Xavier Musketeers vs. Butler Bulldogs Pick & Prediction JANUARY 16th 2024

While Xavier looks to build on perhaps its most impressive win of the season, Big East rival Butler must halt its worst stretch of 2023-24.

The Musketeers will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month on Tuesday night against the visiting Bulldogs in Cincinnati.

It’s been a middling season for Xavier (8-8, 2-3 Big East), which has yet to win more than two straight at any point and is 2-3 since last doing so on Dec. 9 and 16. However, after falling to Villanova and then-No. 4 UConn by a combined six points, the Musketeers made a season-high 12 3-pointers — on 24 attempts — and broke open a one-point game at the half Saturday, by outscoring host Providence 44-25 in the final 20 minutes to win 85-65.

“We (left Providence) feeling good,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said.

“We’ve knocked at the door several times throughout the year, and I felt like (Saturday) we broke through in a number of different ways.”

While Xavier got 21 points from Desmond Claude (15.2 points per game) against the Friars, Trey Green (6.9) scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

“We see Trey every day, and we know what he’s capable of,” Miller said. “He’s capable of doing what he did (Saturday) again.”

Xavier has won three straight home games versus Butler (11-6, 2-4), which enters a loser in four of its past five overall. The Bulldogs pulled off a stunning 69-62 win at then-No. 11 Marquette on Wednesday, but followed with an uneven performance during Saturday’s 78-72 home loss to Seton Hall.

Opponents have averaged 79.8 points against Butler in its last five games.

“Our margin for error is slim, and we’ve got to have everybody clicking on all cylinders,” Butler coach Thad Matta said.

“We’ve got another quick turnaround. Got to get them ready to go.”

Michigan State transfer Pierre Brooks II remains Butler’s most consistent scorer, averaging a career-high 16.1 points.

–Field Level Media

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