Xavier vs. Baylor Sweet 16 Picks & Predictions 3/23/12

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The Xavier Musketeers and the Baylor Bears analysis starts right here at Cappers Info, and we are taking a look at these two teams and which side has the edge when push comes to shove. Don’t miss out on our Sweet 16 picks for this clash!

Sweet 16 Matchup: #10 Xavier Musketeers vs. #3 Baylor Bears
Date: Friday, March 23rd, 7:15 ET
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Sweet 16 Odds: Baylor -6
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: CBS

Just a few weeks ago, Baylor looked like a team that was going to crash out of the NCAA Tournament to a team that it had no business losing to, while Xavier seemed like it was destined to finish on the wrong side of the bubble. It’s amazing what a run to your conference final parlayed with a little bit of luck can do for a team. Now, the X-Men got all the way up to the No. 10 line in the dance and made it here by beating an overrated bunch of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the No. 15 seed in the bracket, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Baylor has had nothing but double digit seeds at this point en route to the Sweet 16, and there is definitely something to be said about the Bears using their momentum from the Big XII Tournament and carrying it into the dance against teams that they should be crushing.

Even odder for the Musketeers is that Mark Lyons really hasn’t done anything in this tournament. He is averaging 15.0 points per game this year, but he only has 15 points in total in the two games. That being said, Tu Holloway has picked up the slack, and when he has needed help, it has been Kenny Frease that has come to the forefront. Frease is coming off of a huge game against Lehigh in which he put up 25 points and 12 boards, raising his season averages up to 9.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

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All of Baylor’s starters are double digit point scorers on a regular basis, and that makes this team an incredibly dangerous one. It is so hard to cover all five men on every possession, especially knowing that any of them can take the final shot from just about anywhere on the court. We haven’t heard much from Perry Jones III yet in this tournament, but this could be the game in which he truly roars and declares his presence. Keep an eye as well on Quincy Miller, who is coming off of just an eight point performance against the Colorado Buffaloes.

The Musketeers have an injury concern in this one, knowing that Dezmine Wells has a toe injury. That being said, we think that we haven’t seen the best out of the X-Men yet in this tournament, and we just don’t trust the inconsistency of the Bears. Baylor might get through, but we really don’t think so. Xavier is a team that has picked up a lot of big wins in the tourney over the years, and this very well could be another one of those victories to get it to the Elite 8. We certainly want the points on our side.

Sweet 16 Free Pick: Xavier Musketeers +6

Xavier vs. Baylor Projected Final Score: Xavier 77 – Baylor 70

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.