The Butler Bulldogs have been looking to slow things down this season, ranking in the bottom 20 of the country in possessions per game, and will look to keep a Xavier team playing for the first time since December 21 in check on Friday.
Xavier Musketeers (-5.5, 130.5) vs. Butler Bulldogs
(stats as of Thursday morning)
The Bulldogs have dealt with injuries and suspensions to key players throughout the season, but are as close to 100 percent as they have been all season with leader in rebounds per game Bryce Nze back in the lineup.
The return of Nze is magnified with Xavier entering 13th in the country in rebound rate with a core that includes seven guys averaging at least 7.5 points per game.
The Xavier defense has also been very different at home as opposed to on the road, allowing 21.9 points per 100 possessions more when away from home.
The Musketeers are 230th in the country in turnovers per possession on offense and Butler holding opponents to 27.5 percent 3-point shooting at home this season, the Bulldogs have the recipe for a Friday upset in the Big East.
Pick: Butler + 5.5