[9:02 PM] #13 Xavier @ Colorado

Who will WIN this matchup?

#13 Xavier Musketeers (7-1)

@ Colorado Buffaloes (6-2)


No. 14 Xavier looks to rebound from its first loss of the season when it faces another difficult road test against Colorado on Wednesday night. The Musketeers opened with seven victories and led Baylor by three at halftime Saturday before struggling on both ends of the court in the second half as the sixth-ranked Bears pulled away for a 76-61 triumph. Poor shot selection (31 percent) and turnovers (17) led to Xavier’s demise against Baylor and coach Chris Mack expects to gain experience from another tough matchup on the road.

Colorado is connecting on just 43.2 percent of its shots from the field, but the Buffaloes showed some progress in the 76-63 victory at Portland on Saturday by draining half of their attempts in the second session.

Junior guard J.P. Macura (15.5 points) must rebound from his worst shooting performance of the season after making just 2-of-16 from the field against Baylor. Macura joins junior Trevon Bluiett (18.4 points, 6.3 rebounds) and sophomore Edmond Sumner (15.1 points) in one of the nation’s top backcourts, but the Musketeers will need to shoot better than their current mark of 44.8 percent from the field overall. Sophomore forward Kaiser Gates, who missed the first five games with a knee injury, has averaged 5.5 points and four rebounds the last two.

The well-balanced, experienced Buffaloes have lost to Notre Dame (89-83) and Colorado State (72-58), but own an impressive 68-54 triumph against Texas in the early going. Senior guard Xavier Johnson is scoring 14.4 per game to lead the way and senior transfer Derrick White is averaging 14 points and shooting 52 percent from the field. Junior guard George King (10.6 points, 6.8 rebounds) and senior guard Josh Fortune (10.4 points) are also scoring in double figures while senior forward Wesley Gordon tops the team in rebounding (9.5).

Musketeers F RaShid Gaston shares the team lead in rebounding (6.3) and almost half of them have come on the offensive boards.


StreakSmarts Pick: #13 Xavier Musketeers

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick