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The Butler Bulldogs (10-6 / 1-2 Big East) visit the Cintas Center on Sunday for a high-noon tilt against the Xavier Musketeers (10-7 / 2-2 Big East) in Cincinnati, OH.
The Bulldogs have lost 3 of their last 4 games, and need to rebound from their recent loss to Seton Hall, 76 – 75, this past Wednesday night. The defeat opened a 3-game road trip for Butler, as they’ll be heading to Chicago to face DePaul in only 3 days after tonight’s affair.
The Musketeers are following up their first Big East Conference win of the year after taking out Georgetown this past Wednesday night, 81 – 75. Xavier needed the win after opening Big East play with double-digit losses to both Seton Hall and Marquette.
Bulldogs Look To Get Back To .500 In Big East Play
The Bulldogs finished their non-conference schedule with that ugly 77 – 43 loss to Florida, and if you recall, Butler went down 21 – 0 and never came close to recovering.
The Dawgs continue road swing, travel to Xavier Sunday. The game will air on CBS Sports Network.
— Butler Basketball (@ButlerMBB) January 12, 2019
Butler followed the loss to the Gators with a January 2 defeat to Georgetown as Big East Conference play got underway, and now find themselves 1 – 2 after the 1-point loss to Seton Hall last time out.
Seton Hall’s Myles Powell stole the show with his 31 points, as he set a personal best making 13 of 15 attempts from the FT line.
Butler’s junior guard and leading scorer Kamar Baldwin ended the night with 23 points to bring his average up to 16.9 PPG. Baldwin’s junior campaign has seen him put up double-digit outings in all but 2 games this season, and he is following up a pretty nice sophomore year that he contributed 15.7 PPG. He averaged 10.1 PPG in his freshman year as well, so expect no let down as Big East play rolls on.
The Bulldogs shot 5 of 20 from behind the arc in the loss to the Pirates, and ended the night 26 of 67 from the floor (38.8%).
Sophomore forward Joey Brunk found his way to a 20-point night, as the 6-11 Indianapolis native put up his first double-double of the season in the loss with 1o boards.
I have a question, and someone go ahead and say what ya gotta say..?
Why does this man only have 1 block over the last 13 games, and 4 overall on the year? Hello?
I mean if I was 6-11, I would stand in the paint, and deny everyone and everything, and yet he gets in front of nothing. Maybe it’s me, but that’s amazing to me that he has 4 blocks and sees 20.5 minutes a night.
Xavier Hopes To Get A Lift From The Cintas Center Crowd
The Musketeers have gone 8 – 2 at Cintas Center this year, and you can see the energy the home crowd provided last time out in the win over the Hoyas. Well over 10,000 seats were filled to watch Xavier pick up their first Big East Conference win of the season over the Hoyas last Wednesday night.
Oh, it was not a night filled with cheer, however, as the Musketeers found themselves down 17 points when Hoyas freshman forward Josh LeBlanc slammed Georgetown to a 39 – 22 lead with 3:49 to play in the 1st half.
This is where the crowd started to find some energy, because the rest of the game was dominated by the Musketeers defense.
That 39 – 22 lead evaporated to a 39 – 34 halftime deficit, and the Musketeers had the game tied at 39 just a minute and half into the second stanza.
Hoyas star Jessie Govan gave Georgetown their last lead of the game when he made it 54 – 52 at the 11:35 mark, but Xavier went on a 30 – 21 run to close out the 6-point home win.
Senior forward Zach Hankins put up a double-double with a 23 & 10 night in the win. Hankins ended the night 10 for 14 from the floor, to bring his average up to 10.5 PPG.
Hankins is one of five double-digit scorers for Xavier, although one of them might be absent against tonight. Junior guard Quentin Goodin sat out the last game, and that knee has him listed as questionable to go tonight, which takes 12.6 PPG off the board should he be a no-go.
• Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Xavier.
• Musketeers are 3-8-3 ATS in their last 14 home games.
• Musketeers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games.
• Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games.
• Over is 5-0 in Bulldogs last 5 vs. Big East.
• Over is 4-1-1 in Bulldogs last 6 Sunday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This line has already been bouncing back and forth, but Butler will still come out on top no matter where the odds makers put it.
This is a Butler win in the 83 – 78 range, so play this Over along with the Bulldogs.
Butler Pk is the 3* Play on the Side.
Prediction: Butler Pk
Full-Game Total Pick
The 83 – 78 call gets us way over the number, and I see these two, obviously, getting to and over the 160 mark.
You like apples? How ya like them apples?
The Over 140.5 is your 4* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Over 140.5