Xavier finds itself fighting for a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament and they are just two wins away from guaranteeing it. The Musketeers look almost unbeatable in a blowout win over St. John’s yesterday in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Providence, on the other hand, is looking to ensure a bid to March Madness, which they should have done in yesterday’s squeaker over the Creighton Blue Jays.
Keys to the game
1) For Providence, the key could be Kyron Cartwright who helped lead the Friars to an 81-72 upset win over Xavier earlier in the season. In that game, Cartwright scored 19 points, but more importantly added 9 assists and 4 rebounds. For the Friars to win, another effort like that will be required from Cartwright.
2) For Xavier, the key will be star Trevon Bluiett who has seemingly taken it upon himself to carry his team to a possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, surpassing 20 points in three straight games – including a team-best 27 in the rout of the Red Storm. If the Friar’s can’t at least slow Bluiett down, they will meet the same fate that St. John’s met.
3) ENERGY. The Friars may have more to play for as Xavier looks like they should at least garner a two seed for the NCAA Tournament, and even though the Friars should be in this, a win against Xavier would ensure them a much better seed. If the Musketeers come out and play with the same emotion and passion they did against St. John’s, they will be hard for anybody to beat.
Prediction: The Musketeers nationally still don’t get the respect they deserve and with the success that the program has had in past NCAA Tournaments they should. I think that Xavier is on a mission to win this tournament and with that being said, I think the Friars will get run over tonight.
Xavier 81 Friars 68