Xavier vs. Pittsburgh: 2023 NCAA Tournament Picks & Predictions (Sunday)

Mar 18, 2023 - 7:30 PM

The Midwest Region of the NCAA bracket already has a bunch of upsets.

Auburn took care of business against Iowa in the 8-9 matchup. Pittsburgh upset Iowa State in the 6-11 matchup. Lastly, Penn State dominated Texas A&M in the 7-10 matchup as the ten-seed.

Houston, Texas, Xavier, Indiana and Miami all survived the first game of the bracket. At the time of writing this, the region still has its five best teams, unlike most of the other regions.

That will change on Day 2, Round 2.

No. 5 seed Miami will face No. 4 Indiana. One team has to lose out of the top five now. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh will take on Xavier, as an 11-seed going up against a 3-seed.

Things are about to get interesting.

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Xavier vs. Pittsburgh

The Xavier Musketeers are one of the best offenses in the nation. They’ve hit over 39% from downtown this season and have scored 54% from inside the arc.

The team is missing Zach Freemantle, who has been injured and is out for the remainder of the season. His absence has hurt, but the Musketeers still were able to roll past Kennesaw State to begin the NCAA Tournament.

However, Xavier made just two threes in that game, despite shooting over 39% from three throughout the season. That’s likely going to change against Pittsburgh.

Xavier’s too good of an offense to continue to miss wide-open looks from downtown.

On the other hand, Pittsburgh has already won two games in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve allowed a combined 100 points, or an average of 50 points per game in those two contests. The defense has stepped up but will struggle against a Xavier team that is ranked 8th in KenPom this year.

Let’s grab the Over 152 in this matchup. Pittsburgh’s defense won’t be nearly as effective against Xavier and the Panthers are still a top-30 offense according to KenPom. Xavier has allowed teams to shoot over 35% from downtown throughout the season.

Bet: Over 152 (-110)

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