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Xavier v. DePaul: Live chat, odds, keys to the game

Xavier is a 12 point favorite as the Blue Demons visit the Cintas Center

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Musketeers (12-7, 3-4) - 12.5
DePaul Blue Demons (11-9, 5-2)

Three keys:
-Avoid the turnover. The only thing DePaul does above average on defense is force teams to cough the ball up. If Xavier can protect the pumpkin the way they have been in conference play, that will bode well for their ability to eventually unlock the Blue Demons' defense.

-Zone press. Two birds, one stone here. DePaul's bigs like to step out and shoot it, and the Blue Demons as a general rule are not very good at keeping hold of the ball. Any sort of zone look is going to alleviate the pressure on Matt Stainbrook to have to defend more than about eight feet from the basket, and pressure on DePaul can lead to turnovers and easy baskets going the other way.

-Bounce back. Thursday night's loss was gutting, but there's no time to lick your wounds in the Big East. Xavier has to take care of business against DePaul at home before heading right back out on the road for Georgetown on Tuesday and Seton Hall over the weekend. Xavier is the deeper team, and it may be incumbent on the reserves to provide a boost. This is the middle of a stretch of 5 roadies in 7 games; Xavier just needs to keep the pace right now.