Xavier vs. Butler Prediction, Game Preview

    Xavier vs. Butler prediction and game preview for when the Musketeers host the Bulldogs in the Cintas Center.

    December 31, 2015

    The Xavier Musketeers are home in Cincinnati, Ohio to host the Butler Bulldogs in the Cintas Center. Below is the Xavier vs. Butler prediction and game preview.

    Xavier vs. Butler Game Preview

    Game Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Jan. 2
    Game Time: 1 p.m. ET
    Venue: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Network: FS1

    Why You Need To Care

    Why would you not care? It’s Big East basketball. It’s conference play. We’re getting to the thick of it all now.

    No. 6 Xavier (12-1) was brushing the dirt off its shoulders with an unblemished record until it lost to Villanova, 95-64, on Thursday. 

    The Bulldogs were handed their second loss by Providence on Thursday, 81-73. And it won’t be easy for No. 9 Butler (11-2) to go into Cincinnati, Ohio and pull out a win. Xavier was 13-3 at home last season.

    It’s a new season, though, and both teams have been playing excellent basketball.

    Why Xavier Will Win

    The Musketeers do a great job of distributing the scoring responsibilities with five players averaging double figures. Trevon Bluiett will have to take the lead, though, as he’s leading the team with 14.7 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting. He and Edmond Sumner will have to use the threat of the three to find looks closer to the basket, and both need to hit the boards hard.

    Why Butler Will Win

    Roosevelt Jones, Andrew Chrabascz and Kellen Dunham are all going to get their double-digit attempts at the basket. But Dunham has to space the floor by knocking down some triples. That’ll open up the lane for Jones and Chrabascz. Aside from that, Butler needs to pressure Bluiett when he gets the ball away from the rim. Force him to try and do too much and hope it leads to some fast break chances.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    The Musketeers have been playing really well at home. They haven’t allowed more than 70 points in the Cintas Center since Miami (Ohio) put up 72 in the first game of the season. Xavier will lock down on defense, but it won’t hold Butler under 70. Dunham will work from the perimeter, but Bluiett and Sumner will carry the workload offensively and pull out a win.

    Xavier vs. Butler Prediction

    Robert Judin:
    Xavier 76, Butler 71

    Line: Xavier -4.5, o/u: 153.5 


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