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Wednesday NCAA basketball: No. 8 Xavier at Butler

Arguably the two most successful mid-major programs in college basketball face off Wednesday night on ESPN when Xavier faces two-time reigning national finalist Butler, with the Musketeers as slight college basketball bets favorites on WagerWeb.com.

Xavier (6-0) has played a solid schedule so far, beating Georgia by 14, winning by 12 at ranked Vanderbilt and beating a good Purdue team 66-63 last time out. In that Boilermakers win, star Tu Holloway scored 21 points, including three consecutive 3-pointers in the last two minutes, and Xavier roared back from a 19-point second-half deficit. Xavier committed 22 turnovers but still pulled out its second consecutive comeback win. The Musketeers trailed by 10 points midway through the second before pulling out an 82-70 overtime win at Vanderbilt.

Holloway leads the team in scoring at 18.0 ppg. following his game-high 21-point effort in the Purdue win. Holloway also leads the team in assists (5.0 apg.), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.08-to-1.00), steals (2.0 spg.) and free throw percentage (.857). Holloway now has 1,328 career points and has moved into 22nd place among all-time Xavier career scoring leaders.

Xavier is ranked in the top 10 this week for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The ranking of No. 8 is one spot shy of the school record of No. 7 in each poll

Butler (4-4) is rebuilding a bit this year after losing in the national title game the past two seasons. The Bulldogs haven’t been very competitive against top competition this year, losing by 16 to ranked Louisville and also by 16 at unbeaten Indiana. Butler has not beaten a top-10 opponent in Hinkle Fieldhouse since defeating No. 3 Michigan 79-64 on Dec. 22, 1965.

Butler guard Chrishawn Hopkins, who injured his ankle during Saturday’s 77-71 loss to Valparaiso, returned to practice Monday and was reported to be fine.

SA has a lean on Butler + the six points at home.

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 2011-previews-picks, College Basketball Betting

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