Xavier vs Marquette Prediction: Big East Championship Game
The finals of the Big East tournament will take place on Saturday night when the Xavier Musketeers take on the Marquette Golden Eagles. This game pits one of the veteran Big East teams in Marquette against one of its newcomers in Xavier, with huge NCAA tournament implications for both teams. This match between Xavier and Marquette could boil down to which team can simply outlast the other after a grueling few days at Madison Square Garden.
Xavier vs Marquette betting tip
This game will be played at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 6:30 PM ET.
Why bet on Marquette:
✅ This will be the first game of this tournament where Marquette does not play in a hostile environment. They beat the hometown team in St. John’s in the quarterfinals and a Big East favorite in UConn in the semifinals. Here they should finally have the audience on their side.
✅ Marquette played two games in two days, as did Xavier. But star guard Tyler Kolek should be relatively fresh for this game after sitting out much of the semifinals with foul problems against UConn.
Xavier Musketeers: In search of the first Big East title
The Xavier Musketeers defeated the Creighton Bluejays in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament, beating them by 22 points to advance to the finals. Xavier dominated this game in almost every facet, keeping the Bluejays at 37.5% shooting and dominating them on the glass by a 45-27 lead. Now Xavier is one win away from winning her first conference championship in the Big East.
For Xavier to win another game on Saturday and take the Big East title, Souley Boum needs to play another big game. Boum scored 23 points, leading all scorers and propelling the Musketeers to victory. If he’s similarly effective in this competition, the Musketeers could win the Big East tournament for the first time in their history.
Marquette Golden Eagles: Weathered the Red Storm
Marquette is also looking for his first Big East Tournament title after beating the UConn Huskies in the semifinals on Friday. Marquette’s defense strengthened significantly as the game progressed, making up for their stuttering offense in the final minutes. Again, that defense is needed to get Marquette across the finish line as the top seed in this tournament.
Marquette must also avoid nasty troubles in this competition if they want to win. Tyler Kolek got off to a hot start against UConn but was relegated to the bench for much of the game with nasty problems. He’s needed on the ground almost throughout the game, which means he avoids nasty troubles as much as possible.
Recent history of the Big East NCAA tournament
Winning the Big East is a huge achievement, but it doesn’t necessarily mean NCAA tournament success. The Big East has won three of the last 10 NCAA tournaments, with Villanova winning two of them and UConn another. But only one of those teams won the Big East Tournament en route to the national title.
The 2018 Villanova Wildcats won both the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. But the 2014 UConn Huskies and the 2016 Villanova Wildcats failed to win the conference title en route to winning the national title. So there is still hope for the loser of this game, even if both teams really want to come out and win this game.
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