Probable Starting Lineups
|Trevon Bluiett (G)||Derrick Bruce (G)|
|Quentin Goodin (G)||Donte Clark (G)|
|J.P. Macura (G)||Demontrae Jefferson (G)|
|Kerem Kanter (F)||Cainan McClelland (G)|
|Naji Marshall (F)||Marquis Salmon (F)|
Xavier is considered a weak number one seed who will make an early exit according to most so-called “experts.” I believe those experts will be proven wrong over the next two weeks. Texas Southern has already won a game in the tournament. On Wednesday night in Dayton, they defeated North Carolina Central behind Demontrae Jefferson. But Xavier is not North Carolina Central. Let’s take a look at this David vs. Goliath matchup.
To win again, Texas Southern needs another big effort by Jefferson. Jefferson played 39 minutes on Wednesday, scoring 25 points on 8 of 18 shots from the field. He also grabbed eight rebounds, had three assists and three steals. Jefferson is the main man that the Musketeers need to worry about. They need to hold Jefferson under 20 points. If they can do that, they could win going away.
Xavier just needs to be Xavier. They are a talented and complete team who has been ranked in the top 10 for most of the season. The biggest key for Xavier in this game is to play with emotion and put Texas Southern away early. The only way they lose is if they play flat and turn the ball over – which could keep Texas Southern within striking distance.
Prediction: Texas Southern is a good team led by veteran coach Mike Davis. In 2002, Davis coached the Indiana Hoosiers all the way to the title game, only to come up short against a hungry Maryland squard. Unfortunately for Davis, he doesn’t have the kind of talent he had at Indiana.
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