a team-lead 4.7 apg.

Xavier Betting Preview 

Xavier comes in at 26-9 after defeating Kennesaw State in the round of 64. The Musketeers trailed the Owls at halftime, but managed to march back to win by five, 72-67. Xavier is scoring 81.1 points per game, while allowing 75.5 ppg, and shooting 49.4% from the field.

Xavier avoided disaster in their first round matchup with Kennesaw, and they’ll need to come out a lot sharper against a veteran Pitt team that’s picked up two tough wins at the Dance already. The Musketeers carry an experienced lineup led by UTEP transfer Souley Boum. The 6’3 guard scored 23 points in the Big East tourney win over Creighton, and he’s up to team-leads of 16.5 ppg and 4.3 apg. Colby Jones scored 22 points in the conference quarterfinal win over DePaul, and he’s posting a nice line of 15.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 4.3 apg. Jack Nunge leads Xavier in rebounding (7.8), while scoring 14.0 ppg. Season forward Jerome Hunter (7.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg)  erupted for a season-saving 24 points against Kennesaw. 

Pitt vs Xavier Trends

Pitt is 24-10-1 against the spread this season, with a 21-14 over/under record. Xavier is 18-16-1 ATS this year, with a 21-13-1 o/u record.

Corey's Free Pick

This sounds like a Big East classic, and this second round contest has a big match feel. Pittsburgh has a good chance to come out and pick up another upset here after two battle-tested victories. Xavier caught a big break in their first round contest, and they look vulnerable. The Musketeers are a different team with Zach Freemantle’s inside presence, and if they get off to another slow start, they might not get so lucky with a veteran Panthers team. Spot Pitt the points this Sunday for this round of 32 contest, and with both teams positively trending with the over, give that a look as well.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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