Texas basketball vs. Xavier: Opening odds for Sweet 16

Timmy Allen, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Timmy Allen, Texas basketball Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

The matchup is now set for interim head coach Rodney Terry and the two-seed Texas basketball in their first Sweet 16 appearance for the program since 2008. Texas will take on the former Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller and the three-seed Xavier Musketeers in the Sweet 16 Midwest Region on March 24.

Terry and the Longhorns head into the Sweet 16 with a record of 28-8 (12-6 Big 12), having won six games in a row. Texas got to this point by knocking off the 10-seed Penn State Nittany Lions 71-66 in the Round of 32 and the 15-seed Colgate Raiders 81-61 in the Round of 64.

Meanwhile, Xavier comes in with a record of 27-9 (15-5 Big East), with wins in seven of its last eight contests. Xavier got to the Sweet 16 by defeating the 11-seed Pitt Panthers in the Round of 32 early in the day on March 19 and the 14-seed Kennesaw State Owls by a score of 72-67 in the Round of 64.

Here’s a look at the opening odds for the Sweet 16 matchup in the Midwest Region between the two-seed Texas and three-seed Xavier on March 24, with the tip-off time set for 6:30 p.m. CT. This game will take place at a familiar venue for Texas, at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, MO.

Texas basketball vs. Xavier: Opening odds for Sweet 16 Midwest Region

Texas opens up as a 3.5-point favorite over Xavier (per FanDuel).

According to Kenpom, Texas has a 62 percent chance of beating Xavier in the Sweet 16. And Kenpom projects Texas to beat Xavier 79-75.

Texas vs. Xavier series history

This will be the sixth time that Texas and Xavier have met on the hardwood in the history of these two programs. The last time that these two teams met was in the second round of the 2019 NIT, which resulted in an overtime win for the Longhorns by a score of 78-76.

The prior two matchups between these two teams were both in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Those two NCAA Tournament meetings between Texas and Xavier were split one game apiece. Texas ironically took the Sweet 16 in the Midwest Region over Xavier in 1990. And Xavier beat Texas in the Atlanta Region Sweet 16 in 2004.

Ironically enough, when these two teams met last in the NCAA Tournament, it was also the Sweet 16 and both head coaches were assistants at each respective school.

As far back as we could find, Terry and Miller have faced each other as assistants or head coaches a half-dozen times since 2000. All of those matchups for Terry against Miller came when the interim head coach was either an assistant at Texas or the head coach at Fresno State or UTEP.

For Miller, all of those matchups against Terry either came as an Xavier assistant or the Arizona head coach. Miller is 6-0 against Terry when these two coaches have faced each other in the last couple of decades.

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If Texas is able to beat Xavier, the Longhorns will advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, Xavier is looking for its first trip to the Elite Eight since 2017, when it fell short of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.