Keys to the Game:
- Pound the glass: Xavier crushed the Golden Eagles on the boards the first time and there's not a lot to suggest that much has changed since then. Marquette causes misses, but they don't grab them very well at all. They also don't grab their own. The Musketeers have one giant advantage in this game, and it would behoove them to use it. Once you get past the Ellenson's, the Golden Eagles don't have depth on the glass. Xavier does, and Kaiser Gates and Sean O'Mara need to get in there and demonstrate that.
- Attack: Teams don't get to the line much against Marquette because the Golden Eagles ability to block shots dissuades drives. Xavier lives at the line because nothing dissuades Edmond Sumner, Trevon Bluiett, or James Farr. Clearly, something has to give. Xavier got to the line 26 times in the first game and only got blocked once. That kind of aggression and, frankly, good fortune, are what the Musketeers need again.
- Make Marquette shoot from deep: When the Golden Eagles have an EFG of 50% or less, they are 4-6. The Golden Eagles are a pretty poor 34.1% from deep on the year. This, then, is a case for the 1-3-1. If Marquette has to shoot from deep, they won't make many shots. If they don't make many shots, they lose. It's that simple. Keep Wojo's guys behind the arc and only a Tre Campbell like performance will hurt Xavier.