The Xavier Musketeers and Texas A&M Aggies meet in the NIT Championship at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. It isn’t the NCAA Championship, but winning a tournament at MSG in NYC always has to be special.
Texas A&M has been out to prove that they should have been invited to the NCAA Championship. I wouldn’t have been able to argue against Texas A&M getting an invite. Despite losing in the SEC Championship, they were in good form.
The Aggies won seven straight games and were one of the hottest teams in the SEC before running into Tennessee. Their winning streak included wins against Alabama, Auburn, and Arkansas as underdogs.
— Texas A&M Basketball (@aggiembk) March 31, 2022
Then the Volunteers happened, and the NCAA Tournament committee completed ignored Texas A&M. The Aggies ran out of gas and fell to Tennessee by a score of 65-50. However, they thought there was enough in their portfolio to get the tournament nod.
That wasn’t the case, and Texas A&M settled for the NIT in an attempt to show that they should have belonged. The Aggies are coming off a 72-56 win over the Washington State Cougars at MSG.
In their last game at home before packing up for NYC, the Aggies were impressive in a 67-52 win over a quality Wake Forest team. They brought that momentum to New York with them and cleared Washington State in the NIT Final Four.
Xavier hoped to get to the NCAA Tournament as well. At times they looked like a team that would get into the tournament and create some noise as an eighth or seventh seed.
— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) March 31, 2022
However, there was also the bad Xavier that didn’t look like an NIT team. Two nights ago, the Musketeers are coming off an 84-77 win over St. Bonaventure.
The Bonnies were streaking, and the Musketeers put the fire out. Xavier had to fend off Vanderbilt in a close one to get to NYC. They went to the wire in a 75-73 final at home.
Head below for our free Xavier vs. Texas A&M NIT Championship prediction on March 31, 2022.
Xavier Musketeers vs. Texas A&M Aggies NIT Championship Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:
|Xavier Musketeers||+4.5 (-110)||+170||Over 137 (-110)|
|Texas A&M Aggies||-4.5 (-110)||-200||Under 137 (-110)|
|Team Data||Xavier Musketeers||Texas A&M Aggies|
|Points Per Game||73.7||73.1|
|Points Against Per Game||68.6||66.7|
|Field Goal %||44.5||44.4|
|Three Point %||32.8||32.6|
Xavier vs. Texas A&M Prediction:
Texas A&M is the best team that didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament. Most college basketball pundits believed that Texas A&M did enough to get in, myself included.
In any case, they were unable to finish the job in the SEC Championship and left it up to the “judges”. Never leave it up to the judges in a fight.
Besides a bad first half against Alcorn State in the NIT opener, Texas A&M has been in good form in the tournament. They made it look easy against their next three opponents.
Expecting to be a close game against Oregon and Wake Forest, the Aggies cleared with ease as the competitive bug found them again. Texas A&M looks motivated to prove something.
Over the last five games, the Texas A&M defense has been stifling, with 59 points allowed per game and a 36.8% field goal percentage. Their opponents are shooting worse than 30% from three.
Texas A&M has allowed 65.9 points per game and a 41.2% field goal percentage throughout this season going into tonight. With motivation on their side tonight, look for the Aggies to continue to play physical basketball.
Xavier Musketeers vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Trends:
- 1-6 ATS in their previous seven games after covering the spread
- 2-10 ATS in their previous 12 games after a win
- 2-6 ATS in their previous eight games on a neutral court
- 3-8 ATS in their previous 11 games
- OVER is 7-1 in their previous eight games on a neutral court
- 10-2 ATS in their previous 12 games
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games as a betting favorite
- 9-1 ATS in their previous ten games after a win
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games on a neutral court
- 7-1 ATS in their previous eight games versus a team with a team with a winning percentage better than 60%
Texas A&M has an advantage defensively over the Musketeers in the NIT Championship. The Musketeers were 165th on defense and the Aggies 110th overall this season.
Xavier gave up 72.6 points per game in recent games through their previous five attempts. Their offense has been flying, though, with 77 points per game and a 48% field goal percentage during that time.
I like Xavier as a team, but the Aggies appear to be on a mission after being left out of the NCAA Tournament. There should be added motivation on the Texas A&M side to win this tonight.
Give me the Aggies to win and cover in the NIT Championship at Madison Square Garden.