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There's only one game on tonight's college basketball slate so of course, we have to fire. We have a solid matchup between Xavier and Texas A&M in the NIT Championship.
ANALYSIS

Thursday's College Basketball Best Bet: Texas A&M vs. Xavier NIT Championship Prediction

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Texas A&M vs. Xavier Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022
  • Game Time: 7:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN
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Texas A&M vs. Xavier NIT Championship Prediction

Texas A&M has been one of the most impressive teams in the NIT as they have won every game by double digits and have beaten Oregon, Wake Forest, and Washington State in very impressive fashion. They have gotten the job done with their defense as they held Oregon to 60, Wake Forest to 52, and Washington State to 56. Texas A&M forces a lot of turnovers on defense as they are ranked 8th in the nation in defensive turnover percentage but they struggle to clear the ball on the defensive boards.

Texas A&M is ranked 340th in defensive rebounding percentage and I think Xavier could have an advantage here as 7'0 Jack Nunge and 6'9 Zach Freemantle are very active on the offensive glass. Both of these teams have started fairly slow in the opening halves of their NIT games to this point as the 1H under is a sizzling 8-0 across their 8 games but I think this game will have a much faster start

Xavier plays very up-tempo as they are currently ranked 62nd in the lowest average time of possession and are in the top 100 in adjusted tempo. On the other side, Texas A&M actually plays much faster than it appears as they are just outside of the top 100 in the lowest average time of possession. When Texas A&M played faster and more up-tempo teams such as Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, or Kentucky there was a large increase in scoring in those games the 1H scores in those games were 40-37 (Vs Bama), 46-34/48-37 (Vs UGA x2), 37-35 (Vs Arkansas), and 35-30 (Vs Kentucky). Xavier plays a very similar style to these teams as they love to get out in transition and take shots early in the shot clock.

Adam Kunkel, Colby Jones, and Nate Johnson have really stepped up in their last 2 games without Paul Scruggs. Over the last 2 games without Scruggs, the trio of Kunkel/Jones/Johnson has shot 24-37 (65%) from 2-point range so they have really been attacking the rim with high efficiency against some solid teams in Vanderbilt and St. Bonaventure. Texas A&M is solid at defending the rim but it is not the strong suit of their defense as they are ranked just 98th in defensive 2-point percentage.

I think both teams are going to get solid looks at the rim and it should be a fairly fast-paced game as I think Xavier is going to push the pace. With that being said, I am rolling with the 1H OVER 63.5 at -110 for 1U in this game as one of my most confident college basketball picks of the night.

Texas A&M vs. Xavier NIT Championship Pick

Article Author

NCAABNBAMLB

Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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