March Madness 2011 Predictions: Could Marquette Upset Xavier?

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIMarch 18, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Dwight Buycks #23 and Jimmy Butler #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles celebrate late in the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

At 7:27 PM ET tonight, the Marquette Golden Eagles look to upset the Xavier Musketeers.

Every season, one of the main draws to March Madness is filling out brackets and trying to pick upsets.

Yesterday, we saw one of the best upsets in recent history when Morehead State took down No. 4 seed Louisville.

Tonight's game could feature another early upset.

Marquette enters the game as a No. 11 seed with a 20-14 overall record. Xavier comes in as a No. 6 seed with a 24-7 overall record.

However, I'm not convinced that Xavier is the better team.

Xavier's primary weapon is Atlantic 10 player of the year Tu Holloway. Holloway averages 20.2 points per game on 43 percent field goal shooting.

If Marquette can limit the damage that Holloway does, it has a legitimate shot at coming away with an upset.

Marquette's bench should have no problem outperforming Xavier's, which has struggled all season.

Marquette also appears to be better in almost every statistical category heading into the game.

The Golden Eagles average more points per game and have recorded a better seasonal field goal percentage. They average more rebounds per game and more assists.

Marquette does allow more points against, but it has also faced much tougher competition all season.

Marquette plays in the Big East, which is undoubtedly the toughest conference in the NCAA.

Nine of Marquette's 14 losses came against opponents that were ranked at the time. It came within five points of upsetting Duke early in the season.

Xavier played only one ranked opponent all season. It faced No. 25 Cincinnati only to get decimated 66-46.

According to, Marquette had the 12th-most difficult schedule, while Xavier's schedule ranked 65th.

This game should be one of the more exciting ones the first round has to offer. Tune in later tonight to see if Marquette can pull off the upset.