Sports Betting Picks Extra 03-23-2017 Arizona Vs. Xavier
Sports Betting Picks Extra 03-23-2017 ESPN Breakdown Below
Arizona coach Sean Miller is taking on his former employer in the Sweet 16, which might be a big storyline … if it hadn’t already happened two years ago.
The Wildcats, seeded second in the West, have a Thursday date against No. 11 Xavier, the only double-digit seed left in the NCAA Tournament. The game is scheduled to tip off at about 10:09 p.m. ET after the Gonzaga-West Virginia game in San Jose, Calif.
Arizona and Xavier met in the 2015 Sweet 16, with the Wildcats winning 68-60 in a hard-fought game in Los Angeles.
There is not much to take from that, as only two current Arizona players — point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright and center Dusan Ristic — appeared in that game for a total of nine minutes. Musketeers star guard Trevon Bluiett, then a freshman, scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Xavier (22-13) has Bluiett, who is averaging 17.7 points per game, and a resiliency that led to opening-weekend upsets of No. 6 Maryland and No. 3 Florida State.
Many counted out the Musketeers after guard Edmond Sumner sustained a season-ending knee injury in late January. That came on the heels of guard Myles Davis leaving the team after a brief return from a 15-game, season-opening suspension.
“I told them out in the real world, life is going to hand you lemons, and you can pout about it and figure out how to make lemonade,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said of his message to his players.
“Our guys, despite all the adversity they’ve been hit with and the social media that tells them how bad they are and how poor they are, they stayed with it, and they believed in themselves and our coaching staff. It’s a credit to them, and I’m just really proud of them.”
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Official Pick Take Arizona -7 points