In the Midwest Region, the No. 3-seed Xavier Musketeers will take on the ASUN champion and 14-seed Kennesaw State Owls in the Round of 64.
Xavier defeated DePaul and Creighton in the Big East Tournament, but fell one win short of the championship after losing to Marquette in the finals. They finished conference play with a 17-6 record.
Meanwhile, Kennesaw State won 18 games and barely escaped Liberty in the ASUN Tournament final, 67-66. The Owls are currently riding a five-game winning streak, but can they continue their run in the NCAA Tournament?
Read on for my Xavier Musketeers vs. Kennesaw State Owls prediction.
Xavier vs Kennesaw State Odds
Note: CBB odds mentioned in this article for Xavier vs Kennesaw State were used from DraftKings Sportsbook, unless otherwise noted, and are current as of March 14, 1:30 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Xavier (-675) | Kennesaw State (+500)
- Spread: Xavier -11.5 (-110) | Kennesaw State +11.5 (+110)
- Total: Over 151 (-115) | Under 151 (-105)
Xavier vs Kennesaw State Pick of the Day
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Xavier vs Kennesaw State Prediction
Xavier 82, Kennesaw State 75
Xavier is one of the best offenses in the nation. The Musketeers shot 39.5% from three and 54% from inside the arc this season, both well above the national averages.
Meanwhile, Kennesaw State shot 37.1% from downtown and added 51.3% from inside the arc. If anything will hold them back, it’ll be their 66.2% shooting from the charity stripe. Still, they should compete throughout the game.
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Xavier vs Kennesaw State Best Bets
Kennesaw State +11.5 (-110) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Kennesaw State Owls have shot well from downtown this year, nailing over 37% from three. Meanwhile, opponents have shot 35.9% from three against Xavier this season. The Owls should get quality looks from deep and have a ton of three-point shooters that can get hot in this game.
Kennesaw State also doesn’t have to worry about Xavier forcing a bunch of turnovers. The Musketeers forced opponents to turn the ball over just 15.9% of the time this season (205th in the nation).
In short, Kennesaw State should be able to get plenty of shots up.
Over 151 Total Points (-110) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
I just spoke about Kennesaw State’s offense above. It’s electric, and the Owls move at an above-average pace on the offensive end.
Xavier’s offense is on another level. The Musketeers have an effective field goal percentage of 55.6%.
The Owls have allowed teams to shoot 34.8% from deep and 50.5% from inside the arc. Kennesaw State is good on the defensive glass but should also struggle a bit against a more athletic Xavier team.
The Musketeers have earned 31.8% of offensive rebounds and will likely get to the foul line more in this game. Xavier shoots 71.4% from the foul line, while Kennesaw State, as mentioned above, have struggled from the free throw line.
Xavier should be able to put up plenty of points in this game as both teams are fast-paced offenses. Kennesaw State will add more threes, while Xavier will score many of their points from the foul line.
Over 71 First-Half Points (-110) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Xavier Musketeers don’t always shoot a lot of three-pointers (27.9% of points from deep), but that’s why they’ve been so effective from downtown (39.5% from downtown). They only take shots when they’re open.
They’re also highly efficient from inside the arc, and should have great success against a Kennesaw squad that isn’t particularly strong at defending two-point shots.
Kennesaw State still has a high effective field goal percentage of 52.9%, mostly due to their prolific three-point shooting. I expect they’ll take a lot of threes in this one, as Xavier has allowed opponents to shoot 36% from beyond the arc this season.
Both teams are older and experienced, which should help them get the jitters out early. Take the first half Over.
Xavier vs Kennesaw State Same Game Parlay
Xavier vs Kennesaw State SGP (+360) | DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: .25 units
- Kennesaw State +11.5 (-110)
- Xavier Moneyline (-750)
- Over 151.5 (-110)
Kennesaw State has enough offensively to stick around against Xavier. But they’ll eventually fall short, especially when free throws become a big part of the game in the second half.