Both Xavier and Texas A&M were upset that they were excluded from the NCAA Tournament but one of them will be able to end their season with a victory as they meet in the NIT championship game on Thursday with the Aggies favored on the NCAAB odds.
How to Bet Xavier vs. Texas A&M NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
- Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAB Lines: Texas A&M -4.5 (total 137.5)
Series HistoryTexas A&M and Xavier have played just once with the Musketeers winning 98-86 in the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City on Dec. 28, 1965.
Why Bet on Xavier?
The Musketeers (22-13) advanced with a minor 84-77 win over St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. Adam Kunkel, Jack Nunge and Zach Freemantle each scored 18 points. Colby Jones and Nate Johnson each hit double figures. Kunkel had 14 second half points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, including a pair of threes. Freemantle added 11 after the break. Freemantle also grabbed a team-high four rebounds as both teams had 12 rebounds in the second half.
“It has been a wide-ranging of emotions, from sadness to anxiety to a little happiness for myself for being put in position like this, understanding the situation that we love (former Xavier head coach) Travis Steele, but meeting adversity head on, the way our guys have done that is what Xavier basketball is,” said interim coach Jonas Hayes.
St. Bonaventure had one momentous run in it after a lethargic first half, rallying from an early 19-point hole to cut the deficit to five with 5:38 remaining. Only every time it reached the cusp of completing the comeback, the Musketeers had an answer.
“The effort was there,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said afterward. “We couldn’t make shots in the first half and they were making shots. Second half we got it down and … we just needed one more stop that would have really put a lot of pressure on them, we just couldn’t get it. That’s (how it goes). It’s not lack of effort; just give them credit, they hit the shots.”
Xavier finished with a 38-28 advantage on the boards. The Musketeers turned a 14-10 advantage on the offensive glass into a 15-5 advantage on second chance points. The Musketeers also topped St. Bonaventure in the NIT Semifinals on the way to the 1958 NIT Championship.
Xavier has five players averaging in double figures in scoring — four that are still active with Paul Scruggs having been lost to a season-ending injury — and a sixth at 8.6 ppg.: Nunge at 13.3 ppg., Scruggs at 11.7 ppg., Jones at 11.2 ppg., Johnson at 10.4, Freemantle at 10.3 ppg., and Kunkel at 8.6 ppg. All of these players have at least one game this season with 19 points or more.
Xavier is 20-7 all-time in the postseason NIT. XU has appeared in the NIT in 1956 (1-1), 1957 (1-1), 1958 (4-0; Champions), 1984 (2-1), 1994 (2-1), 1999 (4-1; 3rd place), 2000 (1-1), 2019 (1-1) and 2022 (4-0).
Sean Miller will take over as Xavier coach following this game. First, Miller has to assemble a coaching staff. Because he was away from college basketball last year, he’s not bringing a staff with him to Xavier.
Why Bet on Texas A&M?
Texas A&M (27-12) knocked off Washington State 72-56 on Tuesday to reach the final. With a game-high 18 points against the Cougars, Quenton Jackson has now scored in double figures in 20 of the Aggies’ last 21 games and in 31 of the Aggies’ 39 games in 2021-22. It marked the 18th game this season where Jackson has led the team in points. Over the last 11 games, Jackson leads the team with 17.1 points on 59.0% shooting and 32 steals.
Freshman Manny Obaseki chipped in 14 points, which was just off his career high of 19 vs. Northwestern State on Dec. 21. It was his fourth game in double figures, including two of the last three. Xavier registered wins over Cleveland State, Florida and Vanderbilt to reach the semifinals. Tyrece Radford led the team in rebounds for the fourth-straight game with seven. Radford has hauled in a team-best 40 rebounds during the Aggies’ run to the Championship game of the NIT.
One of the nation’s leaders in steals per game (10.2) and turnovers forced per game (17.0), the Aggies forced exactly 17 turnovers and made five steals against Washington State. The Aggies had a 25-5 advantage in points from turnovers. The Aggies also had 58 points in the paint as they connected on 48.5% of their shots, including 58.1% in the second half. The Aggies’ 58 paint points were more than WSU scored in the game (56).
With the victory, the Aggies have now won 11 of their last 12 games and 12 of 14 games since snapping the midseason eight-game losing skid (from Jan. 19-Feb. 12). A&M has recorded double-digit victories in eight of the team’s last 11 wins, including in all four games in the NIT.
The Aggies are seeking to end their season with a victory for just the second time in the last 49 seasons. The Aggies also closed the COVID-19-shortened 2019-20 season with a win (77-69 over Arkansas).
- Musketeers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- Musketeers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
- Musketeers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Aggies are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
- Aggies are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Aggies are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Aggies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite.
- Texas A&M 71, Xavier 68