NCAA Tournament Picks: Georgia State vs. Xavier | Who Will Make It to Sweet Sixteen?

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, March 21, 2015 5:53 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015 5:53 PM UTC

We’re going to examine Saturday’s third round matchup in the NCAA Tournament between Georgia State and Xavier. Can Georgia State pull off another shocking upset? Will Xavier make it to “The Sweet Sixteen” for the seventh time in school history? Read our informative betting preview article to get those answers and more.

Intriguing Third Round Game in Jacksonville
The #14 seed Georgia State will take on the #6 seed Xavier on Saturday at 6:10 PM ET. This third round West Region game will be played in Jacksonville, Florida. According the college basketball betting odds at 5Dimes, Xavier is a 6.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 132.5.


Developing Cinderella Story
Georgia State has been basking in the limelight since its scintillating 57-56 come from behind win over Baylor on Thursday. The Panthers were able to overcome a 56-44 deficit by scoring the final 13-points of the game, and it culminated with a dramatic three-point winning shot by R.J. Hunter with only 2.7 second left to play. The Panthers showed why they’re one of the best defensive teams in the country, holding Baylor to just 56-points, and also limited the Bears to just 43 field goal attempts. The defensive effort was fueled by forcing 21 Baylor turnovers. One of the things that Georgia State will need to clean up in order to have a realistic chance on Saturday regards their rebounding. Baylor held a huge 40-23 advantage on the boards during the Panthers second round win. They’ve also seen four of the last five, and twelve of their previous sixteen games go under the total.

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Musketeers Impressive in Round Two Win
The Xavier Musketeers were a 76-57 blowout winner on Thursday over Ole Miss, and easily covered as a 2.0 point favorite. They held the Rebels to a paltry 32.9% shooting from the floor, despite allowing a season high 73 field goal attempts. Putting that number into perspective, the previous season high by a Xavier opponent was 67 during an 89-88 loss at Auburn this past December 20th. Xavier has seen the last four, and nine of their previous eleven games stay under the total.


Final Analysis
Georgia State enters today’s game riding a six game win streak, and has also been victorious in ten of their previous eleven games. At some point you would have to think the loss of Georgia State guard Ryan Harrow (19.4 PPG) who went down with a hamstring injury during the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals will come into play. Based on the fact the Panthers have scored an average of only 47.5 points, and shot a miserable 37% from the field in the last two games, seems to indicate a negative effect on their offensive production. Even if Harrow suits up today, reports indicate it will be in a limited reserve role. I like this game to play on the low side of the total for one of my NCAA tournament picks on Saturday.

NCAA Tournament Pick: Georgia State and Xavier to go under the total of 132.5 at 5Dimes

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