The NCAA Men’s Tournament begins on Tuesday night with two First Four games. The one that is the most intriguing to us features the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Xavier Musketeers from Dayton, Ohio. The Wolfpack enter this game after an impressive run through the ACC tournament that saw them fall one win shy of the title game. Xavier is back in the tournament after missing out last season. Despite missing the dance last year, we like Xavier to win tonight.
Xavier happy to be back in the big dance
The Musketeers made seven consecutive appearances in the national tournament up until last year, when they missed the tourney. This means that the Musketeers do not have much experience on the roster heading into tonight’s game against the Wolfpack from North Carolina State. This game is being played on a neutral court, but Xavier will be considered the home team. They will not be the favorites of the crowd though, since they are former A-10 rivals of the Dayton Flyers.
Wolfpack low on tournament experience too
North Carolina State only has two players on its roster who played in the NCAA tournament last season, which could come into play in this contest with Xavier. Wolfpack leading scorer T.J. Warren has harsh memories from last year’s game at the same arena against Temple. His Wolfpack team dropped a 76-72 decision to the Owls in the first round. Now, Warren and his Wolfpack teammates are back on the same court, hoping for a different result from one year ago.
With two teams meeting on Tuesday night that have a lack of NCAA tournament experience, the Musketeers from Xavier are favored by three points over at Bovada.lv. This should be the better First Four game of the two on the schedule tonight, which is why we will lay the line with 10 percent of our bankroll in favor of Xavier.