Xavier vs Baylor Picks, Spread, and Review


Baylor (29-7 SU/14-15 ATS) rolled past Colorado 80-63 as -7½ point chalks last Saturday in a game that was actually closer than the final score reflected.

Brady Heslip made nine three-pointers for a career-high 27 points as Baylor defeated Colorado in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Heslip only missed four shots and Pierre Jackson added 15 points and 10 assists for the third-seeded Bears, who advanced to their second Sweet 16 in program history.

They opened the tournament with a 68-60 win over a gritty South Dakota State team in the second round. It was 57-54 in favor of the Buffaloes when Jackson knocked down a jumper, triggering a spurt which featured four straight Baylor three-pointers – two from Heslip, one apiece from Jackson and Anthony Jones.

The run resulted in a 75-60 Baylor advantage and Colorado never recovered, allowing the Bears to register its 29th win, which is a new school record for wins in a season. Baylor’s previous season-high win total was 28 in 2009-10. The Bears’ No. 3 seed is tied for the highest in program history. In 2010 they were seeded third in the South Region and advanced to the Elite Eight.

Xavier (22-12 SU/12-18-2 ATS) is coming off a 70-58 win over Lehigh as -4 point favorites.

Lehigh recorded one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history against Duke on Friday, but Kenny Frease and Tu Holloway were too much for the Mountain Hawks on Sunday. The pair combined for 46 points as 10th-seeded Xavier knocked off No. 15 seed Lehigh in the South Region.

Frease made 11-of-13 shots from the floor en route to 25 points and added 12 rebounds while Holloway added 21 points for the Musketeers, who return to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since back-to-back trips in 2009-10. Xavier, which is seeking its first Elite Eight appearance since 2004, out rebounded Lehigh 43-36 and held a 32-26 advantage in the paint.

The Musketeers won despite playing most of the game without their third-leading scorer, Dezmine Wells. He injured his right ankle in the first half and did not return.

Xavier is 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall, but the Musketeers have excelled in NCAA Tournament games, going 17-4-1 ATS. Baylor is 4-1 ATS in NCAA Tournament games and 6-2 ATS against non-conference foes, however, the Bears have not responded well off an ATS win as their 3-13 ATS mark after a cover would indicate.

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